Hey, just because the top drama and top comedy on TV, not just HBO, has wrapped up their seasons for another year does not mean there is not good content coming our way in the month ahead. We all know HBO hit a rough patch with under-performing shows, canceled series and detailed productions, but each new series or season that comes along gives the network a chance. It is all an important opportunity to move forward as a stronger viewing option in the TV market. Let’s see how what is on in July can help that situation.
Original Series: We have been hyping up and all excited for the eight-part HBO limited series production THE NIGHT OF, created by Steven Zaillian and Richard Price. It debuts SUNDAY, JULY 10 (9:00-10:30pm). Starring John Turturro and Riz Ahmed, and directed by Steven Zaillian and James March from teleplays by Price, the show delves into the intricacies of a complex New York City murder case with cultural and political overtones. The story examines the police investigation, the legal proceedings, the criminal justice system and the feral purgatory of Rikers Island, where the accused await trial for felony crimes.
Here is one more video clip that we have yet to share:
— Part 1: “The Beach”
Debut: SUNDAY, JULY 10 from 9:00pm – 10:30pm.
What starts as a perfect night for Pakistani-American student Nasir “Naz” Khan (Riz Ahmed) becomes a nightmare when he’s arrested for murder. Created by Steven Zaillian and Richard Price; teleplay by Richard Price; directed by Steven Zaillian. Other HBO playdates: 07.10 at 10:30pm & midnight, 07.11 (1:30am, 07.12 at 7:00pm, 07.14 at 10:05pm, 07.15 at 11:00pm and 07.16 at 10:30pm.
— Part 2: “Subtle Beast”
Debut: SUNDAY, JULY 17 from 9:00pm – 10:00pm.
As attorney John Stone (John Turturro) counsels Naz, lead detective Dennis Box (Bill Camp) investigates the crime. Created by Steven Zaillian and Richard Price; teleplay by Richard Price; directed by Steven Zaillian. Other HBO playdates: 07.17 at 12:30am & 2:30am, 07.18 at 12:40am, 07.19 at 7:00pm, 07.21 at 11:30pm 07.22 at 11:00pm and 07.23 at 1:50am.
— Part 3: “A Dark Crate”
Debut: SUNDAY, JULY 24 from 9:00pm – 10:0pm.
Awaiting his formal arraignment at Rikers Island, Naz (Riz Ahmed) realizes that his survival, or perhaps his demise, rests with a particular inmate, Freddy (Michael Kenneth Williams). Created by Steven Zaillian and Richard Price; teleplay by Richard Price; directed by Steven Zaillian. Other HBO playdates: J07.24 at 12:30am & 3:00am, 07.25 at 1:05am, 07.26 at 7:00pm, 07.28 at 11:20pm, 07.29 at 11:00pm and 07.30 at 12:50am.
— Part 4: “The Art of War”
Debut: SUNDAY, JULY 31 from 9:00pm – 10:00pm.
Stone (John Turturro) works to uncover information about the crime. Created by Steven Zaillian and Richard Price; teleplay by Richard Price; directed by James Marsh. Other HBO playdates: 07.31 at 12:30am & 3:00am and into August.
The ensemble cast includes Michael Kenneth Williams, Bill Camp, Jeannie Berlin, Poorna Jagannathan, Payman Maadi, Glenne Headly, Amara Karan, Sofia Black-D’Elia, Paul Sparks, Ben Shenkman, Afton Williamson, Paulo Costanzo, Ned Eisenberg, Mohammad Bakri, Nabil Elouahabi, Ashley Thomas, Glenn Fleshler, Chip Zien and Max Casella.
Behind it is the usual comedy block. Debuting in July is Season Two of BALLERS and the return of Danny McBride in the new series VICE PRINCIPALS. Let’s break it down.
Taking a look at the lives of former and current football players and a whole lot more is BALLERS which follows former superstar Spencer Strasmore (Dwayne Johnson), who has reinvented himself as a financial manager for current players in sun-soaked Miami. Returning cast regulars include John David Washington, Omar Benson Miller, Donovan Carter, Troy Garity, Rob Corddry, London Brown and Jazmyn Simon. New cast regulars include Arielle Kebbel, Dulé Hill and Andy Garcia. Created by Stephen Levinson, the comedy series kicks off its ten-episode second season SUNDAY, JULY 17 (10:00-10:30pm. Take in this “Invitation to The Set” to get your head in the game. That is followed by an episode breakdown.
— Episode #11 (season 2, episode 1): “Face of the Franchise”
Debut date: SUNDAY, JULY 17 at 10:00pm.
Convinced to appear on a talk show, Spencer (Dwayne Johnson) ends up facing off with an old adversary, which puts his company and reputation in jeopardy. A reformed Ricky (John David Washington) gets bad news in advance of his 30th birthday party. Charles (Omar Benson Miller) relishes his new status as a fan favorite, but may face changes on the field. Written by Evan Reilly; directed by Julian Farino. Other HBO playdates: 07.17 at 11:30pm & 1:30am, 07.18 at 10:30pm, 07.19 at 3:55am, 07.20 at 10:30pm, 07.22 at 2:40am and 07.23 at 11:30pm.
— Episode #12 (season 2, episode 2): “Enter the Temple”
Debut date: SUNDAY, JULY 24 at 10:00pm.
Spencer makes a play to poach a big client from Andre (Andy Garcia), his business rival, while struggling to find a quick fix for his physical ailments. Ricky considers where to head to next. Reggie (London Brown) fights for what he believes Vernon (Donovan Carter) owes him. Feeling underpaid and undervalued, Tracy (Arielle Kebble) takes a stand with her boss. Charles gets insights from his coach. Written by Evan Reilly; directed by Julian Farino. Other HBO playdates: 07.24 at 11:30pm & 2:00am, 07.25 at 8:00pm, 07.26 at 4:15am, 07.27 at 10:30pm, 07.29 at 3:30am and 07.30 at 10:15pm.
— Episode #13 (season 2, episode 3): “Elidee”
Debut date: SUNDAY, JULY 31 at 10:00pm.
Spencer advises a reluctant Vernon to stay quiet when the truth behind his injury threatens his career. Trying to stave off Andre’s attacks on their business, Spencer and Joe (Rob Corddry) butt heads over how best to advise a client. Charles worries whether he’s up for a challenge. A hard-to-impress Ricky takes a trip to tour a potential new home. Written by Steve Sharlet; directed by Julian Farino. Other HBO playdates: 07.31 at 11:30pm & 2:00am and into August.
Created by Danny McBride and Jody Hill, who also created EASTBOUND AND DOWN, VICE PRINCIPALS tells the story of a high school and the two people who almost run it, the vice principals. McBride and Walton Goggins star as the vice principals, who are in an epic power struggle, vying for the top spot: to be school principal. The dark half-hour comedy series debuts SUNDAY, JULY 17 10:30-11:00pm. In addition to McBride (Neal Gamby) and Goggins (Lee Russell), VICE PRINCIPALS also stars Kimberly Hébert Gregory (“Devious Maids”) as Dr. Belinda Brown; Georgia King (“The New Normal”) as English teacher Amanda Snodgrass; Busy Phillips (“Cougar Town”) as Gale, Gamby’s hot, trashy ex-wife; Shea Whigham (HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire”) as Ray, Gale’s nice-guy new husband; and Sheaun McKinney (“Know Thy Enemy”) as cafeteria worker Dayshawn. Guest stars on the first season include Bill Murray (Oscar nominee for “Lost in Translation”) as outgoing Principal Welles; Susan Park (“Fargo”) as Christine, Russell’s wife; and Maya Love as Janelle, Gamby’s daughter.
— Episode #1: “The Principal”
Debut: SUNDAY, JULY 17 at 10:30pm.
When the principal of a high school retires, his two vice principals go to extremes to land the vacant job. Written by Danny R. McBride & Jody Hill; directed by Jody Hill. Other HBO playdates: 07.17 at midnight & 2:00am, 07.18 at 1:50am, 07.19 at 10:00pm, 07.20 at 4:05am, 07.21 at 8:30pm and 07.23 at 4:20am.
— Episode #2: “A Trusty Steed”
Debut: SUNDAY, JULY 24 at 10:30pm.
Gamby (Danny McBride) and Russell (Walton Goggins) invade Dr. Brown’s (Kimberly Hébert Gregory) private space; a school evaluator spooks the vice principals. Written by Danny R. McBride & John Carcieri; directed by Jody Hill.
— Episode #3: “The Field Trip”
Debut: SUNDAY, JULY 31 at 10:30pm.
Gamby (Danny McBride) looks to impress Amanda (Georgia King) on a field trip organized by Mr. Hayden (Mike O’Gorman), a good-guy history teacher. Written by Danny R. McBride, John Carcieri & Adam Countee; directed by Danny McBride. Other HBO playdates: 07.31 at midnight & 2:30am.
Presenting a satirical look at the week in news, politics and current events, LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER continues its third season with a new edition SUNDAY, JULY 24 at 11:00pm. Note that he is on a bit of a hiatus and offers repeats until that later date. Outspoken comedian/social commentator Bill Maher continues the 14th season of REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER on FRIDAY, JULY 01 at 10:00pm. ANY GIVEN SUNDAY WITH BILL SIMMONS continues its inaugural season with a new edition WEDNESDAY, JULY 06 at 10:00pm. All three will run weekly through the month, however the innovative news magazine show VICE, will conclude its fourth season FRIDAY, JULY 01 at 11:00pm. Look for an upcoming post highlighting Season Four.
Since Oliver will be off or showing repeats for a few weeks we offer you a dose of his wit now.
An original movie, though not flying under the HBO FILMS: banner is LOOKING: THE MOVIE. Starring Jonathan Groff, Frankie J. Alvarez and Murray Bartlett, it debuts SATURDAY, JULY 23 at 10:00pm. It wraps up the story of three close friends living in San Francisco who explore the options available to a new generation of gay men seeking fulfillment in love and life. In the film, Patrick (Groff) returns to the city for the first time in almost a year to celebrate a momentous event with his old friends. In the process, he must face the unresolved relationships he left behind and make difficult choices about what’s important to him.
Here is this site’s first look at the trailer.
Movies: Some variety in the Saturday movie premieres make for a good opportunity to catch up on movies you haven’t seen it or are worth a repeat viewing. For July they are JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS, SUFFRAGETTE, BLACK MASS, STRAIGHT OUT OF COMPTON, OUR BRAND IS CRISIS and THE 33. Here is a moment with Carey Mulligan as Maud Watts fighting for her rights.
JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS, perhaps because it is a holiday weekend, debuts SATURDAY, JULY 02 (6:00pm). In it a talented teen Jem (Aubrey Peeples) and her sisters rocket to music stardom thanks to an uploaded video in this inspiring adaptation of the popular ’80s animated series. A group of women in early 20th century Britain band together to fight for political freedoms when SUFFRAGETTE debuts SATURDAY, JULY 02 at 8:00pm. Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Brendan Gleeson, Anne-Marie Duff and Meryl Streep star in the historical drama. Based on the true story of the infamous Whitey Bulger (Johnny Depp), a mobster turned FBI informant who took down a rival Mafia family, BLACK MASS debuts SATURDAY, JULY 09 at 8:30pm. Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Kevin Bacon, Jesse Plemons, Peter Sarsgaard, Dakota Johnson and Corey Stoll also star in the crime drama. STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON, debuting SATURDAY, JULY 16 at 8:00pm, tells the story of the musical group N.W.A., who rose from the mean streets of Compton in the 1980s to revolutionize hip hop music and culture. O’Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell and Paul Giamatti star. A tough American political consultant (Sandra Bullock) competes with her rival (Billy Bob Thornton) for a controversial candidate’s campaign in Bolivia when OUR BRAND IS CRISIS debuts SATURDAY, JULY 23 at 8:00pm. Based on a real-life disaster, THE 33 tells the story of the men who were trapped for 69 days when a gold and copper mine collapsed in Chile. Antonio Banderas, Rodrigo Santoro, Juliette Binoche, James Brolin, Lou Diamond Phillips, Mario Casas, Adriana Barraza, Kate Del Castello and Cote De Pablo star with Bob Gunton and Gabriel Byrne star in the drama, which debuts SATURDAY, JULY 30 at 8:00 pm.
HBO Documentary Films: In the only new documentary in July OPEN YOUR EYES follows an elderly blind couple in the remote Himalayan Mountains of Nepal as they embark on a life-changing journey to reclaim their long-lost sight. This unforgettable film emphasizes the preciousness of the gift of sight and the incredible technological advances that have been made to restore it in underserved communities around the world. Oscar-nominated director Irene Taylor Brodsky chronicles the couple’s brave odyssey when the HBO documentary debuts MONDAY, JULY 18 at 9:00pm.
HBO Kids: For more than four decades, SESAME STREET has helped children grow smarter, stronger and kinder by providing preschoolers with the gold standard in quality educational programming. The award-winning show continues its 46th season with a new episode debuting SATURDAY, JULY 02 (9:00-9:30 a.m.), followed by other new episodes debuting subsequent Saturdays at the same time. HBO used to have quite a strong presence and not just with FRAGGLE ROCK. Though the GAME OF THRONES crowd might not care I think a well-rounded channel is A-OK with me. I wish as a part of the new management in place that HBO Kids programming and HBO Family will build on the foundation SESAME STREET provides.
HBO Sports: In a rematch of the heavyweight upset of 2015, two of the biggest men in the division face off when WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: TYSON FURY VS. WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO II is seen SATURDAY, JULY 09 at 5:00pm from Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, with a tape delay at 10:00pm. The pair originally faced off on Nov. 28, 2015 in Dusseldorf, Germany, when Fury (25-0, 18 KOs) stunned the boxing world with a 12-round unanimous decision victory over reigning heavyweight champion and odds-on favorite Klitschko (64-4, 54 KOs). The HBO Sports team will call all the action, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino. On a special night, one of the sport’s top performers defends his unified light heavyweight titles when WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: SERGEY KOVALEV VS. ISAAC CHILEMBA is presented MONDAY, JULY 11 at 10:15pm from the DIVS Palace of Competitive Sports in Ekaterinburg, Russia, exclusively on HBO. Fighting just his third professional fight in his native country, where he compiled an amateur record of 193-22, Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (29-0-1, 26 KOs), originally from Cheylabinsk, Russia, now living in Southern California, takes on Malawi native Isaac Chilemba (24-3-2, 10 KOs) in a scheduled 12-round title contest. The HBO Sports team will call all the action. REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL goes behind the box scores and statistics to tackle timely subjects in the world of contemporary sports as always. Featuring a top lineup of contributors, the next monthly edition debuts TUESDAY, JULY 26 at 10:00pm.
Here is a closer look at the Kovalev/Chilemba bout:
Other Movies and Shows: This month maybe we won’t load you down with all the varied titles out there, but just drop a few. It is up to you then to go seek out what you want. The biggest title first run not debuting Saturday night is BLACKHAT. It premieres Sunday 07.03 at 9:00pm. Chris Hemsworth tries to thwart a cyber-attack. Also in action is Pam Grier as tough chick JACKIE BROWN and a supernatural serial killer in NO MAN’S LAND. In comedy you can find DUMB AND DUMBER and a replay of the HBO Miniseries MILDRED PIERCE Parts I – V running back-to-back on 07.07.
HBO’s Other Platforms: Hey, if you are only watching the main channel then you ate missing out on a fun repeat or in discovering something you’ve never seen. HBO Latino: How about ENDGAME? In it a troubled middle-school boy from a poor Texas border town finds himself through his school’s chess team. Starring Rico Rodriguez (Modern Family). PRIMERO DE ENERO (JANUARY 1st) is another story about a youngster When a 12-year-old boy learns that his father’s beloved piano is stolen, he and his two best friends set out on an exciting cross-country journey through the beautiful Dominican Republic to bring it back home. There is also SIN HIJOS (No Kids) which has divorced father Gabriel now exclusively devoted to his little daughter. But when gorgeous Vicky shakes up his lethargic love life and openly doesn’t want children, Gabriel decides to keep his daughter a secret. Lastly we will add EL CLUB DE LOS INCOMPRENDIDOS (The Misfits Club) as a 17-year-old tries to cope as she moves to Madrid. HBO Family: There is ICEMAN about a prehistoric man, frozen for 40,000 years in the Arctic, who has some big surprises for 20th-century scientists when he comes back to life in a modern laboratory. GRADUATING PETER is a sequel to a documentary which follows up on Peter Gwazdauskis who became the first Down Syndrome student in his district to attend regular classes at school. A mini marathon of thirteen episodes of PINKY DINKY DOO play throughout the month and he documentary CHIMPS SO LIKED US with Jane Goodall also airs. HBO Signature: Here are four you may have never heard of let alone seen. BEFORE THE RAINS about a British spice baron in 1937 India who has a secret affair with his Indian housemaid, while trying to build a road for his new plantation. Also on tap is PRINCESS KAIULANI, CONNIE & CARLA and JOSHUA about the last royal heir to the Hawaiian throne, cabaret singers hiding from the Mob in drag and a devilish child up to no good, respectively. HBO Comedy: I suggest this month NATIONAL LAMPOON’S VAN WILDER with a younger Ryan Reynolds and MEET THE SPARTANS, a parody of classic Leonidas and his army of 300. This channel is also running the entire series of EASTBOUND AND DOWN, just in case you can’t get enough of Danny McBride. HBO Zone: Catch NATIONAL TREASURE again with Nicolas Cage, CURSED which is all about the angst of teenage werewolves, THE TAILOR OF PANAMA (which I know I’ve mentioned before), THE LAST OF THE BLONDE BOMBSHELLS with Judy Dench and VIXENS OF VENUS with a bevy of bimbos. For my tastes ICEMAN, with John Lone as the title character, is worth repeating, even though it is from 1984.
HBONow/Go: Cinematic overload, but there is more over on the streaming sites. If you hadn’t done so on a weekly basis you can now marathon watch the entire season of AFTER THE THRONES, or not. There are also a series of new Collections which easily groups programming under one theme. Investigate the LGBT Collection which includes AND THE BAND PLAYED ON and SUITED and also the CRAFTING GAME OF THRONES Collection which has all the “Inside The Episodes” features from this past season.
As far as movies are concerned here are just a few titles to consider this month: the classic DIRTY HARRY with Clint Eastwood, MIGHTY MORPHIN’ POWER RANGERS: THE MOVIE, REINDEER GAMES with Ben Affleck, MISTRESS AMERICA, DEAD POETS SOCIETY with Robin Williams, THE LAST MIMZY and STARGATE, and its TV-movie sequels CONTINUUM, and ARK OF TRUTH. Didn’t that series start on rival Showtime?
Cinemax: The series OUTCAST continues and here is a breakdown.
— Episode #5: “The Road Before Us”
Debut: FRIDAY, JULY 08 10:00-11:00pm
Kyle (Patrick Fugit) presses his estranged wife, Allison (Kate Lyn Sheil), to meet; a suspicious Chief Giles (Reg E. Cathey) shadows his best friend. Written by Robin Veith; directed by Craig Zobel. Other CINEMAX playdates: 07.08 at 11:00pm & midnight, 07.09 at 9:00pm & 11:50pm, 07.10 at 3:30pm, 07.11 at 11:00pm, 07.12 at 2:00am, 07.13 at 10:00pm, 07.14 at 9:00pm and 07.21 at 8:00pm.
— Episode #6: “From the Shadows It Watches”
Debut: FRIDAY, JULY 15 10:00-11:00pm
Rev. Anderson (Philip Glenister) finds his powers sorely tested; Patricia (Melinda McGraw) reaches out to Kyle (Patrick Fugit); Sidney (Brent Spiner) delivers a warning. Written by Joy Blake; directed by Tricia Brock. Other CINEMAX playdates: 07.15 at 11:00pm & midnight, 07.16 at 9:00pm & 12:05am, 07.17 at 5:15pm, 078.18 at 11:00pm, 07.19 at 2:05am, 07.20 at 10:00pm and 07.21 at 8:50pm.
— Episode #7: “The Damage Done”
Debut: FRIDAY, JULY 22 10:00-11:00pm
Kyle (Patrick Fugit) and Allison (Kate Lyn Sheil) revisit their past; Rev. Anderson (Philip Glenister) gets carried away during Remembrance Day. Written by Nathaniel Halpern; directed by Leigh Janiak. Other CINEMAX playdates: 07.22 at 11:00pm & midnight, 07.23 at 9:00pm & 11:40pm, 07.24 at 5:00pm, 07.25 at 11:00pm, 07.26 at 1:25am, 07.27 at 10:00pm and 07.28 at 9:00pm.
— Episode #8: “What Lurks Within”
Debut: FRIDAY, JULY 29 10:00-11:00pm
Rev. Anderson (Philip Glenister) finds himself increasingly alienated; Kyle (Patrick Fugit) has a stunning revelation from Sidney (Brent Spiner). Written by Tony Basgallop; directed by Scott Winant. Other CINEMAX playdates: 07.29 at 11:00pm & midnight, 07.30 at 9:00pm & 11:40pm, 07.31 at 6:30pm and into August.
Also a few movies debuting: An aspiring writer (Mia Wasikowska) marries a handsome stranger (Tom Hiddleston) and moves into his family home, which is overrun with ghosts, in CRIMSON PEAK, debuting FRIDAY, JULY 08 at 8:00pm.Spies train a new recruit to join an elite undercover agency when the action comedy KINGSMEN: THE SECRET SERVICE debuts FRIDAY, JULY 15 at 7:50pm. Cannibals hunt a student activist group in the Amazon in THE GREEN INFERNO, debuting FRIDAY, JULY 22 at 8:00pm. After being sentenced for a white-collar crime, a millionaire (Will Farrell) mistakenly assumes that a mild-mannered family man (Kevin Hart) spent time in jail and hires him to help prepare for life on the inside when the comedy GET HARD debuts FRIDAY, JULY 29 at 8:00pm.
Next Month’s Tease: Classic Legumes. Yes that is all you get.
Last month we needed you to figure out that the ritual referred to is a BLACK MASS, which is also the title of an acclaimed movie starring Johnny Depp debuting in July.
Final Clip: I feel like a double scoop of clips this month. Emmy nominations are announced in July, so first is a look at what HBO considers worthy.
We conclude with HBO’s promo for BLACK MASS.
So if you need to get out of the heat or avoid that summer shower come inside and turn on HBO this month. If you need help check out our Schedule Page.