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10 New and Returning Shows We Can't Wait to Watch in October 2022

The White Lotus, A Friend of the Family, Alaska Daily, and Sherman's Showcase top our monthly picks.
  • Photos: Netflix, ABC, Peacock, IFC, HBO.
    Photos: Netflix, ABC, Peacock, IFC, HBO.

    Don't get us wrong, we at Primetimer enjoy the latest world-building blockbuster TV series as much as anyone else. But like a warm cup of pumpkin spice latte, there's something comforting about a new release calendar that's a bit more down to earth. That is, if you consider a show that just won five major awards at the Emmys "down to earth." Or a new series that stars a two-time Oscar winner. (Hey, everything's relative.)

    Also new this month: What does Grey's Anatomy look like without Meredith Grey? We'll find out as Ellen Pompeo takes a step back from the show she's starred in for 18 years now. Plus, Mike Flanagan returns to Netflix with The Midnight Club, Guillermo del Toro bows a chilling new horror anthology, and long-awaited new episodes of IFC comedies Documentary Now! and Sherman's Showcase.

    Here are the shows we can’t wait to watch on TV this October:

    East New York (CBS)

    Series Premiere October 2

    From the producers of NYPD Blue, CBS presents a cop show set in Brooklyn. Old timers might recall that was the exact description of another CBS show: Brooklyn South, from the late Steven Bochco. But even though William Finkelstein was a producer on that 1990s show and this new one, and even though CBS is the home of Blue Bloods and related copaganda, promotional materials promise that East New York will be different, because "the squad of the 74th Precinct will not only serve their community — they'll also become part of it." The cast is led by Amanda Warren (The Leftovers, Dickinson) as the Black precinct commander "determined to deploy creative methods to repair the relationship between the citizens of the community and those who are sworn to protect them." Jimmy Smits (The West Wing) plays her mentor. — Aaron Barnhart

    A Friend of the Family (Peacock)

    Limited Series Premiere October 6

    Three years after Netflix documentary Abducted in Plain Sight brought the story of Jan Broberg, an Idaho teen who was kidnapped by her neighbor, Robert "B" Berchtold, to the masses, Peacock dramatizes the chilling events in a nine-episode limited series. Jan Broberg and her mother Mary Ann serve as producers on A Friend of the Family, which attempts to explain how Berchtold exploited the Brobergs' vulnerabilities to abduct Jan multiple times over several years.

    As "B," Jake Lacy probes new depths of depravity after his turn in The White Lotus, while Anna Paquin, Colin Hanks, Hendrix Yancey, and Mckenna Grace aim to bring an air of relatability to this stranger-than-fiction tale. Behind the scenes, showrunner Nick Antosca (Candy, The Act) mines the time period for inspiration as he suffuses the series with a 1970s glow that's idyllic and sinister at the same time. — Claire Spellberg Lustig

    Grey's Anatomy (ABC)

    Season 19 Premiere October 6

    Last season ended with a few cliffhangers, including Meredith's relationship with Nick (Scott Speedman), and Owen (Kevin McKidd) and Teddy (Kim Raver) on the run from the law. But the big news heading into Season 19 is that series star Ellen Pompeo will only appear in 8 episodes this year, as she's taking a step back to focus on other projects. What that means for the show itself is a tale waiting to be told, but we do know that we're getting a brand new class of residents, which means new cast members — including Glee's Harry Shum Jr. and Dash & Lily's Midori Francis — who will no doubt be fighting for a place in this show's vast ensemble. — Joe Reid

    Alaska Daily (ABC)

    Series Premiere October 6

    Take two Oscar winners — Tom McCarthy, writer and director of Spotlight, and Hilary Swank, two-time best actress — give them a little northern exposure, and what do you get? An investigative-journalism drama that promises to be true to life, thanks to the behind-the-scenes involvement of the actual owner of the Anchorage Daily News (whose family bought it back from a chain). Plus: Hilary Swank!! — Aaron Barnhart

    The Midnight Club (Netflix)

    Series Premiere October 7

    As we've previously noted, it's a cultural travesty that Christopher Pike, a master of pulpy teen horror novels, has been heretofore overlooked by Hollywood. His plots are clever, his twists are scary, and his characters are usually a cut above your typical teenage slasher victims. This month, we finally get the first show based on his work: Mike Flanagan's series adaptation of Pike's novel about terminally ill teenagers who gather to tell spooky stories at the hospice where they're spending their final days. It's all harmless fun until one of them dies, and then supernatural hell breaks loose.

    Clearly, this is just the kind of story Flanagan is born to tell, given his previous Netflix chillers, which include The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor. The rich, nuanced writing in his most recent project Midnight Mass suggests he'll add depth to the bleak premise of kids in hopsice care. And with horror queen Heather Langenkamp, the final girl from Nightmare on Elm Street, playing the mysterious director of the care facility, could you ask for better casting? — Mark Blankenship

    Documentary Now! (IFC)

    Season 4 Premiere October 19

    After a three-year break, executive producers Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, and Seth Meyers are back with a new batch of documentary parodies set entirely in the U.K.. After lovingly sending up documentaries as disparate as Grey Gardens, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, and Original Cast Album: Company, it makes sense to narrow the focus to a single country, where the parodies can go deep on a particular set of cultural mores.

    The tantalizing episode descriptions suggest the approach will work. Among the standouts, Cate Blanchett returns to star with Harriet Walter in Two Hairdressers in Bagglyport, which parodies the BBC doc Three Salons at the Seaside, while Oscar winner My Octopus Teacher gets skewered as My Monkey Grifter. Any show that features a con-artist monkey has got to be worth a watch. — Mark Blankenship

    Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities (Netflix)

    Series Premiere October 25

    Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities has nearly as unwieldy a title as The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, while promising just as much visual splendor as Prime Video's Tolkien adaptation. This Netflix anthology series aims to challenge perceptions of the horror genre, as well as explore some of life's great tensions and quandaries. As del Toro himself puts it in the first-look video, "The world is beautiful and horrible — at exactly the same time." Though story details are still under wraps, we can count on the Shape of Water and Pan's Labyrinth director's signature creature design, which is at once thoughtful and shocking.

    The series boasts a murderers' row of horror directors, including del Toro (who also co-writes the anthology), Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night), Jennifer Kent (The Babadook), and Panos Cosmatos (Mandy). The cast is similarly star-studded, with Eric André, Ben Barnes, Rupert Grint, Ismael Crúz Cordova (also of The Rings of Power), and Geena Davis all set to appear. Starting October 25, Netflix will roll out two installments of this eight-episode horror anthology across four days. — Danette Chavez

    Sherman’s Showcase (IFC)

    Season 2 Premiere October 26

    After nearly three years (there was a special in June 2020), Sherman's Showcase returns to IFC for a second season of absurdist sketches and spot-on musical parodies. The high-concept comedy, from co-creators Bashir Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle, positions itself as a fictional retrospective of the fictional variety series (also named Sherman's Showcase) to end all variety series, real or otherwise. It was one of the most innovative series of 2019 — a heady mix of irreverent humor and meta commentary. Sherman's Showcase is as much a sendup of variety shows as it is a living testament to real-life Black luminaries and creators, even if they sometimes go by different names in this show-within-a-show.

    As Sherman McDaniel, the man looking back on this legendary variety show, Salahuddin holds court, with Riddle playing second fiddle as Dutch Shepherd. Season 2 boasts plenty of guest stars, including Demi Adejuyigbe (writer, The Good Place), Laci Mosley (A Black Lady Sketch Show), Dewayne Perkins (The Amber Ruffin Show), and Chance The Rapper. There are 40-plus years of made-up history for Sherman et al. to draw from in these new episodes, so there's no telling what we'll see when the show comes back. But there's no doubt it'll be entertaining. — Danette Chavez

    Big Mouth (Netflix)

    Season 6 Premiere October 28

    Nick Kroll and Andrew Goldberg's adult animated comedy continues to mine puberty, adolescent folly, and human sexuality for laughs. Big Mouth Season 6 focuses on the theme of family as Andrew (voiced by John Mulaney), Nick (Kroll), and their middle school-aged friends learn how to love each other — and allow themselves to be loved — for who they really are. The new season will also continue some of the storylines presented in spinoff series Human Resources, including Maury's (Kroll) pregnancy and tumultuous relationship with Connie (Maya Rudolph). — Claire Spellberg Lustig

    The White Lotus (HBO)

    Season 2 Premiere October 30

    Fresh off of cleaning up at the Emmy Awards, The White Lotus returns with an all-new setting and all-new cast — save for Emmy-winner Jennifer Coolidge, who brings Tanya McQuoid back into the luxurious waiting arms of the White Lotus resorts. This season is set in Sicily, and creator Mike White is no doubt eager to once again explore themes of privilege and the blinders that can keep those with so much from appreciating everything they have access to. But reports have it that the new season will also touch on themes of relationships and sexual jealousy, what White is describing as "a bedroom farce with teeth."

    The Season 2 cast has a lot to live up to after last year's stellar ensemble, but it's a pretty formidable bunch, including Aubrey Plaza, Michael Imperioli, Tom Hollander, Theo James, Haley Lu Richardson, and Oscar-winner F. Murray Abraham. After premiering as a somewhat surprising summer hit last year, it will now help anchor HBO's fall lineup, taking the hand-off from House of the Dragon. — Joe Reid

    Other Notable October 2022 Premieres

    October 1
    Housing Complex C (Adult Swim) SERIES PREMIERE

    October 2
    Anne Rice's Interview With the Vampire (AMC) SERIES PREMIERE
    Blumhouse's Compendium of Horror (EPIX) SERIES PREMIERE 
    The Equalizer (CBS) SEASON 3 PREMIERE
    Family Law (The CW) SERIES PREMIERE
    Nothing Compares (Showtime) ORIGINAL DOCUMENTARY

    October 3
    The Good Doctor (ABC) SEASON 6 PREMIERE

    October 5
    Bling Empire (Netflix) SEASON 3 PREMIERE
    Chucky (USA/Syfy) SEASON 2 PREMIERE
    Kung Fu (The CW) SEASON 3 PREMIERE
    Nailed It! (Netflix) SEASON 7  
    The Real Love Boat (CBS) SERIES PREMIERE
    Reginald the Vampire (Syfy) SERIES PREMIERE
    Tooning Out the News (Comedy Central) SEASON 3 PREMIERE

    October 6
    Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman's Butler (HBO Max) SEASON 3 PREMIERE 
    Station 19 (ABC) SEASON 6 PREMIERE
    Walker (The CW) SEASON 3 PREMIERE 
    Walker Independence (The CW) SERIES PREMIERE

    October 7
    Blue Bloods (CBS) SEASON 13 PREMIERE
    Fire Country (CBS) SERIES PREMIERE
    Hellraiser (Hulu) ORIGINAL MOVIE
    The Lincoln Project (Showtime) SERIES PREMIERE
    The Mole (Netflix) SERIES REBOOT
    The Problem With Jon Stewart (Apple TV+) SEASON 2 PREMIERE 
    The Redeem Team (Netflix) ORIGINAL DOCUMENTARY
    Significant Other (Paramount+) ORIGINAL MOVIE

    October 9
    NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS) SEASON 14 PREMIERE
    The Real Housewives of Potomac (Bravo) SEASON 7 PREMIERE

    October 10
    All American (The CW) SEASON 5 PREMIERE
    All American: Homecoming (The CW) SEASON 2 PREMIERE
    Avenue 5 (HBO) SEASON 2 PREMIERE

    October 11
    Professionals (The CW) SERIES PREMIERE
    The Winchesters (The CW) SERIES PREMIERE

    October 12
    The Challenge: Ride or Dies (MTV) SEASON 38 PREMIERE
    Easy-Bake Battle (Netflix) SERIES PREMIERE
    Love at First Lie (MTV) SERIES PREMIERE

    October 13
    Winter House (Bravo) SEASON 2 PREMIERE

    October 14
    High School (Amazon Freevee) SERIES PREMIERE
    Rosaline (Hulu) ORIGINAL MOVIE
    Shantaram (Apple TV+) SERIES PREMIERE
    Whose Line Is It Anyway? (The CW) SEASON 19 PREMIERE

    October 16
    Masterpiece: Annika (PBS) SERIES PREMIERE
    Masterpiece: Magpie Murders (PBS) SERIES PREMIERE
    Masterpiece: Miss Scarlet and the Duke (PBS) SEASON 2 PREMIERE

    October 17

    October 18

    October 19
    Love is Blind (Netflix) SEASON 3 PREMIERE

    October 20
    One of Us Is Lying (Peacock) SEASON 2 PREMIERE

    October 21
    Acapulco (Apple TV+) SEASON 2 PREMIERE
    The Peripheral (Amazon Prime Video) SERIES PREMIERE
    The School for Good and Evil (Netflix) ORIGINAL MOVIE

    October 22
    Criss Angel's Magic With the Stars (The CW) SERIES PREMIERE
    The Hair Tales (Hulu) SERIES PREMIERE

    October 23
    The BMF Documentary: Blowing Money Fast (Starz) DOCUSERIES PREMIERE

    October 28
    Urban Legend (Travel Channel) SERIES PREMIERE

    TOPICS: Netflix, ABC, AMC+, CBS, Hulu, IFC, Paramount+, Peacock, Alaska Daily, Big Mouth, Documentary Now!, East New York, A Friend of the Family, Grey's Anatomy, Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet Of Curiosities, The Midnight Club, Sherman's Showcase, Ellen Pompeo, Guillermo del Toro, Hilary Swank, Jennifer Coolidge, Mike Flanagan, Mike White, William Finkelstein