16 of the best TV shows to put you in the fall mood

Summary List PlacementAs the leaves begin to change and everyone breaks out their denim jackets and boots, it’s also time for a change in your streaming habits. We’ve rounded up 16 of the best shows to watch to put you in the fall mood.
Whether you prefer scarier shows to get ready for Halloween, like “Stranger Things” or “The Haunting of Hill House,” or you’re looking for a town like Stars Hollow or “October Road’s” Knights Ridge, we’ve got you covered.
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In “Gilmore Girls,” the town of Stars Hollow seems to be perpetually in fall.
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.
How could a show called “October Road” be about anything other than fall?
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. This seemed to be a clear attempt on ABC’s part to replicate the magic of Stars Hollow — and it semi-worked! With the two 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 the ABC website.
One of the spookier shows on Netflix, “The Haunting of Hill House” will put you in the Halloween mood.
The horror series was released on the streaming service in October, and will definitely get you in the 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 once and for all.
“The Haunting of Hill House” is streaming on Netflix — and season two, “The Haunting of Bly Manor” is dropping on October 9.
Even though “Twin Peaks” takes place in the dregs of winter, the show has an autumnal aesthetic.
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” are streaming on Netflix, while “Twin Peaks: The Return” is available with Showtime. The movie, “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me,” is available to rent or buy on Amazon.
“This Is Us” is basically an ode to Thanksgiving.
“This Is Us,” the story of the extended Pearson family throughout their lives, starts with the Pearson triplets on their birthday, August 31 — aka 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, the perfect fall holiday, which the Pearsons love and have more traditions for than any other family in America.
The first four 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.
According to the Hollywood reporter, 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.
“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” is streaming on Netflix.
“Bates Motel” is a spooky show filled with cozy sweaters.
“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 entire show is filled with a sense of dread, as we all know where Norman’s path leads. Perfect spooky season viewing.
“Bates Motel” is streaming on Netflix.
Though the most recent season of “Stranger Things” took place in the summer, the first two seasons happen in the fall.
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) 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.
“Friday Night Lights” takes place during high school football season, aka the fall.
“Friday Night Lights” focuses on the small town of Dillon, Texas, which treats its high school football players and their coach, Eric Taylor, like royalty. As the show takes place during football season, much of the drama goes down between September and December, and always has a back-to-school feel. Even if you don’t like football, “Friday Night Lights” will suck you in with its lovable characters and realistic portrayal of small town life.
“Friday Night Lights” is streaming on Hulu.
Almost all of “My So-Called Life’s” single season takes place during the fall — only a few episodes are in the winter.
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 Amazon and the ABC website.
“Charmed” is just one of a few witchy shows that’ll cast the fall spell on you.
“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.
“Charmed” and its 2018 reboot are both streaming on Netflix.
All of “American Horror Story” is Halloween appropriate, but some seasons are more autumnal than others.
As “American Horror Story” is an anthology show, every season tells a contained story — to really get in the fall mood, we’d recommend “Murder House,” which takes place around Halloween, “Coven,” which is extremely heavy on witch vibes and voodoo, “Asylum” and “Roanoke” which both feel like a horror film, and “Cult,” which takes place right after the presidential election.
The first eight seasons of “American Horror Story” are streaming on Netflix.
If you’re looking for more of a vintage vibe, “The Twilight Zone” is the ultimate Halloween show …
Every episode of “The Twilight Zone,” narrated by Rod Serling, contains its own little creepy sci-fi story — think “Black Mirror” but ’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? TV Guide named “The Twilight Zone” the fifth best show of all time.
The original five seasons are streaming on Hulu, and the 2019 revival is streaming on CBS All Access.
… or perhaps you prefer “The Outer Limits.”
“The Outer Limits” was ABC’s response to “The Twilight Zone,” though “Outer Limits” episodes relied more heavily on sci-fi, as opposed to the supernatural elements of some “Twilight Zone” episodes — either way, “The Outer Limits” is another spooky ’60s show.
Both the original “Outer Limits” and the ’90s revival are streaming on Amazon Prime, but only until September 30.
The lone reality show on this list, “Halloween Wars” is the perfect Food Network show to watch this month.
“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 purchase on Amazon.
“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” should be screened at least once every fall.
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 YouTube.
Read more:
The best thing to do in every state this fall
18 of the best seasonal fall foods to buy at Trader Joe’s right now
21 of Rory Gilmore’s most iconic outfits on ‘Gilmore Girls’
12 shows from the 1990s and 2000s to watch on Netflix to remind you of a simpler time

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