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Fall season: dark and lovely

Gail Choice | 9/19/2013, midnight

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Sleepy Hollow

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America Horror Story Coven

The fall television landscape featuring Black performers is looking up. From the return of Arsenio Hall to late night, to the premiere of Queen Latifah’s new talk show, African Americans are finding their way to network television. And I’m really excited about it.

Speaking of Queen Latifah’s new talk show, “The Queen Latifah Show” airing weekdays on CBS at 2 p.m. on channel 2 and 7 p.m. on KCAL premiered Monday. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the season’s most-hyped talk show launch came out of the gate strong on Monday. The Queen Latifah Show delivered a 1.7 rating among households, making it the biggest debut of the season thus far. It’s also one of the best daytime premieres in four years.

“Sleepy Hollow” also premiered Monday on Fox at 9 p.m., I have high hopes for this show because it’s a mix of history (a ‘retelling’) science fiction and horror.

Nicole Beharie (“42”) stars as a sheriff in the historic town of Sleepy Hallow where the Headless Horseman once again rears his ugly head … so to speak.

It is a cleverly written show, filled with incredible scenes that embroil Beharie in a constant battle of good versus evil.

According to The Hollywood Reporter Monday, Sept. 16, the first real night of competition in the new fall season to Fox’s “Sleepy Hollow” takes the victory. The freshman drama, the first scripted premiere of the 2013-14 seasons, averaged a 3.5 rating among adults 18-49 and 10.1 million viewers.

In this modern-day twist on Washington Irving’s classic, Ichabod Crane played by Tom Mison, (“Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”) is resurrected and pulled two and a half centuries through time to unravel a mystery that dates all the way back to the founding fathers. Revived alongside Ichabod is the infamous Headless Horseman who is on a murderous rampage in present-day Sleepy Hollow. Ichabod quickly realizes that stopping Headless is just the beginning, as the resurrected rider is but the first of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and only one of the many formidable foes that he must face to protect not only Sleepy Hollow, but the world.

As Ichabod finds himself in 2013’s Sleepy Hollow, he discovers a town he no longer recognizes and grapples to understand. Teaming up with Lt. Abbie Mills, Beharie, (“42,” “The Good Wife,” “Shame”), a young cop who has her own supernatural experiences, the two embark on a mission to stop the evil that has awoken along with Ichabod and that now is seeping into this once-sleepy town.

Not everyone believes Ichabod’s tales circa 1790 and supernatural evils, especially the new head of Abbie’s police precinct, Captain Frank Irving, Orlando Jones, (“The Chicago 8,” “Drumline”). When faced with bizarre events he can’t explain, Capt. Irving reluctantly turns to Ichabod and Abbie to investigate.

What I’m looking forward to is “American Horror Story Coven” that premieres Oct. 9 at 10 p.m. on Fox. Angela Bassett will star as voodoo queen Marie Laveau, and Gabourney Sidibe as a student of witchcraft.

It’s been over 300 years since the Salem witch trials. Those who remain are almost extinct and in danger again. A school has opened in New Orleans to teach protection to the young. The long-absent Supreme, Fiona, arrives to also protect the coven and their secrets. Fiona’s daughter, Cordelia, is a teacher at the school. The themes include witches, witch hunts, incest, minorities, slavery, mothers and daughters, and witchcraft versus voodoo. This season will be set in modern day and the 1830s

The history may be a bit distorted, but both shows will be fun to watch.