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Binge alert – The Cylons are back

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October brings some binge-worthy favorites

Once a staple just after Labor Day, it seems the fall television premiere season is vanishing. While the traditional time when most networks look to lure summertime viewers back to their TV sets still yields a few new shows, January and April are becoming increasingly popular to launch the heavy hitters that may draw more post-holiday traffic viewership and, in the case of April, allow for a smaller 13-15 episodic arc instead of the usual 22 or 23 episodes found in a typical season.

Yet there’s still plenty to watch. While we covered new fall premieres a few weeks back, the season can be a treasure trove of binge-worthy returning favorites while still trying to sneak in a few of the new premieres that are still airing into the first weeks of October. And some of them are off the grid on either on-demand and streaming platforms, and others on second tier networks that won’t necessarily garner attention unless the show itself is noteworthy.

“Battlestar Galactica” – Syfy (streaming)

The reimagined space military opera by Star Trek alum Ronald D. Moore was a joint venture between NBC/Universal, SKY and Syfy. Originally produced as a miniseries that aired on both Syfy and NBC, the subsequent series ran on Syfy from 2004 until mid-2009. By the time the show ended, the vastly darker and grittier version of the 1970s classic racked up quite a few awards and was regarded as perhaps one of the best science fiction shows ever made. In fact, many argued it was one of the best in all of television.

Syfy just celebrated the network’s 25th anniversary, and it rebroadcasted the entire series in a marathon weekend a few weeks ago. If you missed it, it is available by streaming on Syfy’s website and on demand for those who have cable or dish service. Hurry though – it will be off the air Oct. 22, and you probably won’t see this closely-guarded series again for years.

“Designated Survivor” – ABC (airs Wednesdays, 10 p.m.)

From the beginning, the concept of the show was surreal – the U.S. government is completely wiped out in a single terrorist blast and one man – a lowly cabinet secretary stashed away as the designated survivor – is saddled with bringing the entire federal government back from the ashes.

Launched as a new series in 2016, the highly-rated show set a streaming/DVR record with 7.67 million viewers (formerly held by “How to Get Away with Murder”) for its pilot episode and earned critical acclaim for ABC along with the network’s other political thriller “Quantico.”

The show stars the venerable Kiefer Sutherland as President Tom Kirkman, and word is the story line will move away from the terror conspiracy and more into the deeper workings of a rebuilding government. Regardless of where it heads, “Designated Survivor” should continue as a popular streaming/DVR choice for viewers this season.

“Bull” – CBS (airs Tuesdays, 9 p.m.)

Tired of procedural police shows and crime dramas, I wasn’t too sure about this show. Never watching it live, I finally decided to check it out and found some time to binge it toward the end of its first season. I’m glad I did.

Starring Michael Weatherly as the titular Bull and Freddy Rodriguez (HBO’s “Six Feet Under”) as his chief legal assistant, the show marks a departure from the traditional law and order drama and serves up the concept of making jury selection a scientific process by which you can reasonably predict a trial’s outcome. Throw in some seasoning with an overarching story arc of a narcissistic main character with obvious emotional flaws, and you have yourself a full course of fun drama that gets you hooked and keeps you glued.

Now in its second season, the CBS series didn’t receive much love from the critics, yet the show resulted in 14 million average viewers last season, marking it as one of CBS’ more popular programs. Perhaps critical acclaim doesn’t always predict future results.

“Supernatural” – The CW (premieres Thursday, Oct. 12, 8 p.m.)

For anyone who has caught any glimpse of this show’s previous 12 seasons, the classic battle of good vs. evil and man vs. beast (or whatever) has undoubtedly served as backbone of one of TV’s longest-running series. Originally aired on The CW’s precursor, The WB Network, “Supernatural” has been one of The CW’s crown jewels as we have followed “hunters” Sam and Dean Winchester over the course of pretty much their early adulthood as they have sparred with everything from leviathans and demons to Lucifer and even God himself.

What has made the show more iconic is its popularity among streaming viewers. The decision to offer the show continuously via Netflix and Amazon has only garnered more loyalty to it and the franchise endures as one of the strongest topics on the comic con circuit.

Starring Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles as the brothers Winchester, the show became the longest-running live-action series in 2015 and returns where it left off - the birth of Lucifer’s child amid a rift between universes. Need we say more? Carry on, our wayward sons.


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