Looking ahead to 2019’s fall TV season and changes in the media landscape

A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.

Welcome to September! On this Labor Day Weekend, here’s a special look at the fall 2019 season ahead in media, tech and entertainment. I’ve always loved this back-to-school time of year.

Tuesday: Several big books

The new book by James Mattis, “Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead,” comes out Tuesday… It hit No. 1 on Amazon’s best seller list on Sunday, thanks in part to a “CBS Sunday Morning” segment. The book is holding steady at No. 2 right now…

>> Mike Isaac’s “Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber,” Pamela Paul’s “How to Raise a Reader” and the NYT’s first published collection of Bill Cunningham photographs also come out on Tuesday…

Wednesday: CNN’s climate crisis town halls

CNN is billing this as an “unprecedented prime-time event focused on the climate crisis.” The ten candidates who have topped 2% in four recent DNC-approved polls will all be on stage, back to back, “taking audience questions about their climate plans as scientists sound the alarm about global warming.” Here’s the schedule for all the candidates between 5 p.m. and midnight ET…

Thursday: NFL 100 begins

Via the Sporting News: “The league’s 100th season kicks off Thursday, Sept. 5 with a game between the Packers and Bears. While the defending Super Bowl champion is usually featured in the first game of the season, the NFL opted to pit two of its oldest franchises and one of the league’s most historic rivalries against one another to celebrate the centennial season.”

This season’s biggest storylines

President Trump arguably wasted the summer. What will he do with the fall? Will Democrats increase their pressure? Will support for impeachment proceedings rise or fall? Will “Trump fatigue” get worse? Will the Dem debates change the race in any meaningful way? Will the Congress accomplish anything? Or will we remain on our present course — with diminishing confidence in institutions and increasing fears of recession?

Political debates, forums and more

Tuesday 9/10: Special election in North Carolina… Thursday 9/12: A one-night Dem debate on ABC and Univision… Thursday 9/19: GU Politics is working with MSNBC and Our Daily Planet on a two-day climate forum… Tuesday 10/15: A Dem debate, host TBA… Tuesday 11/5: Roger Stone’s trial is slated to begin… TBD in November: Another Dem debate…

>> TIME mag’s table-setter: “Fall campaign season begins with Biden teetering atop Democratic field…”

The top media biz stories will be…

Which subscription models are working? Which are not? And which new competitors are joining the fray? These questions affect everyone from Disney to The Atlantic. Every month more and more news and entertainment brands are asking people to pay for digital subscriptions. The Apple TV+ and Disney+ streaming services will get a lot of attention this fall. Distinguished news brands will be rolling out and refining paywalls as well. Whether selling entertainment or news, some of the challenges are the same…

Digital media storylines

Kerry Flynn writes: Numerous new publications will be launching, like The Markup investigating technology; Input at Bustle Media Group; and a business-focused publication from Medium. Meanwhile, the Gannett-GateHouse merger is expected to close by the end of the year. The deal will surely mean changes at local papers — with some wanting to unionize ahead of time. Speaking of unions, BuzzFeed and The Ringer have had their unions recognized but the contracts are still to come.

>> And: Facebook is expected to introduce a News tab in October — it’ll be interesting to watch yet another attempt at the tech giant curating news and improving relationships with publishers…

Mark your calendar

9/10: Apple’s next product launch event… 9/23: Fall TV premiere week… 9/24: The 40th annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards… 9/24: The Atlantic Festival begins… 9/26: The Texas Tribune Festival gets underway… 10/11: The New Yorker Festival starts… 10/15: Ronan Farrow’s book… 10/16: IAB’s podcast upfront… 10/21: VF New Establishment summit kicks off… 10/22: Game One of the World Series… 10/24: CNN’s CITIZEN conference…

What Lowry is watching

Brian Lowry emails: The lion’s share of new broadcast network shows will land the week of 9/23. The major networks will actually offer fewer new shows at the start of this season, but that doesn’t mean there will be any shortage of fresh content or new players.

Disney+ launches on Nov. 12, while Netflix’s battle for attention will tilt somewhat toward its movie lineup, with “Marriage Story” and “The Irishman” both hitting the festival circuit in advance of theatrical windows and an eventual showcase on the streaming service…

Key entertainment dates

9/4: Beyoncé’s birthday a/k/a #BeyDay… 9/6: “It Chapter Two” hits theaters… 9/9: “Tamron Hall” and “The Kelly Clarkson Show” debut… 9/16: The Sean Spicer-ed season of “Dancing with the Stars” begins and “A Little Late WithLilly Singh” starts on NBC… 9/20: The big-screen edition of “Downton Abbey” premieres… 9/22: the Emmy Awards live on Fox… 9/28: The “SNL” season premiere with Woody Harrelson… 10/4: It’s time for “Joker…” 10/18: “Zombieland 2” arrives… 11/10: The E! People’s Choice Awards… 11/22: “Frozen 2” hits theaters… 12/20: “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” owns the box office…

Premieres you should know about

10/7: “Retro Report” premieres on PBS… 10/13: Discovery introduces the docuseries “Why We Hate” and AMC debuts “Hip Hop: The Songs That Shook America…” 10/17: The new season of “The Crown” starts streaming on Netflix… 10/18: “Modern Love” arrives on Amazon… Sometime in October: “Watchmen” premieres on HBO… 11/24: “Slow Burn” comes to Epix… 12/6: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” returns on Amazon…

>> For more: Scroll through Rolling Stone’s “33 shows to watch…”

>> And Deadline has a full list of fall premiere dates for broadcast, cable and streaming shows…

The One With The Anniversary

9/22 is the 25th anniversary of “Friends.” The hot takes have already started. There will be retrospectives and marathons and three nights of “Friends” episodes in theaters courtesy of Fathom Events…

Read more of Sunday’s “Reliable Sources” newsletter… And subscribe here to receive future editions in your inbox…

Look out for these books

“The Testaments,” Margaret Atwood’s sequel to “The Handmaid’s Tale,” comes out 9/10. “She Said,” by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, comes out the same day…

Ronan Farrow’s “Catch and Kill” comes out 10/15…

Elton John’s first and only autobiography, titled “Me,” also comes out 10/15…

In the pro-Trump books section, Gregg Jarrett has “Witch Hunt” coming out on 10/8…

“The Beautiful Ones” — the memoir Prince began writing before he died in 2016 — will hit shelves on 10/29…

>> For more, check EW’s list of “the 40 biggest titles” of the fall…

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