Okay, here we are with one more time in 2016 to inform readers about what HBO offers in the month ahead. Not only will it wrap up a year of programming but it will also wrap up the premiere seasons of three series. Will 2016 go out with a bang? That is up to you to decide as you seek HBO entertainment across all of its platforms to keep you happy. It will all wrap up with that epic YearEnder clip we look forward to seeing. Enjoy whatever you find starting with What’s On!
Original Series: Have you been enjoying the dramatic experience that is WESTWORLD? Well, get a grip because it ends the first weekend of the month and we are told not to expect it back until 2018. At least that will give you enough time to watch it again and analyze it over and over. The season finale of the hit drama series debuts SUNDAY, DECEMBER 04 at 9:00pm. Note that it is a 90-minute conclusion.
–Episode 10 “The Bicameral Mind” (season finale)
Debut date: SUNDAY, DEC. 4 (9:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT)
Ford (Anthony Hopkins) unveils his bold new narrative; Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) embraces her identity; Maeve (Thandie Newton) sets her plan in motion. Written by Lisa Joy & Jonathan Nolan; directed by Jonathan Nolan. Other HBO playdates: 12.04 at 11:00pm & 1:00am, 12.05 at 10:50pm, 12.06 at 9:00pm, 12.07 at 11:00pm, 12.10 at 12:50am and 12.13 at 8:30pm.
Sarah Jessica Parker stars as Frances and Thomas Haden Church stars as Robert in the painful throes of divorce in the comedy series DIVORCE, which concludes its season SUNDAY, DECEMBER 11 starting at 10:00pm. If only it was as simple, neat and clean as that, but then it wouldn’t be an HBO comedy, would it? No, it is nasty!
–Episode #09 “Another Party”
Debut date: SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4 (10:30-11:00 p.m. ET/PT)
Frances (Sarah Jessica Parker) takes issue with a lawyer’s insinuations of negligence; Dallas (Talia Balsam) makes a connection at Diane (Molly Shannon) and Nick’s (Tracy Letts) latest party. Written by Gabrielle Allan & Jennifer Crittenden; directed by Jesse Peretz. Other HBO playdates: 12.04 at 12:30am & 2:30am, 12.07 at 2:35am, 12.08 at 10:40pm and 12.10 at 12:20am.
–Episode #10: “Détente” (season finale)
Debut date: SUNDAY, DECEMBER 11 (10:00-10:30 p.m.)
Tensions ease between Frances (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Robert (Thomas Haden Church), but a move by Frances’ new lawyer sends Robert on a vengeful path. Other HBO playdates: 12.11 at 11:30pm & 1:00am, 12.14 at 8:30pm & 2:00am, 12.15 at 10:30pm & 12.17 at 2:30am.
And if you haven’t been watching this is what you’ve been missing. Of course, you can now find it on HBONow/Go.
The third series heading out is not INSECURE as it only had an eight-episode run that ended on 11.27. You know the show in question if you are watching Fridays at 11:00pm. That show is TRACEY ULLMAN’S SHOW. The season finale debuts FRIDAY, DECEMBER 02 at 11:00pm. Yes, that is her over in that picture as coffee shop owner Dominic Hingle.
–Episode #6 (season finale)
Debut: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 02 (11:00-11:30 p.m. ET/PT)
Pam Garrity, aka the “Northern powerhouse,” pops in on some of the 38-1/2 businesses she runs; Dame Judi Dench rules the upper deck on a transit bus; Dominic Hingle celebrates a full year pitching apps from his coffee-shop “office”; Kay Clark makes plans to go out without her mother; modeling agent Steph catches up with a promising new face; and Cupid strikes a stately-home tour guide. Written by Jonathan Harvey, Andy Riley, Kevin Cecil, Georgia Pritchett, Laurence Rickard, Carrie Quinlan; directed by Dominic Brigstocke. Other HBO playdates: 12.02 at 1:30am, 12.05 at 12:20am, 12.06 at 2:55am and 12.08 at 2:30am.
VICE NEWS TONIGHT, takes no break and appears every Monday through Friday at 7:30pmET. It starts the month on THURSDAY, DECEMBER 01. Here is what they have reported lately.
Movies: Five Saturdays means five primetime movie debuts in December. However, two of those dates are 12.24 and 12.31 so they might not get great ratings, but the good thing is that those movies get plenty of airplay to catch them at a time more convenient. The movies are KEANU, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2, MIDNIGHT SPECIAL, HAIL, CEASAR! And CRIMINAL. Here is a brief summary of each.
Two friends go on a mission to retrieve a stolen kitten in the outrageous buddy comedy KEANU, debuting SATURDAY, DECEMBER 03 at 8:15pm. Jordan Peele, Keegan Michael Key and Method Man star with Luis Guzmán, Nia Long and Will Forte. Hey! How come the little kitty doesn’t get a credit? Don’t you know it is the best damn actor in the whole thing? An extended family reunites for a raucous celebration when MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2 debuts SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10 at 8:00pm. Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Lainie Kazan, Gia Carides, Joey Fatone and Louis Manylor star with Andrea Martin and Michael Constantine. Wow, what took them so long to get that movie out? The first one was back in 2002. After discovering his son has superpowers, a father takes drastic measures to protect him in MIDNIGHT SPECIAL, debuting SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17 at 8:00pm. Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver and Sam Shepard star in the thriller. When a 1950s Hollywood superstar (George
Clooney) is kidnapped, a studio fixer (Josh Brolin) must rescue him while keeping the news under wraps when HAIL, CEASAR! debuts SATURDAY, DECEMBER 24 at 8:00pm. Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and Channing Tatum also star in the hilarious Coen Brothers comedy. Ya got to love those Coen boys! In an attempt to stop a dangerous plot, the memories of a deceased CIA agent are implanted in a death-row inmate in the thriller CRIMINAL, debuting SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31 at 8:00pm. Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones, Alice Eve and Gal Gadot star. So, that’s the way the year is going out?
The trailer we will single out is MIDNIGHT SPECIAL and man, it looks like that poor boy is on the run from everybody!
HBO Documentary Films: We finish up the year with three films. First coming our way in December, directed by portrait photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, is THE TRANS LIST. It features interviews by trans author and advocate Janet Mock, exploring the experiences of Americans who identify as transgender. Allowing a diverse group of individuals to tell their stories in their own words, it addresses issues of identity, family, career, love, struggle and accomplishment. The documentary debuts MONDAY, DECEMBER 05 at 8:00pm exclusively on HBO. The timely documentary RISKY DRINKING challenges viewers to think about their drinking habits this holiday season. HBO and the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism offer information that could help millions of Americans lead healthier lives. The cautionary documentary debuts MONDAY, DECEMBER 19 (8:00-9:30 p.m. ET/PT). Think of it as a public service announcement in the form of a documentary for our own good. At the end of the month comes the other offering: EVERY BRILLIANT THING. Coming into the holiday season, when many reflect on what they are most grateful for, EVERY BRILLIANT THING strikes a delicate balance between sobering loss and cathartic laughter. Adapting the hit off-Broadway one-character show of the same name written by Duncan Macmillan and starring British comedian Jonny Donahoe, this deeply poignant film recounts a life lived in the shadow of suicide. It debuts MONDAY, DECEMBER 26 at 8:00pm.
HBO Specials: Taped in Chicago this past April at the Vic Theatre, PETE HOLMES: FACES AND SOUNDS debuts SATURDAY, DECEMBER 03 from 10:00pm to 11:00pm. Over the course of his silly, high-energy performance, Holmes shares his thoughts on such disparate topics as the keys to happiness; the illogicality of nightmares; being an “easy laugh”; what to wear on a flight; bizarre quirks of language; filling one’s “joy quota”; how the British deal with awkward situations; the ridiculousness of porn; and more. He will then star in CRASHING coming in 2017, so for those who don’t know him and his style of humor, this special will be a great way to get introduced.
VICE adds additional content with a look at the state of affairs post-Election 2016 with VICE SPECIAL REPORT: A HOUSE DIVIDED. It debuts FRIDAY, DECEMBER 09 from 10:00-11:00pm. The HBO special presents exclusive access to the president,Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, former Speaker of the House John Boehner, the president’s inner circle and key opponents, with VICE founder Shane Smith examining the rise of the Tea Party, the faltering of key congressional deals and the growing extremism that has left America more divided than ever. A Press Release is found here.
HBO Sports: HBO Boxing presents an action-packed tripleheader from two sites when WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: TERENCE CRAWFORD VS. JOHN MOLINA JR. AND RAYMUNDO BELTRAN VS. MASON MENARD AND JOSEPH PARKER VS. ANDY RUIZ is seen SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10 at 9:35pm (live ET/ tape-delayed PT) from CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb. and Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand, exclusively on HBO. Here is a quick look at one of those matchups.
Another bout hits the squared ring with WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: HOPKINS VS. SMITH JR. on SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17 beginning at 10:00pm.
HBO Sports also presents new editions of the innovative series STATE OF PLAY, from acclaimed filmmaker Peter Berg, on three consecutive nights beginning DECEMBER 13. Topics Include Violence In Sports; An Underdog Prizefighter’s Pursuit Of A Title; And The Palestine National Football Team’s Quest to Compete Amidst Strife.
STATE OF PLAY: INHERENT VIOLENCE
Debut: TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13 (8:00-8:30pm
Combative sport has transcended time, and remains popular today. Is violence an inherent part of sports, or is it an inherent part of human beings? This film explores combat sports through two father-son relationships, a 33-year-old American professional MMA fighter who is combat training his ten-year-old son, and a 47-year-old retired player of Calcio Storico in Florence, Italy, who has groomed his son to compete in this form of soccer (dating back to the 16th century), in which head-butting, punching, elbowing and choking are allowed. Other HBO playdates: 12.18 at 3:00pm, 12.19 at 12:55pm and 12.22 at 3:15am.
STATE OF PLAY: FIGHTING CHANCE
Debut: WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14 (8:00-8:30pm
Having spent his entire adult life as a professional boxer, 35-year-old Raymundo “Sugar Ray” Beltran (31-7-1, 19 KOs), a Mexican immigrant and father of three, is striving to win his first world title as his career wanes. Known as a formidable opponent and a sparring partner of worldwide superstar Manny Pacquiao, he has spent most of his career on the fringe of the sport, and now strives to break free of his underdog status. Beltran’s pursuit of a championship brings into sharp focus the question of what it takes to win and asks if talent and skill alone make an athlete successful in boxing, or do circumstance, context and politics also play a significant role? Other HBO playdates: DECEMBER 18 at 3:30pm, 12.20 at 1:40pm and 12.22 at 3:45am.
STATE OF PLAY: GAME OF BORDERS
Debut: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15 (8:00-8:30 p.m.)
In a time of conflict and unrest, is the reward of organized sport worth the risk? Amid the conflict and chaos of the Middle East, the Palestine national football team keeps playing. Should they take the field when the stakes off the field are as high as life and death? Or do these athletes provide an essential and peaceful glimmer of light to their community? Other HBO playdates: DECEMBER 18 at 4:00pm, 12.21 at 1:30pm and 12.22 at 4:15am.
It happens every year – HBO highlights its boxing bouts of the year. So, HBO Sports presents fight fans with a holiday treat when BOXING’S BEST OF 2016, replaying the year’s biggest fights it airs on four consecutive evenings beginning at 11:00pm ET. It starts off TUESDAY, DECEMBER 27 and then WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 28, THURSDAY, DECEMBER 29 and FRIDAY, DECEMBER 30. As of this posting HBO’s schedule has yet to announce which bouts are deemed the best of the year.
REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL goes behind the box scores and statistics one more time for the year with the latest installment debuting TUESDAY, DECEMBER 20 at 10:00pm. Hosted by the four-time Sports Emmy winner, THE FIGHT GAME WITH JIM LAMPLEY does its thing on WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14 at 11:00pm.
Other Movies and Shows: According to its schedulebot HBO lists three First Runs on the channel in December. They are Nicolas Cage and ENTOURAGE’s Jeremy Piven in THE FAMILY MAN, Tom Hanks in THE GREEN MILE and REDEMPTION, probably the least recognized here. It stars Jason Statham as a former Special Forces soldier who finds help from a nun. The channel also offers HBO FIRST LOOK: HIDDEN FIGURES. You can also catch movies like RACE, DEADPOOL and GODS OF EGYPT and the ALL DEF COMEDY Special. HBO2 gives you a chance to marathon all nine episodes of WESTWORLD leading up to the tenth and final episode of the season on Sunday 12.04 beginning at 12:00 noon.
HBO’s Other Platforms: Below we single out some little gifts for the month. Enjoy. HBO Latino: The series MAGNIFICA wraps up its season as does CHUMEL CON CHUMEL if you are watching. Movie-wise we have VACACIONES EN FAMILIA (Family Holidays) in which a once-wealthy family tries to maintain an air of aristocracy by creating a fictionalized vacation to keep up appearances. Another one is BAIRES. While visiting Argentina from Spain, a young couple’s romantic dream holiday quickly turns into a nightmare when they are kidnapped by a drug trafficking gang in this one. Also, there is LUCES BRILLANTES (Shine A Light) in which a boy tries to discover the origin of mysterious luminous objects that appear in the night sky over the San Andres beach. HBO Family: Now this says it is a first time airing on this channel but I’m not buying it. HANNAH MONTANA & MILEY CYRUS: BEST OF BOTH WORLDS CONCERT debuts here, but it must have aired before or I would have never heard of it before and I have. There are also THE MANHATTEN PROJECT (pictured), in which a high school student builds an atomic bomb, which is a movieI have also heard of before and ALEX RIDER: OPERATION STORMBREAKER, about a teenage secret agent, which I have not. HBO Signature. How about unwrapping COP LAND with Sylvester Stallone for the guys? There is also MURDEROUS INTENT in which a forensic psychologist uncovers a dangerous underworld while investigating a boarding-school student charged with murdering his roommate. It stars Eddie Redmayne. Also, seek out PUERTO RICANS IN PARIS. In this movie two screwball cops who specialize in busting fashion bootleggers head to Paris at the behest of a French designer whose latest prototype has been stolen. Luis Guzman stars. Hey, if they can make ZOOLANDER? HBO Comedy: How about unwrapping HEARTBREAKERS with Sigourney Weaver for the gals? Or try the cross-dressing comedy CONNIE & CARLA with Nia Vardalos. Of course, you can also get the standup of classic Robert Klein, Dave Chappelle and Louis C. K..HBO Zone: In the Zone we got Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson starring in a riveting saga of a veteran Marine who becomes the scapegoat for a mission that went tragically wrong. It is called RULES OF ENGAGEMENT. And observe girl power in both BARELY LEGAL and WILDCATS. Also here and on HBO Latino is a 10 part documentary series entitled OUTPOST. It is the series with Jorge Ramos we told you was in development. It runs weeknights at 6:00pm from 12.20 – 12.30.
HBONow/Go: Now a partial list of what is coming and going on the streaming sites. In the coming available column how about movies like ASSASSINS, GENTLEMEN BRONCOS, HIGH ANXIETY, THREE O’CLOCK HIGH, LEGAL EAGLES and THE REAPING? Or check out this Movie Collection compiled and ready to watch. It is called “Unrated and Uncut: The Versions You Haven’t Seen” and it includes the following Director’s Cuts or Extended Unrated versions: AMERICAN GANGSTER, COYOTE UGLY, I AM LEGEND, JET LI’S FEARLESS, OLD SCHOOL, POLTERGEIST, STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON and TRAINWRECK. Also, some of the Last Change Movies disappearing before 2017 include BAD SANTA, THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM, DOG DAY AFTERNOON GHOST, JOY RIDE, THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E., PAN and SNAKES ON A PLANE.
As for series they are still adding more DENNIS MILLER LIVE, and FRAGGLE ROCK and the latest episodes from recent shows to make the list complete. Folks, there is a ton of entertainment on here from AFTER THE THRONES to THE WIRE. Hell, there are 60 episodes of that last title alone! Do you realize just how much content is there? Go check it out.
Cinemax: This channel has no dramatic series rolling at this time. Just like HBO we hope Cinemax will explode in the new year with great content. We will keep a diligent watch. However, a press release does tout the following movie premieres. Desperate people fight to the death to claim each other’s money when TRADERS debuts SATURDAY, DECEMBER 03 at 10:00pm. Killian Scott and John Bradley star in the offbeat thriller. A commitment-phobic journalist (Amy Schumer) finds her beliefs challenged when she falls hard for a doctor (Bill Hader) in the outrageous comedy TRAINWRECK, debuting SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10 at 10:00pm. Brie Larson, Colin Quinn and John Cena also star with Tilda Swinton and LeBron James in the film, which is directed by Judd Apatow; screenplay by Amy Schumer. Havoc ensues when a new theme park opens at the site of the original Jurassic Park when JURASSIC WORLD debuts SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10 at 10:00pm. Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Omar Sy, BD Wong and Irrfan Khan star in the smash-hit reboot of the classic adventure thriller, which is directed by Colin Trevorrow. Screenplay by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and Derek Connolly & Colin Trevorrow. Dozens of other movies await you besides these ones.
Next Month’s Tease: The persona who goes by the symbol at right recently made an appearance in Waukesha Wisconsin and is soon coming to HBO.
Last month’s clue was all about Method Man who plays characters Cheddar & Cheese on HBO. He is Cheese in THE WIRE and Cheddar in KEANU which debuts in December.
Final Clip: Would it be downright criminal to skip the Final Clip this month? Of course, it would so we offer the trailer of CRIMINAL debuting New Year’s Eve. For more details about HBO check out our Schedule & Movie pages.
Oh, yeah we were all business and forgot, so from HBOWatch…