TV shows to look forward to this fall

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In September, TV shows compensate for the slim pickings in theaters, with every network launching roughly a dozen new programs and some of the most essential dramas airing on cable. We have assembled a list of shows totally worth putting off studying for.

“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”

“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” has a reputation for being brazenly, hilariously offensive, and its brand of caustic humor will anchor FX’s sister network, FXX, which will also air other comedy series that originated on FX and original shows somewhere down the line. “Sunny’s” ninth season will also contain its 100th episode, airing sometime in October, and an episode written by “Game of Thrones” creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

Channel: FXX

Premieres: Sept. 4, 9 p.m.

“How I Met Your Mother”

To be a fan of “How I Met Your Mother” means being perpetually fed up with waiting to hear how Ted eventually meets the mother. But series creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas are finally bringing things to a close in the ninth season. The entire season is rumored to span the length of one weekend, as Robin (Cobie Smulders) and Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) prepare to get married and Ted (Josh Radnor) meets the love of his life (series newcomer Cristin Milioti). While it’s unclear if the show can pay off years of dangling story threads and keep things interesting, the cast of “How I Met Your Mother” is one of the most reliably funny groups on TV.

Channel: CBS

Premieres: Sept. 23, 7 p.m.

The Series Finale of “Breaking Bad”

“Breaking Bad” is such an unpredictably, viscerally intense show that watching new episodes actually stresses me out, especially as the show’s final season ramps up to what all clues indicate will be a suitably insane series finale. Bryan Cranston is giving hands down, the best performance on TV, with Dean Norris and Aaron Paul not far behind him. 

Channel: AMC

Premieres: Sept. 29, 8 p.m.

“Homeland”

Conveniently overlapping with the “Breaking Bad” finale is one of the only shows that can match it in terms of audacity and intensity, Showtime’s “Homeland.” Last season gave us a lovely series of duets from Claire Danes as a CIA analyst and Damian Lewis as the war vet/congressman she suspects of being a terrorist, and shook up the status quo in some bold ways. Season three promises a toned-down scale and an increased amount of Mandy Patinkin’s Saul Berenson, which can only be a
good thing.

Channel: Showtime

Premieres: Sept. 29, 8 p.m.