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Fear the Walking Dead Is Back and it's Looking Awfully Familiar

ALSO: Luther, American Princess, NOS4A2, The Weekly, and more
  • Austin Amelio in Fear the Walking Dead (AMC)
    Austin Amelio in Fear the Walking Dead (AMC)

    If AMC's Fear the Walking Dead was ever intended to be something distinct in tone or structure from its parent series, that sure seems like a long time ago. It definitely seemed in its earliest seasons to be aiming for a slightly different angle on the zombie apocalypse. Its tight focus on a single blended family as it struggled to stay together while the world fell apart was different from the patchwork world-building of The Walking Dead. It may not have been the best show on TV, but its aims were admirable.

    Whether it was ratings concerns or a disinterest in the small-scale storytelling that inspired it, Fear the Walking Dead eventually evolved into pretty much the same show as The Walking Dead. They even imported some of TWD's characters to lead the charge. It's not a bad idea, business-wise, considering how successful that parent show has become. But by now it's hard to say that a zombie isn't just a zombie, at least on AMC.

    SEASON PREMIERE: Our Jessica Liese says there are a few reasons to be optimistic as Fear the Walking Dead premieres its fifth season. Lennie James (Morgan) and Austin Amelio (Dwight) serve as the bridge to the old series, while Alycia Debnam-Carey (Alicia) and Colman Domingo (Strand) serve as a bridge to the old version of this show. Oh, and one more, as Ruben Blades makes his unlikely return as the presumed dead Daniel Salazar. 9:00 PM ET on AMC

    SEASON PREMIERE: Idris Elba is back on your TV, so you're welcome. Season 5 of Luther sees John Luther back to solve a string of depraves murders on the streets of London. As is true of most crime series these days, the killings are monstrous and intricate, big public spectacles. The mystery is tangled and intricate, and Luther himself finds himself the target of mobsters for his trouble. Just another season of Luther for you. 8:00 PM ET on BBC America

    SERIES PREMIERE: The new Lifetime series American Princess centers on Amanda (Georgia Flood) who runs away from a disastrous wedding (think groom getting a beej from a bridesmaid before the ceremony) and lands among Ren-Faire folk. Much hilarity, healing, and one imagines a few giant turkey legs ensue. Creator Jamie Denbo and executive producer Jenji Kohan have a unique concept on their hands, if audiences can be convinced to go along for the ride. 9:00 PM ET on Lifetime

    SERIES PREMIERE: Zachary Quinto (American Horror Story) plays a soulless, vampiric demon in AMC's NOS4A2, based on the novel by Joe Hill. Ashleigh Cummings plays Vic McQueen, who may have the ability to thwart Quinto's character and liberate all the children he captures and banishes to an evil Christmas village. Seriously! 10:00 PM ET on AMC


    • The Weekly is FX and the New York Times' first crack at a TV news/docu-series. The premiere episode focuses on a Louisiana school that came into dubious viral fame for sending kids to the Ivy League. 10:00 PM ET on FX
    • Axios premieres its second season of D.C. insiders trying like hell to make sense of our current political moment. 6:00 PM ET on HBO
    • Downton Abbey Returns! is not a revival of the popular PBS estate drama, but rather a retrospective on the series and a look ahead to this fall's theatrical feature film, Downton Abbey. 9:00 PM ET on PBS

    Joe Reid is the senior writer at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.

    TOPICS: Fear the Walking Dead, American Princess, Luther, NOS4A2, The Weekly