Just because there are new geeky shows premiering this season, doesn’t mean you should forget about your old friends. Here are 10 returning shows that still want your geeky love.
10) Grimm (NBC)
An old-school monster hunting vibe with a complex mythology system (like Buffy the Vampire Slayer or X-Files) makes this show a fall must-watch. New season started Monday, August 13 and stars David Giuntoli, Bitsie Tulloch, and Silas Weir Mitchell.
9) Touch (FOX)
When this thing premiered in January it looked like absolute cancellation-bait. But here we are, looking at another season, and even if it is a little touchy-feely, any supernatural show that survives is a “W” in the geek book. New season starts Friday, October 26 and stars Kiefer Sutherland and David Mazouz.
8) Once Upon a Time (ABC)
One of two fairy-tale series to begin last season (the other being Grimm), OUaT has used a multiple-timeline story setup to both fully embrace the fantasy world and also explore the ordinary lives of fantasy characters in the real world. This season is supposed to pull Captain Hook into the mythology! New season starts Sunday, September 30 and stars Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla, and Josh Dallas.
7) Haven (SyFy)
They used to bill this show as, “based on the Colorado Kid by Stephen King,” which is true in that both are about people and events, but otherwise it’s a bit of a stretch. Still, Haven puts a more horrific spin on things and does a decent job of keeping the ongoing mystery interesting. New season starts Friday, September 21 and stars Emily Rose, Lucas Bryant, and Eric Balfour.
6) Person of Interest (CBS)
It seems like every year J.J. Abrams produces at least one new show. Some survive and others go to the grave; this was last year’s survivor (while Alcatraz bit the dust). It didn’t hurt anything that PoI starts Lost veteran (and one of our actor-crushes) Michael Emerson as the mysterious genius responsible for the show’s central future-seeing algorithm. New season starts Thursday, September 27 and stars Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson.
5) Fringe (FOX)
And here we find J.J. Abrams’s surviving production from a few years ago. This show started fun (gross), but slow—and then it put on its crazy-pants. Now it’s a trans-dimensional, dopplegangery, zeplin-tech madhouse—which is awesome. New season starts Friday, September 28 and stars Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, and John Noble.
4) The Vampire Diaries (CW)
This show was originally bashed as a quick money-grab to try to cash in on the Twilight craze while it was hot. Four years later, and it has turned into a genuinely beloved series for many viewers, and, even though it’s central plot-device remains the supernatural love triangle, die-hard fans would argue that it has managed to get into more complex and subtle storytelling than the Twilight Saga could dream of. New season starts Thursday, October 11 and stars Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, and Ian Somerhalder.
3) NOVA (PBS)
True science geeks have been woefully abandoned by much of the television world. The Learning Channel has learned that they can make more money if they disregard learning in any form, and History cannot be accurately described without profanity, but NOVA is still NOVA, and it is still amazing. This season has several ancient technology episodes, some forensic science, and an episode on the Mars Curiosity team. We can’t guarantee an interview with mohawk guy, but we can guarantee there’s a better chance on NOVA than on any of these other shows. New season starts Wednesday, October 10 and stars SCIENCE! And Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
2) Supernatural (CW)
Neither rocksalt, nor demon knife, nor Borax face splash can kill this show and keep it down. Pretty much every character on the show has died in some form or another (some more than once) and come back, and here they are rolling into their 8th season. The series showrunner recently mentioned that he has the show plotted to end with season 10, so if you want to see that ending, you better get all your friends watching, because this show has been losing viewers slowly but steadily for the last three years. New season starts Wednesday, October 3 and stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles.
1) American Horror Story: Asylum (FX)
The first season of this show took an incredibly familiar plot (family moves into haunted house) and turned it into a complex, layered, and uncompromising tale unlike anything that had been on television before. It left fans wondering where they could take the story in season two, and the answer seems to be Briarcliff Asylum. What connection, if any, this story will have to the first season is unclear—it stars some of the same actors, but they are playing new characters. Whatever the case, this is likely to be one of the best treats of the Halloween season. New season starts Wednesday, October 17 and stars Jessica Lange, Zachary Quinto, James Cromwell, and Joseph Fiennes.