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Best TV Shows to Watch to Put You in the Mood for Fall

In “Gilmore Girls,” the town of Stars Hollow seems to be perpetually in fall.

gilmore girls


“Gilmore Girls.”



Is any show more appropriate for a fall-themed binge than “Gilmore Girls”? The two titular “girls,” Lorelai and her daughter, Rory, seem to spend all their time sipping coffee in sweaters while walking around their Connecticut small town, Stars Hollow.

Even when it’s not autumn in “Gilmore Girls” … it’s always autumn. The leaves are always changing colors, there’s always a crisp breeze, and pumpkins abound.

“Gilmore Girls” is streaming on Netflix.

Fans of “Gilmore Girls” should also check out “Ginny and Georgia,” which is the story of another mother-daughter duo living in a quaint New England town.

ginny and georgia


“Ginny and Georgia.”



“Ginny and Georgia” takes place in the fictional town of Wellsbury, Massachusetts. While it’s not as whimsical as Stars Hollow, the vibes are certainly similar.

Plus, the first season takes place entirely in the lead-up to Election Day in November. There’s even an iconic Halloween episode.

“Ginny and Georgia” is streaming on Netflix.

How could a show called “October Road” be about anything other than fall?

october road


“October Road.”

Disney–ABC Domestic Television


In “October Road,” a successful author and screenwriter Nick Garrett returns to his charming New England hometown of Knights Ridge, Massachusetts, after 10 years away.

With the leads of Bryan Greenberg and Laura Prepon, this show easily could’ve lasted longer than its two seasons. Alas, we only have two.

“October Road” is streaming on Hulu.

One of the spookier shows on Netflix, “The Haunting of Hill House” will put you in the Halloween mood.

the haunting of hill house


“The Haunting of Hill House.”



The horror series will get you in a spooky mood.

It’s loosely based on the 1959 Shirley Jackson novel of the same name and is focused on the Crane family, both in the present day and in the ’80s when they moved into Hill House, which was (and is) haunted by ghosts. The estranged siblings have to come together to finally free their family from the demons of their past.

The sequel series, “The Haunting of Bly Manor” was released in October 2020 and is based on the Henry James novella “The Turning of the Screw.”

“The Haunting of Hill House” and “The Haunting of Bly Manor” are streaming on Netflix.

Even though “Twin Peaks” takes place in the dregs of winter, the show has an autumnal aesthetic.

twin peaks


“Twin Peaks.”



The town of Twin Peaks is located in Washington state, and throughout the entire show, there’s a hazy, rainy glow over all 30 (original) episodes.

Originally the plot focused on FBI Agent Dale Cooper who is sent to Twin Peaks to investigate the murder of high school student Laura Palmer, but it quickly becomes about way more than one dead homecoming queen, as Cooper drinks coffee and spends copious amounts of time in a cozy diner.

The original two seasons of “Twin Peaks” and “Twin Peaks: The Return” are streaming on Paramount+. The movie, “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me,” is available on Max.

“This Is Us” is an ode to Thanksgiving.

this is us


“This Is Us.”



“This Is Us,” the story of the extended Pearson family throughout their lives, starts with the Pearson triplets on their birthday, August 31 — the last day of summer before September rolls around and brings fall weather and pumpkin spice lattes.

Another key part of “This Is Us” lore is Thanksgiving, which the Pearsons love and have more traditions for than any other family in America.

All six seasons of “This Is Us” are streaming on Hulu.

“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” takes a wholesome show and turns it into something far more creepy.

chilling adventures of sabrina


“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.”



Costume designer Angus Strathie told The Hollywood Reporter in 2018 that the show’s director, Lee Toland Krieger, wanted the town of Greendale and the show to feel like “an eternal autumn.”

This updated, downright creepy version of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” turns everyone into devil-worshipping and powerful witches, with Sabrina’s birthday on — you guessed it — Halloween.

All four seasons of “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” are streaming on Netflix.

“Bates Motel” is a spooky show filled with cozy sweaters.

norman bates bates motel


“Bates Motel.”



“Bates Motel” is a prequel to the iconic horror film “Psycho,” and focuses on a young Norman Bates with his mom, Norma, as they live their very complicated lives in the Pacific Northwest.

The show is filled with a sense of dread, as we all know where Norman’s path leads, which makes it the perfect spooky season viewing.

You can buy all five seasons of “Bates Motel” on Amazon.

The first two seasons of “Stranger Things” take place in the fall.

stranger things netflix


“Stranger Things.”



Season one starts in November and takes place over a week, while season two begins a year later, with Halloween. The town of Hawkins, Indiana, is a perfect Midwestern example of fall ’80s nostalgia, when kids could just wander around on their bikes or go trick-or-treating without any supervision. Plus, it’s another spooky show to get you ready for Halloween.

It follows a group of middle-schoolers (Lucas, Dustin, and Mike) as they work together to find their missing friend Will with the help of a mysterious girl with no name, the sheriff, their older siblings, and their mom — all of whom are convinced that something larger is at work.

“Stranger Things” is streaming on Netflix.

Almost all of “My So-Called Life’s” single season takes place during the fall — only a few episodes are in the winter.

my so called life


“My So-Called Life.”



Frequently cited as one of the best one-season wonders of all time, “My So-Called Life” starts at the beginning of Angela Chase’s sophomore year of high school, as she navigates her first relationship, her contentious relationship with her parents, and the unrequited love of one of her good friends. Watching it will take you right back to the first day of school.

“My So-Called Life” is streaming on Hulu.

“Charmed” is just one of a few witchy shows that’ll cast the fall spell on you.




CBS Television Distribution


“Charmed,” the WB series about the three (later, four) Halliwell sisters who happen to be the most powerful witches in the world, took place in San Francisco, which always seems to have a fall climate in the show — there are lots of long-sleeved shirts and no jackets.

Plus with witches, you know there’s always going to be candles, supernatural occurrences, and lots of spells.

The original “Charmed” is streaming on Prime Video and Peacock, and its 2018 reboot is streaming on Netflix.

All of “American Horror Story” is Halloween-appropriate, but some seasons are more autumnal than others.

american horror story


“American Horror Story: Coven.”

Michele K. Short/FX


As “American Horror Story” is an anthology show, every season tells a contained story — to get in the fall mood, we’d recommend “Murder House,” which takes place around Halloween, “Coven,” which is heavy on witch vibes and voodoo, “Asylum” and “Roanoke” which both feel like a horror film, “Cult,” which takes place right after the presidential election,” and “Apocalypse,” which contains characters from the different seasons.

The first 11 seasons of “American Horror Story” are streaming on Hulu.

If you’re looking for more of a vintage vibe, “The Twilight Zone” is the ultimate Halloween show …

twilight zone


“The Twilight Zone.”

The Twilight Zone/Facebook


Every episode of “The Twilight Zone,” narrated by Rod Serling, contains its own little creepy sci-fi story — think “Black Mirror” but the ’50s and ’60s — and contains episodes written by some of the most iconic sci-fi writers ever, like Lucille Fletcher, Ray Bradbury, and Jerome Bixby, among others.

Plus, it’ll take years before you run out of the content: The original series aired five seasons, there’s the 1983 movie, the three-season ’80s revival, a 2002 revival narrated by Forest Whitaker, and a 2019 revival narrated by Jordan Peele.

Still not convinced? In 2013, TV Guide named “The Twilight Zone” the fifth-best show of all time.

The original five seasons streaming on Paramount+, while the 2019 revival is on Freevee.

The lone reality show on this list, “Halloween Wars” is the perfect Food Network show to watch this month.

halloween wars


“Halloween Wars.”

The Food Network


“Halloween Wars” is one of the only fall-themed cooking competitions on TV. It takes the basic premise of “Cupcake Wars” and adds a Halloween twist — each episode sees the teams compete in the realms of pumpkin carving, sugar glass making, and cake sculpting to make the perfect creepy confections.

Plus, it’s hosted by Mr. “It’s October 3rd” himself, Jonathan Bennett.

“Halloween Wars” is available to watch on Discovery+.

The creator of “The Haunting of Hill House,” Mike Flanagan, released a horror series in 2021 called “Midnight Mass.”

father paul standing on a front porch on midnight mass on netflix


“Midnight Mass.”



“Midnight Mass” was released in September 2021. It follows Riley (Zach Gilford), who has returned home to the tiny Crockett Island after serving a four-year prison sentence for killing someone while drunk driving, and Father Paul (Hamish Linklater), the town’s new priest who may or may not be a vampire.

Beware: This series is not for the faint of heart.

“Midnight Mass” is streaming on Netflix.

And he released yet another spooky miniseries in 2022, “The Midnight Club.”

the midnight club


“The Midnight Club.”



Based on the 1994 novel of the same name, and other spooky stories also written by author Christopher Pike, “The Midnight Club” is the story of eight terminally ill teens who live together at the Brightcliffe Home hospice. Every night at midnight, they meet to tell each other scary stories.

But, in true Mike Flanagan fashion, not everything is as it seems at Briarcliffe.

“The Midnight Club” is streaming on Netflix.

A new Flanagan series, “The Fall of the House of Usher,” is set to hit Netflix in October 2023.

the fall of thehouse of usher


“The Fall of the House of Usher.”



“The Fall of the House of Usher,” based on the Edgar Allen Poe short story of the same name, is set to be released on October 12, 2023.

The series will focus on the CEO of a corrupt pharmaceutical company who must reckon with his past after his children mysteriously begin dying.

“Usher” will stream on Netflix.

“Only Murders in the Building” combines cozy fall fashion with a harrowing murder mystery.

Selena Gomez, Martin Short, and Steve Martin on Hulu's "Only Murders in the Building."


“Only Murders in the Building.”



Selena Gomez’s character, Mabel, rocks some of the best coats we’ve seen on TV in a long time.

But “Only Murders” is the story of three neighbors (and crime podcast junkies) who find themselves thrust into a mystery when another resident of their New York City apartment building is found dead. Using their amateur sleuth skills, these three (Gomez, Martin Short, and Steve Martin) team up to solve the case.

Three seasons (so far) of “Only Murders in the Building” are streaming on Hulu.

“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” should be screened at least once every fall.

Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown


“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”

Charlie Brown


One of the most iconic “Charlie Brown” specials of all time is easily the tale of the Great Pumpkin, who Linus wholeheartedly believes in and is convinced will come to the town’s pumpkin patch if he believes hard enough. The antics of the “Charlie Brown” crew are entertaining at all ages.

You can find “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” on Apple TV+.

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