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‘Star Wars’ and ‘High School Musical’ spin-offs and 7 other new shows coming this fall

‘When Hope Calls,’ ‘The Mandalorian’ and other major shows are set to debut this fall.

“The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance” starts on Netflix on Aug. 30.
Netflix

SALT LAKE CITY — Lately it seems like a new streaming service or TV platform is added each day, making it hard to weed through all the programming and decide what is worth watching. Finding shows for the entire family is even more difficult because rating systems for television are often inconsistent and unreliable. However, despite the challenges, there are lots of shows which appear to have potential for adults, teens and children to enjoy watching together.

What: “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance”

When: Premieres Aug. 30

Where: Netflix

Coming this week, we have the hugely anticipated update to the Jim Henson cult classic with “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance” on Netflix. This show follows three mystical creatures called Gelflings as they hope to rally their people into a rebellion against the evil Skeksis. The puppet work alone makes this a must-see, but there’s also the voice talents of Mark Hamill, Jason Isaacs, Simon Pegg, Awkwafina, Benedict Wong, Andy Samberg and more.

What: “When Hope Calls”

When: Premieres Aug. 30

Where: Hallmark Movies Now

Fan favorite “When Calls the Heart” is getting its first spinoff this fall with “When Hope Calls.” The show follows sisters Lillian (Morgan Kohan) and Grace (Jocelyn Hudon) as they start an orphanage in the fictional town of Brookfield, British Columbia. There will be romance, homespun lessons and lots of heart.

What: “Fall Harvest Hallmark”

When: Sept. 15

Where: Hallmark Channel

Each year before it puts on its tinsel and ornaments for “Countdown to Christmas” (which, amazingly, starts Oct. 26), the Hallmark Channel briefly embraces the cider and pumpkins of fall in its “Fall Harvest Hallmark” lineup. Last year, they had six films, including the very popular “Good Witch Halloween Special.” These films are sweet, simple and great for watching with the entire family.

What: “Mixed-ish”

When: Premieres Sept. 24

Where: ABC

ABC is expanding its spinoffs from the hit series “Black-ish” (“Grown-ish” was a hit show on Freeform channel last season) with the new series “Mixed-ish.” Loosely based on producer Kenya Barris’ real-life experiences growing up in a mixed-race family in the 1980s, this show has a lot of potential to both enrich and entertain. Families should have a lot to talk about as they follow Rainbow, “Bow” (Arica Himmel), through the travails of high school with a terrific supporting cast including Tika Sumpter, Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Gary Cole.

What: “Kids Say the Darndest Things”

When: Premieres Oct. 6

Where: CBS

CBS is airing a reboot of the classic variety show “Kids Say the Darndest Things” with superstar Tiffany Haddish as the lead host. This is hopefully a funny entry in the time-tested franchise that interviews kids about grown-up topics like marriage and dating for hilarious results. It can be hard these days to find family-friendly laughs, so hopefully this ends up being a reboot worth making.

What: “Nancy Drew”

When: Premieres Oct. 9

Where: CW

This new series on CW looks like it is more for teenagers than kids, but it’s a little hard to tell how edgy it will be from the trailers. From the creators of “Riverdale,” the show will follow Nancy (Kennedy McMann) looking into a supernatural mystery with her friends.

What: “The Mandalorian”

When: Premieres Nov. 12

Where: Disney Plus service

Set after the fall of the Empire but before the First Order, “The Mandalorian” is the first live-action “Star Wars” series and it looks very promising. It’s directed by Jon Favreau and stars Pedro Pascal, Brendan Wayne and Jamal Antar. While the content may be inappropriate for small children, anyone who enjoyed the recent “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” or Marvel movies should be fine.

What: “High School Musical: the Musical: the Series”

When: Premieres Nov. 12

Where: Disney Plus service

Despite the unwieldy title, this new spinoff of the “HSM” series looks like it could be fun. Ricky (Joshua Bassett) and ex-girlfriend Nini (Olivia Rodrigo) appear to be the new Troy and Gabriella from the original series. The new mockumentary series will focus on students at East High (filmed locally at Salt Lake’s own East High) putting on — you guessed it — a high school musical. Of course that means lots of singing, dancing and romance, which everyone in the family should love.

What: “United We Fall”

When: TBD

Where: ABC

Also from ABC, we get another diverse family sitcom with “United We Fall.” In this show Jo (Christina Vidal) and Bill (Will Sasso) try to raise their two kids while dealing with judgmental families and friends (including Bill’s live-in mother played by comedy legend Jane Curtin). Family sitcoms are tough to pull off these days, but hopefully this will get that right combination of funny and sweet.