Whether September means returning to school or returning to work, there are a number of shows premiering that our Women and Hollywood readers are sure to devour. From documentaries and dramas to comedies and teen-centric shows, there is something for everyone to tune into at the end of a long day.
Bookending this month are some highly anticipated women-led documentaries, “No Ordinary Life” and “Nothing Compares.” “No Ordinary Life,” airing September 5 on CNN, follows a group of trailblazing photojournalists who venture to Sarajevo, South Africa, and beyond. Viewers will be immersed in the stories of five women who have traveled the world to capture searing images of war, famine, revolutions, and natural disasters. For the first time ever in a feature-length documentary, audiences will be able to witness these striking moments. Then on September 30, Kathryn Ferguson’s “Nothing Compares” will premiere on Showtime. Like “No Ordinary Life,” this documentary about Sinéad O’Connor is drawn from archives, featuring unseen footage from the ’80s and ’90s as well as interviews and insights from artists, musicians, and social commentators who contextualize the importance of Irish history and political activism in O’Connor’s art and personal life.
If you lean more toward the supernatural than the biographical, there are a number of fantastical shows hitting streaming platforms this month. “Vampire Academy,” brought to us “Vampire Diaries” producer Julie Plec, streams September 15 on Peacock. This fresh take on the vampire drama explores class differences and friendships as two girls work to finish their education and ascend into royal vampire society. On September 16, another supernatural drama, “The Brave Ones,” will premiere on Netflix. With storylines featuring African gods and divine entities, “The Brave Ones” portrays a parallel version of modern-day South Africa. In this six-episode series, a typical village girl discovers a more mystical side of herself, and all the duties it entails.
If you’re looking for a show to really sink your teeth into, there are a handful of compelling crime stories and dramas on the way. “Recipes for Love and Murder,” adapted from a book of the same title, premieres September 4 on Acorn TV. Tannie Maria’s (Maria Doyle Kennedy) simple pleasures of cooking and romance unexpectedly turn into mystery when an avid reader of her column tragically dies. Premiering on Hulu September 27 is “Reasonable Doubt” created by Raamala Mohamed. This drama stars Emayatzy Corinealdi as a tenacious defense attorney whose ethics and hunches get called into question. Then, adding the element of music but not skimping on the drama, there is “Monarch,” led by Susan Sarandon. Airing September 11 on Fox, the soap revolves around a family country music dynasty with a secretive past.
Then, of course, we have several can’t-miss shows returning for another season, such as the sophomore season of Quinta Brunson’s award-winning “Abbott Elementary,” on September 21, and the final season of Ava DuVernay’s “Queen Sugar,” on September 6.
Here are August’s premiering and returning women-driven and women-created TV projects. All descriptions are from press materials unless otherwise noted.
TV and Episodic Premieres:
“Pantheon” (Premieres September 1 on AMC+)
A young woman begins receiving messages from an unknown number that claims to be her deceased father. Trying to uncover the truth, she stumbles upon a larger conspiracy involving the singularity.
“Fakes” – Directed by Jasmin Mozaffari, Joyce Wong, and Mars Horodyski (Premieres September 2 on Netflix)
Teenage best friends Zoe (Emilija Baranac) and Becca (Jennifer Tong) set out to build their own fake ID empire, but when business starts booming, their life of crime gets way too real.
“Devil in Ohio” (Miniseries) – Created by Daria Polatin (Premieres September 2 on Netflix)
Determined to protect a young patient who escaped a mysterious cult, a psychiatrist takes the girl in, putting her own family — and life — in danger.
“You’re Nothing Special” – Created by Estíbaliz Burgaleta (Premieres September 2 on Netflix)
Life in Amaia’s new town starts to get a lot more interesting when a rumor spreads at school that she’s inherited her grandmother’s magical talents.
“Life by Ella” (Premieres September 2 on Apple TV+)
Follow Ella (Lily Brooks O’Briant) as she returns to school with a brand new perspective, excitement for what the future holds, and a major “seize the day” mentality following her stint with cancer. With her best friend by her side, she is ready to tackle everything she was too afraid of before, and determined not to let the minutiae of fake friends and social media status distract her.
“House of Hammer” (Docuseries) – Directed by Elli Hakami and Julian P. Hobbs (Premieres September 2 on Discovery+)
“House of Hammer” chronicles the deeply troubling accusations leveled against critically acclaimed actor Armie Hammer and the dark, twisted legacy of the Hammer dynasty. Featuring exclusive access and shocking revelations, the documentary takes viewers inside the Hammer family’s dark power plays over the course of three revealing hours.
“Little Women” – Created by Kim Hee-won and Chung Seo-kyung (Premieres September 3 on Netflix)
Three sisters, who only have each other and never enough money, get entangled in a conspiracy involving the rich and powerful.
“Recipes for Love and Murder” – Created by Karen Jeynes (Premieres September 5 on Acorn TV)
Tannie Maria (Maria Doyle Kennedy) sees food as “medicine for the body and heart.” She envies romance as much as she enjoys cooking and eating. But it’s death that shakes up Tannie Maria’s life, when one of the correspondents to her column is brutally murdered.
“No Ordinary Life” (Documentary) – Directed by Heather O’Neill (Premieres September 5 on CNN)
“No Ordinary Life” is a film about women photojournalists on the frontlines of history. In a field dominated by men, Jane Evans, Maria Fleet, Margaret Moth, Mary Rogers, and Cynde Strand broke news, bucked stereotypes, and built an enduring sisterhood. Tough, talented, resilient, and resourceful, these fierce five recount the risks of reporting under fire with white-knuckle, behind-the-scenes footage, often braving dangerous circumstances to get the story.
“Out of Office” (TV Movie) (Premieres September 5 on Comedy Central)
“Out of Office” is an ensemble comedy about the blurring lines between working from home and would-be/should-be private life. The story centers on a young woman (Milana Vayntrub) who finds that keeping her job is somehow tied to helping her boss (Ken Jeong) navigate his fast-failing marriage.
“Sheng Wang: Sweet and Juicy” (Comedy Special) – Directed by Ali Wong (Premieres September 6 on Netflix)
Sheng Wang makes his Netflix comedy special debut in “Sheng Wang: Sweet and Juicy,” marking Ali Wong’s directorial debut and filmed at the Belasco Theatre in Los Angeles. Sheng finds magic in the mundane as he discusses the upside to owning a juicer you don’t use, the secret to his posture, his heist dream team, and much more.
“Tell Me Lies” – Created by Meaghan Oppenheimer (Premieres September 7 on Hulu)
“Tell Me Lies” follows a tumultuous but intoxicating relationship as it unfolds over the course of eight years. When Lucy Albright (Grace Van Patten) and Stephen DeMarco (Jackson White) meet at college, they are at that formative age when seemingly mundane choices lead the way to irrevocable consequences. Although their relationship begins like any typical campus romance, they quickly fall into an addictive entanglement that will permanently alter not only their lives, but the lives of everyone around them.
“Gutsy” (Docuseries) (Premieres September 9 on Apple TV+)
Based on The New York Times bestseller “The Book of Gutsy Women,” the docuseries features Hillary and Chelsea Clinton as they embark on a thought-provoking journey to speak with pioneering women artists, activists, community leaders, and everyday heroes who show us what it truly means to be gutsy.
“Monarch” – Created by Melissa London Hilfers (Premieres September 11 on Fox)
Reigning King of Country Music Albie Roman (Trace Adkins), along with his insanely talented — and tough as nails — wife, Queen of Country Music Dottie Cantrell Roman (Susan Sarandon), have created a country music dynasty, but even though the Roman name is synonymous with authenticity, the very foundation of their success is a lie. When their reign as country royalty is put in jeopardy, heir to the crown Nicolette “Nicky” Roman (Anna Friel) will stop at nothing to protect her family’s legacy, while ensuring her own quest for stardom, alongside her brother Luke (Joshua Sasse) and sister Gigi (Beth Ditto).
“The Serpent Queen” (Premieres September 11 on Starz)
“The Serpent Queen” tells the story of Catherine de Medici (Samantha Morton) who, against all odds, became one of the most powerful and longest-serving rulers in French history. Catherine’s tale unfolds through flashbacks as she defends her actions and imparts the lessons she’s learned to her new servant girl, Rahima (Sennia Nanua). At 14, the young, orphaned Catherine (Liv Hill) marries into the 16th-century French court. Despite her commoner status, her uncle Pope Clement (Charles Dance) has negotiated a large dowry and a geopolitical alliance in return for the union, and with it comes the expectation of many heirs. However, on her wedding night, Catherine learns that her new husband is in love with Diane de Poitiers (Ludivine Sagnier), a beautiful lady-in-waiting twice his age. With her future suddenly uncertain and with little hope of conceiving, Catherine must quickly learn who she can trust — both within her personal entourage of courtiers and the members of the royal court — while outmaneuvering anyone who underestimates her determination to survive at any cost.
“Heartbreak High” – Created by Hannah Carroll Chapman, Ben Gannon, and Michael Jenkins (Premieres September 14 on Netflix)
A fresh look at Hartley High over 20 years on. With her new friends — outsiders Quinni (Chloe Hayden) and Darren (James Majoos) — Amerie (Ayesha Madon) must repair her reputation, while navigating love, sex, and heartbreak.
“The Light in the Hall” – Created by Regina Moriarty (Premieres September 15 on Sundance Now)
After the disappearance of a 15-year-old girl, Ela Roberts, in 2002, Joe Pritchard (Iwan Rheon) was arrested after her DNA was found in his caravan and he confessed to her murder, though he has not disclosed where her body is. When the news breaks that Joe is about to be released from prison after 18 years — much to the horror of Ela’s mother, Sharon (Joanna Scanlan) — journalist Cat Donato (Alexandra Roach) decides to return to Llanemlyn to discover the truth about Ela’s final days once and for all. But will Cat be warmly welcomed back in the town where she grew up? Sharon is also desperate for answers, and she’ll go to any lengths to get them.
“Vampire Academy” – Created by Julie Plec and Marguerite MacIntyre (Premieres September 15 on Peacock)
In a world of privilege and glamour, two young women (Daniela Nieves and Jennifer Kirby)’s friendship transcends their strikingly different classes as they prepare to complete their education and enter vampire society — one as a powerful royal, the other a half-vampire guardian.
“The Brave Ones” (Premieres September 16 on Netflix)
An all-mighty goddess reincarnated as a young woman (Sthandile Nkosi) must harness her divine powers to avenge her sister’s death and protect her family from destruction.
“Heathers: The Musical” (Special) (Premieres September 16 on The Roku Channel)
Deliciously, darkly funny, romantic and moving, “Heathers: The Musical” is a truthful, uplifting parable for anyone who’s ever been in love, in trouble — or even in high school! At Westerberg High, Veronica Sawyer is just another one of the nobodies dreaming of a better day. But when she’s unexpectedly taken under the wings of the three beautiful and impossibly cruel Heathers, her dreams of popularity finally start to come true. Until JD shows up – the mysterious teen rebel who teaches her that everyone fears being a nobody, but it’s murder being a somebody.
“The U.S. and the Holocaust” (Docuseries) – Directed by Lynn Novick, Sarah Botstein, and Ken Burns (Premieres September 18 on PBS)
“The U.S. and the Holocaust” is a three-part, six-hour series that examines America’s response to one of the greatest humanitarian crises of the 20th century. Americans consider themselves a “nation of immigrants,” but as the catastrophe of the Holocaust unfolded in Europe, the United States proved unwilling to open its doors to more than a fraction of the hundreds of thousands of desperate people seeking refuge. Through riveting firsthand testimony of witnesses and survivors who as children endured persecution, violence, and flight as their families tried to escape Hitler, this series delves deeply into the tragic human consequences of public indifference, bureaucratic red tape, and restrictive quota laws in America. Did the nation fail to live up to its ideals? This is a history to be reckoned with.
“The Girls at the Back” (Premieres September 23 on Netflix)
After one of them is diagnosed with cancer, five friends devote their annual vacation to expanding their horizons, one bucket-list challenge at a time.
“Reasonable Doubt” – Created by Raamla Mohamed (Premieres September 27 on Hulu)
Jax Stewart (Emayatzy Corinealdi) is known to be the most brilliant and fearless defense attorney in Los Angeles, who bucks the justice system at every chance she gets; she’s judged for her questionable ethics and wild interpretations of the law until she’s needed.
“The Rookie: Feds” (Premieres September 27 on ABC)
“The Rookie: Feds” stars Niecy Nash-Betts as Simone Clark, the oldest rookie in the FBI Academy. The spinoff was introduced as a two-part event during the fourth season of “The Rookie,” where Officer John Nolan (Nathan Fillion) and the LA division of the FBI enlist the help of Simone Clark when one of her former students is a suspect in a terror attack.
“The Empress” – Created by Katharina Eyssen (Premieres September 29 on Netflix)
When rebellious Elisabeth (Devrim Lingnau) falls for Emperor Franz (Philip Froissant) and becomes his unlikely bride, she enters a world of tension and intrigue at the Viennese court.
“Nothing Compares” (Documentary) – Directed by Kathryn Ferguson (Premieres September 30 on Showtime)
This documentary portrait charts trailblazer Sinéad O’Connor’s phenomenal rise to worldwide fame, and examines how she used her voice at the height of her stardom before her iconoclastic personality led to her exile from the pop mainstream. The archive-led documentary features era-defining music videos and concert performances alongside previously unseen footage from this period, underpinned by a new interview with Sinéad herself, in which she reflects on events in her own words, and from a present-day perspective.
“The Secrets She Keeps” – Created by Sarah Walker (Sundance Now, September 1)
“Queen Sugar” – Created by Ava DuVernay (OWN, September 6)
“The Good Fight” – Created by Michelle King, Robert King, and Phil Alden Robinson (Paramount+, September 8)
“Central Park” – Created by Nora Smith, Loren Bouchard, and Josh Gad (Apple TV+, September 9)
“The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu, September 14)
“Los Espookys” – Created by Ana Fabrega, Julio Torres, and Fred Armisen (HBO/HBO Max, September 16)
“Fate: The Winx Saga” (Netflix, September 16)
“The Cleaning Lady” – Created by Miranda Kwok (Fox, September 19)
“The Resident” – Created by Amy Holden Jones, Hayley Schore, and Roshan Sethi (Fox, September 20)
“Abbott Elementary” – Created by Quinta Brunson (ABC, September 21)
“Big Sky” (ABC, September 21)
“The Great North” – Created by Minty Lewis, Wendy Molyneux, and Lizzie Molyneux-Logelin (Fox, September 25)
“Call Me Kat” – Created by Darlene Hunt (Fox, September 29)
“Welcome to Flatch” – Created by Jenny Bicks (Fox, September 29)