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What to Watch This Week | September 19–25’s deft viewing recommendations for shows, movies, sports, and more on TV this week.

The fall TV season kicks off for real this week, with most of your favorite ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC series returning with new episodes (except Ghosts, the only show most of us care about, which will be back for Season 2 next week). Fun fact: Only three-fifths of weeknights are occupied by Dick Wolf procedurals—step it up, Dick.

This week’s What to Watch recs include the premieres of Andor, Reboot, and Quantum Leap; new movies Lou and Meet Cute; NASCAR Cup track action; a new Patton Oswalt standup special; and a trip to Haunted Scotland. Where’s the remote?

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What’s premiering this week

Andor | Disney+ | Drama, sci-fi

Series premiere, Wednesday, September 21: In this prequel to Rogue One (my favorite Star Wars movie—fight me), Rebel Alliance fighter pilot Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) is caught up in a spy game written and directed by the minds behind House of Cards, The Americans, and Black Mirror—whoa, heavy. His sarcastic droid K-2SO (voiced by Alan Tudyk) is also onboard for Andor’s 12-episode(!) debut season, which drops three episodes on September 21.

AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500 | USA | Sports, racing

NASCAR Cup coverage begins Sunday, September 25, 3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT: Live from Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, it’s the extra-wordy AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500. The fourth race of the NASCAR Cup will narrow the competition to determine who will qualify to ultimately compete in November’s NASCAR Championship. Absent from the TV coverage will be live sets from rocker Daughtry and “Midget Wrestling Warriors” . . . huh?

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What to watch on Netflix this week

Patton Oswalt: We All Scream | Netflix | Comedy, standup

Special premiere, Tuesday, September 20: Comedian/actor Patton Oswalt has starred in three previous Netflix standup specials, but We All Scream marks his directorial debut—Ratatouille is all grown up! The hour-long set, filmed at the Paramount Theatre in Denver, Colorado, touches on getting older (relatable), body issues (ditto), and not following through on all those grand plans for self-improvement during the pandemic lockdown (ouch, too close).

Lou | Netflix | Action, drama

Movie premiere, Friday, September 23: In one of the oddest action-flick pairings ever, Allison Janney (Mom) and Jurnee Smollett (Lovecraft Country) star as a mysterious ex-mercenary and a desperate mother whose daughter has been kidnapped, respectively. No sooner than you can say “I have a very particular set of skills,” they’re off into the rainy night searching for the taken kid and the soon-to-be-sorry goons holding her. Derivative, sure, but Janney kicks much ass as Lou.

What to watch on Hulu this week

Reboot | Hulu | Comedy

Series premiere, Tuesday, September 20: In his first project since the end of Modern Family, writer/producer Steven Levitan gets meta: Reboot is about a fictional Hulu reboot of an early-2000s family sitcom, Step Right Up, and the reunion of one of the most dysfunctional TV casts ever. The cast cast as that cast (whew) includes Keegan-Michael Key, Judy Greer, and Johnny Knoxville, so Reboot is already on solid comedy ground. Two episodes stream on September 20.

Abbott Elementary | Hulu | Comedy

Season 1 now streaming: How good is ABC comedy Abbott Elementary? I wrote a whole How to Watch Abbott Elementary article for this site, and it wasn’t even an assignment. Season 2 premieres Wednesday, September 21, on ABC—if you’ve not yet seen the 2022 Emmy Awards darling, do yourself a favor and catch up on the 13-episode debut season on Hulu (also on HBO Max) first. While you’re there, check out Home Economics; it also returns Wednesday.

What to watch on Peacock this week

Quantum Leap | NBC, Peacock | Drama, sci-fi

Series premiere, Monday, September 19: NBC is only rolling out two new shows this season, Lopez vs. Lopez (George Lopez’s, like, 18th self-named sitcom?) and Quantum Leap, a revival of the ’80s/’90s sci-fi series. This new series finds a new scientific team taking over the Quantum Leap time-travel project 30 years later, and Raymond Lee (Kevin Can F**k Himself) taking over for Scott Bakula, who probably would have gone back in time to stop Star Trek: Enterprise.

Meet Cute | Peacock | Comedy, sci-fi

Movie premiere, Wednesday, September 21: Speaking of time travel, Meet Cute follows a couple (Kaley Cuoco and Pete Davidson) who fall in love immediately on their first date—but not really. One of them has a time machine and has been making the pair relive that first date over and over again while they mold the other into the perfect partner. If you’re thinking, “Holy Palm Springs, it’s gotta be Pete Davidson!”, think again. Not to give anything away.

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W2W wildcards of the week

Dancing with the Stars | Disney+ | Reality, competition

Season 31 premiere, Monday, September 19: Like Days of Our Lives last week, Dancing with the Stars is another long-running broadcast series that’s making the leap to streaming—in this case, from ABC to Disney+. Unlike previous seasons, DWTS has some actual stars this year, including Selma Blair, Wayne Brady, Cheryl Ladd, Teresa Giudice, and TikTok phenom Charli D’Amelio. Host Tyra Banks will also smize hard and welcome new cohost Alfonso Ribeiro.

Haunted Scotland | Discovery+ | Reality, supernatural

Series premiere, Friday, September 23: Discovery+ has dozens of shows about hunters running around in night-vision green and not actually finding ghosts, but now they can whisper “Shhh, did you hear that?” in Scottish. American medium Chris Fleming and Scot celebrity Gail Porter investigate paranormal activity at Scotland landmarks in the 10-episode Haunted Scotland that’s already aired in the UK as Spooked Scotland. Tomato, ghostmato.

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