So far, 2016 has been a year marked by powerful women. Hillary Clinton became the first female presidential nominee of a major party; Simone Biles, Katie Ledecky, and Team U.S.A.'s female athletes have been unstoppable at the Summer Olympics in Rio, setting records and bringing home countless gold medals; and come November Clinton could actually become the first female president of the United States.
This will also be a year in which we see more strong female leads in television than ever, and we couldn't be more excited for the roles, which are diverse, unique, and powerful in their own ways. From a young woman who becomes the first female to play Major League baseball, to a brilliant lawyer—who just so happens to be the former First Daughter—using her expertise to do good, to a young woman who has a hand in gaining fair workplace practices for women, these roles are important ones, and they've been a long time coming.
InStyle spoke with five of these leading ladies at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, where they dished on every detail of their new shows. Read below to see what the women had to say, and don't forget to tune in—these are five series you won't want to miss.
1. Sarah Jessica Parker
It's been 12 years since Sex and the City left the airwaves, and Sarah Jessica Parker now is making her return to TV—specifically, HBO. In her first starring television role since portraying the beloved Carrie Bradshaw, Parker plays Frances, a middle-aged woman who realizes her life and marriage may not be how she envisioned them to turn out, on Divorce. The series follows Frances and her husband as they navigate their divorce and try to start over.
The actress recently dished on the show at a Television Critics Association panel, where she told audiences about the differences between Carrie and Frances. "I don’t think that we actually talked a lot about trying to make her different. I think this story is different," she said. "But really I think Frances was so much her own person from the moment I read the pilot. She was so distinct from not only Carrie but any other character I have ever played."
Divorce premieres Sunday, Oct. 9, at 10 p.m. ET on HBO.
2. Kylie Bunbury
Kylie Bunbury stars in Pitch as Ginny Baker, a young pitcher who becomes the first woman to play Major League Baseball. This year has been record-breaking for females in sports (ahem, Olympics), so it couldn't be a more fitting time for this series to debut.
The actress recently told InStyle about the baseball skills she picked up while filming. "I'm pretty proud of my fastball," she said. "I can throw a screwball. It's not as accurate and I don't have the velocity like I do with my fastball. But I think my fastball—it's not too shabby. What's so funny is we have not clocked it yet. But Greg Olson is the pitcher that I'm working with. He's a former pitcher who used to play for the Dodgers actually. He used to pitch for the Dodgers, and he said I probably run 55 [miles per hour]. So I'm not as fast as Ginny by any means, but I've only had a few months to learn. So I'm pretty proud of the 55."
Pitch premieres Thursday, Sept. 22, at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.
3. Mandy Moore
Mandy Moore stars as a wife and mother, Rebecca, in This Is Us, an ensemble dramedy that follows a group of people whose lives and paths cross in unexpected ways. The series looks at family life, professional life, and everything that happens in between. And what's more: the main characters share the same birthday—a detail that is not coincidental.
Moore told InStyle a little bit about the show and the emotional qualities of the storylines. "People like to be moved and this show has so much cathartic potential and aspects of life to explore that each of these characters touches upon and I think that’s what people are relating to," she explained. "They’re able to tap into that and realize we’re not alone in this crazy journey. There are other people having shared experiences."
This Is Us debuts Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.
4. Hayley Atwell
Hayley Atwell stars in Conviction as Hayes Morrison, a gifted lawyer who is the former First Daughter but who also has a bad-girl side. After being arrested, Hayes is blackmailed into taking a job in exchange for her charges being dropped. This new job requires Hayes to lead a team in turning over cases involving wrongful convictions and in righting these wrongs she may find a way to fix some of the problems in her own life.
Atwell told InStyle about her character's wardrobe and how it shapes her storyline as a powerful woman. "We wanted to kind of tailor it," she said. "We know that she works in this professional world. She has to care about her appearance but, at the same time, she's in the public eye. She knows how important dressing up is, and she's going to use that. But she's also going to enjoy it. So that's the thing of kind of wanting to wear heels, but make sure that they're sexy Louboutins or have the spike of the Valentino or an Alexander McQueen scarf. And those little visual references are kind of a nod that she has a little element of danger in her."
Conviction premieres Monday, Oct. 3, at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.
5. Anna Camp
Based on Lynn Povich's book of the same name, Good Girls Revolt follows the women who simply asked to be treated fairly in the workplace—and started a revolution. Taking place in the late '60s, the series revolves around a group of talented, educated women employed at a top publication who are tired of working in dead-end positions simply because they're women.
Anna Camp stars as Jane Hollander, an uptight, no-nonsense researcher with killer fashion sense and daddy's money.
When asked about her character, Camp told InStyle about Jane's revolution throughout the series. "Listen, when I met with the producers, I said, 'It's another type-A girl. I've played a bunch of these women in my past. I want to make sure that she's different,'" Camp explained. "She definitely starts off a woman of the '50s. But then definitely, by the end of the series, we'll see her burning her bra. So definitely, there's a giant arc there which I'm really happy and excited to play."
Good Girls Revolt premieres Friday, Oct. 28, on Amazon Prime.