HBO was embarrassed to tout their June schedule, but we weren’t. Well, that is past and you know that is not going to be the case for July. Well, sort of because they are cautious about revealing too much about the big show of the month that you are all waiting for. Nevertheless, here is what we can tell you about what to watch in the coming month and it is a little of everything. And, yes we will start with your favorite.
Original Series: GAME OF THRONES begins its seven-episode seventh season SUNDAY, JULY 16 (9:00-10:00pm), followed by other new episodes on subsequent Sundays at the same time. Based on the popular book series “A Song of Ice and Fire,” by George R.R. Martin, this hit Emmy-winning fantasy series chronicles an epic struggle for power in a vast and violent kingdom. The returning cast is led by Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Aidan Gillen, Kit Harington, Diana Rigg, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Alfie Allen, John Bradley, Gwendoline Christie, Liam Cunningham, Jerome Flynn, Iain Glen, Conleth Hill, Nathalie Emmanuel, Carice van Houten, Indira Varma, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Kristofer Hivju, Hannah Murray, Pilou Asbaek, Rory McCann, Richard Dormer and others.
No episode information has been released, so all we can give you is a trailer that you’ve seen a thousand times in anticipation.
BALLERS begins its ten-episode third season SUNDAY, JULY 23 (10:00-10:30pm), followed by other new episodes on subsequent Sundays at the same time. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars in a new season of the hit comedy that explores the glamorous, and often cutthroat, world of pro football, as seen through a group of past and present players striving to stay in the game.From this show, we can give you some background for the season ahead.
After baring his soul at the rookie symposium and undergoing hip surgery, Spencer Strasmore returns with a new outlook and fresh goals, hoping to forge bonds with new players across the country while improving his relationships with existing clients. With league certification in hand, Joe Krutel and Spencer go after a jackpot deal. Ricky Jerret’s newfound discoveries affect his personal and professional life; Vernon Littlefield and Reggie accept a risky endorsement deal; ex-player Charles Greane learns that working in the front office is as rough as playing on the gridiron; and Jason Antolotti continues to orchestrate deals to satisfy both players’ bank accounts and their oversized egos. In an ever-changing business where the shelf life for stardom and multi-million-dollar contracts are short, Spencer is intent on proving that the key to successful sports management isn’t just about making money and having fun – it’s about delivering on the promises you make.
–Episode #21 (season 03, episode 01): “Seeds of Expansion”
Debut date: SUNDAY, JULY 23 at 10:00pm
Looking to score high-profile clients to pay off his debts to Ricky (John David Washington) and Vernon (Donovan Carter), Spencer (Dwayne Johnson) hits a roadblock with Mr. Anderson (Richard Schiff), who wants to focus on the Las Vegas market by partnering with casino magnate Wayne Hastings, Jr. (Steve Guttenberg). Ricky ponders fatherhood; Vernon (Donovan Carter) and Reggie (London Brown) eye an edgy endorsement; Larry (Dulé Hill) makes Charles (Omar Benson Miller) the face of bad news at a team press conference. Written by Rob Weiss; directed by Julian Farino.
–Episode #22 (season 03, episode 02): “Bull Rush”
Debut date: SUNDAY, JULY 30 10:00pm
In Las Vegas on business, Spencer (Dwayne Johnson) gets reacquainted with Chloe (Serina Swan), an old flame now working for Wayne (Steve Guttenberg), while Ricky (John David Washington) challenges the odds in a game of dice. Set up by Joe (Rob Corddry) to represent top running back Kisan (Kris Lofton), Jason (Troy Garity) ends up sweating it out in a tough neighborhood. Charles (Omar Benson Miller) gets a public-speaking primer from Julie (Jazmyn Simon); Vernon (Donovan Carter) and Reggie (London Brown) make a risky endorsement deal. Written by Evan Reilly; directed by David Katzenberg.
Created by Issa Rae and Larry Wilmore, INSECURE returns for its eight-episode second season SUNDAY, JULY 23 (10:30-11:00pm). Starring Issa Rae, Yvonne Orji, Jay Ellis and Lisa Joyce, the series follows the friendship of two black women as they deal with their own real-life flaws while attempting to navigate different worlds and cope with an endless series of uncomfortable everyday experiences.
–Episode #09 (season 02, episode 01): “Hella Great”
Debut date: SUNDAY, JULY 23 at 10:30pm Written by Issa Rae; directed by Melina Matsoukas.
–Episode #10 (season 02, episode 02): “Hella Questions”
Debut date: SUNDAY, JULY 30 at 10:30pm Written by Amy Aniobi; directed by Melina Matsoukas.
ROOM 104, telling assorted tales of the various characters who pass through a single room of an average American motel, debuts FRIDAY, JULY 28 (11:30pm-midnight), followed by other episodes subsequent Fridays. The 12-episode anthology series from Jay and Mark Duplass tells a different story each week, tapping into a variety of genres, including comedy, drama, thriller and horror.
–Episode #01 – (season 01, episode 01): “Ralphie”
Debut date: FRIDAY, JULY 28 at 11:30pm Written by Mark Duplass; directed by Sarah Adina Smith.
The other original content always goes big & bold. They make news and are in the news. You’ve heard lately that Bill Maher got the heat for dropping the N-word and John Oliver’s show just got sued in late June! And, of course, the VICE brand always alerts you with the ways of the world. They continue in July except for REAL TIME.
LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER continues its fourth season SUNDAY, JULY 02 (11:00pm), followed by a hiatus with the show returning for a new edition July 30. Taking viewers around the globe as its correspondents investigate the stories not being told, season five of the Emmy-winning weekly news magazine series VICE continues with a new episode FRIDAY, JULY 07 (7:30pm), followed by other episodes subsequent Fridays at the same time and VICE NEWS TONIGHT, the half-hour nightly newscast from VICE Media and HBO, debuts a new edition WEDNESDAY, JULY 05 (7:30pm, followed by other new editions subsequent weeknights Monday through Thursday.
Movies: Doses of attempted comedy and acclaimed drama are filling the Saturday night movie slot in July. You can find LOVING, POPSTAR: NEVER STOP NEVER STOPPING, KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES, HACKSAW RIDGE and ALMOST CHRISTMAS.
Based on real-life events, LOVING recounts the struggle of Richard (Joel Edgerton) and Mildred Loving (Oscar nominee Ruth Negga), an interracial couple fighting for their rights
in their hometown of Central Point, Va., when the drama debuts SATURDAY, JULY 01 at 8:00pm. POPSTAR: NEVER STOP NEVER STOPPING debuts SATURDAY, JULY 08 (8:00pm). It follows the travails of young rap star Conner 4 Real in this hilarious mockumentary starring Andy Samberg as the mega star whose ego matches his popularity when he leaves his bandmates behind for a solo career. A suburban family believes their new neighbors are until they find themselves in the middle of a dangerous international operation in KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES, debuting SATURDAY, JULY 15 (8:00pm). The comedy stars Zach Galifianakis, Jon Hamm, Isla Fisher, Gal Gadot and Kevin Dunn, and is directed by Greg Mottola, with a screenplay by Michael Lesieur.
Recounting the true story of Desmond Doss (Oscar nominee Andrew Garfield), who received the Medal of Honor after he refused to bear arms while serving in WWII, HACKSAW SAW RIDGE debuts SATURDAY, JULY 22 (8:00pm). Also nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture and Director (Mel Gibson), the film also stars Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, Hugo Weaving, Rachel Griffiths and Vince Vaughn. Then there is ALMOST CHRISTMAS. Mourning the recent loss of his wife, a beloved patriarch invites his large, dysfunctional family home for the holidays in the hopes that they can spread a little cheer and spend a week together without killing one another. This ”heartwarming…exuberantly funny” (Variety) holiday tale stars Kimberly Elise, Danny Glover, John Michael Higgins, Romany Malco, Monique, JB Smoove and Gabrielle Union. It debuts SATURDAY, JULY 29 (8:00pm).
HBO Documentary Films: Celebrating Independence Day, THE WORDS THAT BUILT AMERICA is an unabridged reading of the authentic words of our founding fathers. Director-producer Alexandra Pelosi brings together more than 100 readers, including all the living presidents and vice presidents, as well as Supreme Court justices, Cabinet secretaries and the leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives, along with a wide array of celebrities, leading media figures and young people to read these iconic documents. It debuts TUESDAY, JULY 04 (7:00-7:45pm), on the nation’s 241st birthday.
HBO has confirmed that THE DEFIANT ONES will debut SUNDAY, JULY 09 at 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT), with other new episodes debuting successive nights, July 10, 11 and 12, at the same time. Set amid many of the defining events of the past four decades, this four-part documentary event tells the stories of Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, their improbable partnership and their leading roles in a series of transformative events in contemporary culture. Directed by Allen Hughes, who conducted extensive interviews with both men, the show also includes interviews with such music icons as Bono, David Geffen, Eminem, Nas, Stevie Nicks, Ice Cube, Gwen Stefani, Jon Landau, Tom Petty, Trent Reznor, Snoop Dogg, Bruce Springsteen, Diddy and will.i.am. THE DEFIANT ONES also features never-before-seen footage from a multitude of recording and writing sessions with Eazy-E, JJ Fad, Stevie Nicks, N.W.A., Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and U2, among others.
HBO Special: Andy Samberg returns to HBO with an all-new sports mockumentary lampooning professional cycling and its checkered history with doping when TOUR DE PHARMACY debuts SATURDAY, JULY 08 (10:00-10:45pm). The second sports mockumentary special from Samberg and Murray Miller under their Legends of Sport banner, the special tells the tale of an unforgettable (though entirely fictional) race that saw five very different international competitors vying for the win after a race-wide doping scandal turned the competition into a no-holds-barred melee. The cast include Andy Samberg, Jeff Goldblum, Daveed Diggs, Danny Glover, Freddie Highmore, Julia Ormond, Orlando Bloom, John Cena, Dolph Lundgren, James Marsden, Kevin Bacon, Nathan Fielder, Maya Rudolph, Will Forte, Phylicia Rashad, Joe Buck, Mike Tyson, Chris Webber and J.J. Abrams, among others.
VICE SPECIAL REPORT: A WORLD IN DISARRAY, which examines the past, present and future of American Foreign Policy, debuts in July. Exclusively on HBO. VICE founder Suroosh Alvi and other VICE correspondents examine the foreign policies that have shaped the modern world and meet people living through today’s major conflicts when this report debuts FRIDAY, JULY 21 (10:00-11:15pm). The exclusive HBO presentation features interviews with Condoleezza Rice, Tony Blair, Samantha Power, Ash Carter and others.
HBO Kids: SESAME STREET is still going strong with teaching and entertaining your kids. The show continues its 47th season with a new episode debuting SATURDAY, JULY 01 (9:00-9:30am, followed by other episodes on subsequent Saturdays at the same time.
–Season 47, Episode 26: “The Camouflage Show” Debut: SATURDAY, JULY 01 at 9:00am
Elmo, Rosita and Chris try to find six camouflaged things on Sesame Street so they can join the Camouflage Club. Guest: Kyra Sedgwick.
–Season 47, Episode 27: “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Elmo” Debut: SATURDAY JULY 08 at 9:00am
–Season 47, Episode 28: “Bert and Ernie Make A Movie” Debut: SATURDAY, JULY 15 at 9:00am
–Season 47, Episode 29:”Big Bird’s Big Move” Debut: SATURDAY, JULY 22 at 9:00am
–Season 47, Episode 30: “Battle of the Chefs” – Debuts SATURDAY, JULY 29 at 9:0am.
HBO Sports: HBO BOXING AFTER DARK: MIGUEL BERCHELT VS. TAKASHI MIURA AND JEZREEL CORRALES VS. ROBINSON CASTELLANOS AND JOE SMITH, JR. VS. SULLIVAN BARRERA will be presented SATURDAY, JULY 15 (9:50 p.m. live ET/tape-delayed PT) from The Forum in Los Angeles, exclusively on HBO. Miguel Berchelt (31-1, 28 KOs) will make his first defense of his super featherweight title against former world champion Takashi Miura (31-3-2, 24 KOs) in the first main event. The co-main event features another super-featherweight title clash when Jezreel Corrales (21-0, 8 KOs) defends his version of the title against Robinson Castellanos (24-12, 14 KOs). In the opening bout, light heavyweight champion Joe Smith, Jr. (23-1, 19 KOs) will return to the ring to defend his title against Sullivan Barrera (19-1, 14 KOs). The HBO Sports team will call the action, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino.
REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL goes behind the box scores and statistics to tackle timely subjects in the world of contemporary sports. Featuring a top lineup of contributors, the next monthly edition debuts TUESDAY, JULY 18 (10:00-11:00pm).
Other Movies and Shows: We start here with a short list of First Runs appearing on HBO. If you haven’t heard of THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DOOR or BIG TROUBLE you are about to hear about them. The first has a mother grieving over the loss of her young son and is given a second chance to commune with his spirit in this chilling ghost story. The other offers a mysterious suitcase that becomes the focus of attention for a myriad of comical characters including Tim Allen, Omar Epps, Dennis Farina, Ben Foster, Janeane Garofalo, Jason Lee, Rene Russo, Tom Sizemore and Stanley Tucci. Titles you surely heard of get airplay also like LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER, PEARL HARBOR and WHAT WOMEN WANT. Over on HBO2 you find short binge sessions of episodes of SILICON VALLEY, VEEP, GAME OF THRONES and OZ throughout the month.
HBO is touting a summer blockbuster when FIRST LOOKS: THE WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES hits in July.
HBO’s Other Platforms: I’ve always been able to find you something, right? Here is another try. HBO Latino: Two short films debut. Do you like this format? If you do catch EL CERDO (The Pig) and LA INVITACION (Sleepover) in July. In the first one a man scrambles to deal with a tricky financial situation and in the latter, a little girl invites some classmates to a sleepover at her home…even though it’s not exactly what her friends would call a home. You want full-length then there is the debut of LAS HORAS CONTADAS (The Numbered Hours). In it a man who only has a few months to live returns home and tries to regain the love and trust of his estranged family. There is also the continuation of the new series EL JARDIN DE BRONCES. HBO Family: Well, I don’t think I’ve mentioned THE NEVERENDING STORY in a long time. I will add to that TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN and CAMP NOWHERE. They sound like good summertime viewing fun for the family. HBO Signature: By the same respect if the older crowd once to single out a few off this channel may I suggest MISSION IMPOSSIBLE II, the not oft seen Mickey Rourke in JOHNNY HANDSOME and THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT if all the jitteriness doesn’t make you nauseous. HBO Comedy: Since we seem to be keeping it short and sweet how about HAROLD & KUMAR ESCAPE FROM GUANTANAMO BAY, MAFIA, and DO THE RIGHT THING? HBO Zone: Do the right thing and enquire why you don’t have this channel in your package. You could watch Z-grade movies all day long like BEDROOM EYES; NEXT DAY AIR, HIGH HEEL HOMICIDE and KISS AND KILL, but you can also find classics like PLATOON. Okay, the first kind outnumbers the classics, I know.
HBONow/Go: Alas, there are not many old series making it to the sites right now. The only one is twenty-five more installments of DENNIS MILLER LIVE (that ran from 1994 – 2002). They will be uploaded on 07.01. As for movies, well you know several are being swapped out for others. First, the sites have set up a collection entitled “Summer Bucket List: Movies You Need to See.” In it are THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST, BROADCAST NEWS, DO THE RIGHT THING, THE DEER HUNTER, DRIVING MISS DAISY, THE ENGLISH PATIENT, MASH, RAIN MAN, RAGING BULL and UNFORGIVEN. Some of the titles fresh to the sites include AMERICAN GIGOLO, BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY, COBRA, LEATHERHEADS, NECESSARY ROUGHNESS, PANIC ROOM, THE ROSE, SOLARIS, SOUL FOOD, AND THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE. Oh, you might want to check out Zach Snyder’s WATCHMEN as a reference to the potential HBO series being created.
Cinemax: A press release presents the following movies.
A neurologist tries to unlock the mystery behind a boy who, after surviving eight near-death experiences throughout his life, falls off a cliff on his ninth birthday and survives in THE 9TH LIFE OF LOUIS DRAX (pictured) debuting FRIDAY, JULY 7 (8:00pm). Jamie Dornan, Sarah Gadon, Aiden Longworth, Oliver Platt, Molly Parker, Julian Wadham, Jane McGregor, Barbara Hershey and Aaron Paul star in this thriller directed by Alexandre Aja and based on the novel by Liz Jensen. A former Special Forces officer (Ryan Reynolds) becomes a crime-fighting vigilante when DEADPOOL debuts FRIDAY, JULY 14 (8:00pm). Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller, Gina Carano and Brianna Hildebrand also star in the smash-hit blend of action and humor, directed by Tim Miller, with a screenplay by Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick. A prequel to the 2014 film “Ouija,” OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL follows a woman and her daughters who run a staged séance business until they find themselves haunted by spirits of their own. Starring Annalise Basso, Elizabeth Reaser, Lulu Wilson and Henry Thomas, the horror yarn debuts FRIDAY, JULY 21 (8:00pm). Based on the popular book series, THE DIVERGENT SERIES: ALLEGIANT continues a young woman’s (Shailene Woodley) search to save humanity in a dystopic society. Debuting FRIDAY, JULY 28 (8:00 p.m.), the hit film also stars Jeff Daniels, Maggie Q, Naomi Watts, Daniel Dae Kim, Zoe Kravitz, Theo James, Miles Teller, Octavia Spencer and Ansel Elgort.
On MAX/Go new movies listed include BLACK MASS, DEEPWATER HORIZON, EVEREST, IN A VALLEY OF VIOLENCE, IN THE HEART OF THE SEA, JOY, LIGHTS OUT, MECHANIC: RESURRECTION; MORGAN, MR. RIGHT, OUR BRAND IS CRISIS and a half dozen or so more. There are also collections of “Fright Night Faves” and “Awesome Indies” to choose from.
Next Month’s Tease: This talent makes his fourth appearance on HBO. His last was IT’S NOT ME, IT’S YOU.
To answer last month’s Tease we needed to know that Andy Sandberg’s character in POPSTAR: NEVER STOP NEVER STOPPING is named Connor 4 Real. You can see Sandberg back to back when this movie and TOUR DE PHARMACY debut on 07.08.
Final Clip: I leave you with HACKSAW RIDGE.
Happy Fourth of July! Stand for WhatYou Believe Is Right and Believe in Your Country… and watch HBO!