HALLIE EPHRON: It's always a little sad when the temperature starts to drop, as it has this past week in New England, and we know that after fall (my second favorite season) will come winter (ick). On the up side, no more "Member Favorites!" on Public TV (exactly whose favorites are they, anyway? And am I the only one that thinks some of these are 'pay to play'?)
The new shows are here!
The other night I watched "Churchill's Secret" on PBS. With the glorious Michael Gambon as Churchill recovering from a stroke that nearly killed him and was kept secret. I'll watch anything with Michael Gambon in it. Michael Gambon aka Albus Dumbledore. The Singing Detective. Michael Gambon whom I had the great pleasure of seeing in London perform in "The Unexpected Man," a two-character play with Eileen Atkins... sitting six rows back center with my young children who were as transported as I was by the performances of two true greats.
And I'm dying to know what our resident expert on Churchill thinks. Susan did you see? And of course it made me think too about what a great TV vehicle Susan's Maggie Hope series will hopefully be.
I'm also watching "Stranger Things" on PBS. Rejoice, X-Files junkies! I am one. Savoring this slowly, so NO SPOILERS! And isn't it nice to see Winona Ryder chewing the scenery. Terrific performances all around. Those kids? Amazing!
And, don't tell anyone but I'm re-watching Star Trek Voyager.
As the new TV season takes off, what are you looking forward to watching?
SUSAN ELIA MACNEAL: I haven't seen Churchill's Secret yet, Hallie, but can't wait. It was odd to write about his illness in MRS. ROOSEVELT'S CONFIDANTE because I don't believe Maggie Hope would have known, yet had to allude to his pallor, unexplained absences, etc.
Fall TV? Noel and I are looking forward to Once Upon a Time, which we watch with Kiddo and I will admit to still watching Grey's Anatomy after all these years. Right now watching Broadchurch on Netflix — halfway through season 2. And when is The Fall (with Gillian Andersen and Jamie Dornan) coming back?
JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Oh, gosh, I remember The Fall Season when I was a kid and there were only three channels and PBS (and we drove to our one-room schoolhouse in a buggy...) I would pour over the extra-extra large edition of TV Guide (Didn't everyone have a subscription to TV Guide?) with the pictures and synopses and behind-the-scenes glimpses. Nowadays, I'll notice something about a show online only to discover it was a limited run summer series and I've already missed it!
Can I include shows that won't air in the US until this winter? I'm looking forward to MORE POLDARK. I understand there will be sweaty bare chested mining to replace the sweaty bare chested scything. I'm very much looking forward to Kiefer Sutherland in Designated Survivor. I never saw much 24, so I still think of him as a terrific indy film actor, and the premise sounds fascinating. Also, Shonda Rhimes has a new series out that looks like what you'd get if you mixed Shakespeare, Once Upon a Time and a romance novel together. It's called Still Star-Crossed, and it has an amazing trailer.
Hallie, you're the second person I know to rave about Stranger Things. I'm going to have to try it! Thank God for Hulu Plus, or I'd never be able to catch up on continuing story television.
RHYS BOWEN: I watched Mr. Churchill's Secret on Sunday. It was brilliant. Such a good script and good acting, and it's always interesting to learn something one never knew about a public person. I felt the same about the series telling the life of Prince John, the youngest son of King George V who had epilepsy and died young. I'm also looking forward to more Poldark and, strangely enough, I plan to catch one or two episodes with all the old guys in Asia (you know William Shattner, Henry Winkler etc. I love travel-related shows.)
LUCY BURDETTE: Oh I am not the person to ask about great TV in our house (that would be John!) I watch the PBS news and then head off to read. But I still want to catch up on the latest ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK season and we are several years behind in THE GOOD WIFE. But best of all, I just read that my favorite current show, NASHVILLE, will premiere its season 5 on January 5. I only have to figure out how to either get CMT or stream through Hulu…
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Churchill's Secret, yes, indeed! And the Kiefer Sutherland Designated Survivor, which sounds like a rip-o--er, borrowing from THE MAN by Irving Wallace, right? And yes, the return of Project Runway. And won't there be a new season of THE AMERICANS? And you know how I love POWER! (The show, you know what I mean.)
I'm also interested in PITCH, about a woman who's the first to pitch for major league baseball. Hmmm..I wish TIMELESS, the time travel series, was good. But it's not getting good reviews. Bring back QUANTUM LEAP!
DEBORAH CROMBIE: Aw, I was looking forward to TIMELESS. I'll give it a try in spite of the reviews. I love time travel shows, and yes, bring back QUANTUM LEAP.
Also looking forward to DESIGNATED SURVIVOR. I got burned out on the last couple of seasons of 24, but I do love Kiefer, and it's an interesting premise. And POLDARK! (I was a huge fan of Aidan Turner from a show called BEING HUMAN, long before he was cast in POLDARK.)
I loved CHURCHILL'S SECRET, too. That's the ONLY thing I'm current on. I seem to get farther and farther behind on TV. We're just starting Season 1 of TREME!
Oh, and am going to look up STRANGER THINGS right now! Thanks for the tip, Hallie.
HALLIE: So how about the rest of you? What are you looking forward to seeing or catching up on as the temperatures drop?