The best and worst new fall TV shows, according to critics

Netflix‘The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ dropped on Netflix October 26.

This fall TV has a few standout shows, btu there are also quite a few stinkers. For every “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” there is a dud like “New Amsterdam.”

ABC’s spin-off of “Roseanne” premiered in October with rave reviews from critics, who say that without Roseanne Barr’s presence, the show focuses on its stellar supporting cast and is even more reminiscent of the original series that people loved. New shows with a lot of potential include ABC’s “Single Parents” and CBS’ “Happy Together,” which Harry Styles works on as a producer.

But some have no hope of getting better, like CBS’s “The Neighbourhood” and NBC’s “I Feel Bad.”

We took to ratings aggregator Rotten Tomatoes to rank the best and worst shows of fall 2018, based on what the critics are saying. Along with the critic scores, we included the Rotten Tomatoes audience ranking, a sample of what critics have said so far, and show descriptions courtesy of IMDB.

Here are the best and worst TV shows of fall 2018 (so far), ranked according to critics:


via NetflixCritics love ‘The Haunting of Hill House.’

“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” (Netflix)

NetflixThe show is a much darker take on the character than the hit 90s sitcom.

Description: As her 16th birthday nears, Sabrina must choose between the witch world of her family and the human world of her friends. Based on the Archie comic.

Critic Score: 88%

Audience Score: N/A

“Chilling Adventures is smartly devoted to fleshing out its side characters. So even though the central romance is such a drag, a host of other bright and engaging characters aid the show from getting dragged down by it.” –Vulture

“The Conners”

ABCCritics are loving ‘The Conners,’ but viewers don’t feel the same way.

Description: A follow-up to the comedy series Roseanne (1988), centering on the family members of the matriarch after her sudden death.

Critic Score: 96%

Audience Score: 41%

“But the Conners – as a show and as a family – are up to the task with a half hour that’s sharp, funny and cuts deeper than its predecessor.” –Los Angeles Times

“The Haunting of Hill House” (Netflix)

via NetflixCritics have called ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ the best TV horror show ever made.

Description: A group of siblings who grew up in what would become the most famous haunted house in the country are forced back home amid tragedy.

Critic Score: 93%

Audience Score: 92%

“‘The Haunting of Hill House’ contains some of the most unforgettable horror imagery in film or television in years.” –

“Happy Together” (CBS)

CBSHarry Styles is a producer.

Description: Claire and Jake’s married life is mired in routine, but when megastar Cooper shows up at their door, they get dragged into his life of fame.

Critic Score: 63%

Audience Score: 79%

“Given the opportunity to sing, dance and flail around ridiculously in the pilot, Wayans and West try hard and I smiled frequently at their effort.” –The Hollywood Reporter

“Charmed” (The CW)

Katie Yu/The CWThe original ‘Charmed’ aired for eight seasons between 1998 and 2006.

Description: Follows the lives of three sisters who, after the tragic death of their mother, discover they are powerful witches.

Critic Score: 68%

Audience Score: 28%

“The pilot has more of a balance of heavy emotion and lightness than I expected, and the most surprising thing about the new Charmed… is how it doesn’t forget to be fun within a contemporary, #MeToo/#TimesUp context.” –Paste

“Titans” (DC)

Warner Bros. Television‘Titans’ is the first original show from the DC Universe streaming service.

Description: A team of young superheroes led by Nightwing (formerly Batman’s first Robin) form to combat evil and other perils.

Critic Score: 84%

Audience Score: 81%

“Its edgy aesthetic feels as much like a reaction as it does a decision.” –GQ

“God Friended Me” (CBS)

CBSBrandon Micheal Hall stars on ‘God Friended Me.’

Description: An atheist’s life is turned upside down when God adds him as a friend on Facebook.

Critic Score: 60%

Audience Score: 83%

“It’s definitely not the worst drama you could find on network TV, and Hall is a likable, charismatic actor. Give it a one-episode trial and see how you feel.” –The Ringer

“The Cool Kids” (Fox)

Patrick McElhenney/FOXLeslie Jordan, Vicki Lawrence, David Alan Grier, and Martin Mull on ‘The Cool Kids.’

Description: Three friends at a retirement center have their comfortable existence rattled by a newcomer to the community.

Critic Score: 65%

Audience Score: 81%

“It’s not particularly ambitious, in form or content, but it hits the marks it assigns itself.” –Los Angeles Times

“Single Parents” (ABC)

ABC/Richard CartwrightLeighton Meester from ‘Gossip Girl’ is one of the highlight of this comedy.

Description: A group of single parents form their own support system as they raise their kids and struggle to start new relationships.

Critic Score: 73%

Audience Score: 65%

“While the show doesn’t exactly feel fresh, it does have heart and what feels like the bones of a show that could go bolder and nuttier if it gets a chance to find its way over a full season.” –CinemaBlend

“Maniac” (Netflix)

Michele K. Short/NetflixEmma Stone and Jonah Hill star on this Netflix limited series.

Description: Two strangers are drawn to a mysterious pharmaceutical trial that will, they’re assured, with no complications or side-effects whatsoever, solve all of their problems, permanently. Things do not go as planned.

Critic Score: 81%

Audience Score: 85%

“Maniac is the rare series that plays with reality without alienating the viewer emotionally.” –The New Republic

“All American” (The CW)

The CWThis series is inspired by the life of professional football player Spencer Paysinger.

Description: When a star high school football player from South Central is recruited to play for Beverly Hills High School, two separate worlds collide.

Critic Score: 91%

Audience Score: 86%

“This young adult saga is still filled with fun, and not just because it turns fictional high school football into riveting high drama … If any new series deserves a spotlight in its metaphorical face, it’s All American.” –Refinery 29

“Elite” (Netflix)

NetflixThe show has been compared to ‘Gossip Girl.’

Description: When three working-class teens enroll in an exclusive private school in Spain, the clash between them and the wealthy students leads to murder.

Critic Score: 100%

Audience Score: 85%

“With Euro-cool style and compelling characters, Elite is trashy, diverting fun.” –The Daily Beast

“Wanderlust” (Netflix)

NetflixThe show stars Toni Collete.

Description: A therapist tries to save her marriage after a cycling accident causes them to reassess their relationship.

Critic Score: 74%

Audience Score: 76%

“Of the pleasures of Wanderlust – and there are many – the purest is watching Mackintosh and Collette dig into the many complexities that emerge from this premise.” –

“Mr. Inbetween” (FX)

Mark Rogers/FXThis show is a drama, but episodes are a half hour.

Description: On “Mr. Inbetween,” Ryan plays “Ray Shoesmith,” a father, ex-husband, boyfriend and best friend: tough roles to juggle in the modern age. Even harder when you’re a criminal for hire.

Critic Score: 88%

Audience Score: 100%

“What it offers instead is a conundrum, complicated by Ryan’s charisma and the woeful state of the men who surround Ray.” –The Atlantic


Michael Parmelee/CBSIt’s not terrible, but it’s nothing special, either.

Description: Procedural drama about the inner workings of the New York office of the FBI, bringing to bear all the Bureau’s skills, intellect and mind-blowing technology to keep New York and the country safe.

Critic Score: 62%

Audience Score: 39%

“Given that it hits all the familiar Law & Order beats, the success of FBI is contingent on the charisma of its two leads, and the first episode does little to convince that Maggie Bell is even playing the same sport as Olivia Benson.” –The Daily Beast


Paramount NetworkThe ‘Heathers’ TV show on Paramount Network is a total misfire.

“The Neighbourhood” (CBS)

CBSMax Greenfield from ‘New Girl’ is on this CBS comedy.

Description: A friendly guy from the Midwest tries to fit in in a tough LA neighbourhood.

Critic Score: 20%

Audience Score: 42%

“The ceiling of this house is closer to a one-story ranch than a spacious villa, making this Neighbourhood unfit for new tenants.” –IndieWire

“I Feel Bad” (NBC)

NBCThis show tries, but not hard enough.

Description: Emet, the perfect mum, boss, wife, friend, and daughter, is learning to be ok with being imperfect.

Critic Score: 29%

Audience Score: 59%

“The biggest problem is that they’re not funny – even with Amy Poehler as an executive producer.” –San Francisco Chronicle

“New Amsterdam” (NBC)

NBCUnfortunately, this show doesn’t bring anything new to the medical drama.

Description: A new medical director breaks the rules to heal the system at America’s oldest public hospital.

Critic Score: 35%

Audience Score: 87%

“Even if you are familiar with television’s tendency to make shows about great white-dude geniuses who tell everybody else what’s what and inspire the uninspired, the bluntness of the instrument at issue here might surprise you.” –NPR

“A Million Little Things” (ABC)

Jack Rowand/ABCIt feels a lot like a rip off of ‘This Is Us.’

Description: A group of friends become motivated to living fuller lives after the unexpected death of a close friend.

Critic Score: 46%

Audience Score: 84%

“A weepy wannabe from the ‘This Is Us’ playbook that doesn’t build much of a case for caring about the characters, much less weeping over them.” –Newsday

“Rel” (Fox)

FoxAudiences love this comedy a lot more than the critics.

Description: A successful comic tries to put his life back on track after his marriage falls apart.

Critic Score: 44%

Audience Score: 68%

“This feels like a show given too many notes, and the laughs were left somewhere in rewrites.” –San Francisco Chronicle

“Magnum, P.I.” (CBS)

Karen Neal/CBSCritics and audiences hate it.

Description: An ex-Navy SEAL returns home from Afghanistan and uses his military skills to become a private investigator in Hawaii.

Critic Score: 55%

Audience Score: 40%

“The Magnum P.I. reboot feels unnecessary at best and absurd at worst, and the level of ridiculousness never reaches guilty-pleasure status.” –Uproxx

“Manifest” (NBC)

Craig Blankenhorn/NBC/Warner BrothersIt’s like ‘Lost’ meets ‘This is Us.’

Description: After a turbulent, but routine flight, the passengers and crew discover the world has aged five years, yet no time has passed for them, and soon a deeper mystery unfolds.

Critic Score: 58%

Audience Score: 77%

“Manifest has a frustrating lack of propulsion, a central dullness whose force field is so strong it bends all the interesting parts toward itself.” –New York Times

“The Romanoffs” (Amazon)

AmazonThe show comes from ‘Mad Men’ creator Matthew Weiner.

Description: A contemporary anthology series set around the globe featuring eight separate stories about people who believe themselves to be descendants of the Russian royal family.

Critic Score: 49%

Audience Score: 68%

“Like its characters, the show continuously puts its worst, least interesting foot forward, aristocratically expecting you’ll stick around to see the next step.” –Slate

“Heathers” (Paramount Network)

Paramount NetworkThe show does not capture the sharp satire of the 1988 film it’s based on.

Description: In order to get out of the snobby clique that is destroying her good-girl reputation, an intelligent teen teams up with a dark sociopath in a plot to kill the cool kids.

Critic Score: 31%

Audience Score: 52%

“The Heathers TV series is only “just” squeaking by, a try-hard attempt at satire that will make you long for that chainsaw.” –Slashfilm

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