The transition from summer to fall begins as we come up on September. As always HBO wants to ride on the momentum of GAME OF THRONES, especially since it came and went so fast this season, and get people’s attention off the broadcast networks as they launch their fall lineups. So, does THE DEUCE have your attention? Maybe, it and more will intrigue you once we reveal what is on the slate for September. Let’s take a look.
Original Series: Chronicling that moment in time when sex went from being a back-alley, brown-paper-bag commodity to a billion-dollar universal in American life, a moment when ground zero for the earliest pioneers in the flesh trade was the mid-town heart of the nation’s largest city, New York’s Times Square, THE DEUCE begins its eight-episode season SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 10 (9:00-10:25pm ET/PT), followed by other episodes subsequent Sundays at the same time. Starring James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal, the show was created by George Pelecanos and David Simon; George Pelecanos, David Simon, Nina K. Noble and James Franco executive produce.
Twin brothers Vincent (James Franco) and Frankie Martino (James Franco) – one a double-shifting bartender with two kids and a wayward wife in Brooklyn, the second an insouciant gambler with piling mob debts – navigate their way through the rough-and-tumble world of 1971 Times Square.
While Vincent plots ways to improve his situation and pay off his brother’s debt, he crosses paths with other midtown denizens – including veteran hookers Candy (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and Ashley (Jamie Neumann), young streetwalkers Darlene (Dominique Fishback) and Lori (Emily Meade), and smooth-talking pimps C.C. (Gary Carr), Larry (Gbenga Akinnagbe) and Rodney (Cliff Smith/Method Man) – as they ply their trades under the not-so-watchful eye of the NYPD. Meanwhile, when NYU student Abby (Margarita Levieva) is enlisted by friends to buy amphetamines on the street, she ends up in the Times Square precinct, an unlikely starting point for making a bold change to her privileged life. Written by George Pelecanos & David Simon; directed by Michelle MacLaren.
With his marriage failing, Vincent (James Franco) moves into a seedy Times Square hotel and, fueled by his success drawing customers to a struggling Korean bar, contemplates a tempting offer from mob capo Rudy Pipilo (Michael Rispoli). Meanwhile, Vincent and Frankie’s (James Franco) brother-in law, Bobby (Chris Bauer), a Brooklyn construction foreman, eyes Vincent’s new connections as a way to better his own lot.
Reluctantly agreeing to pinch-hit for a friend in a pornographic short, Candy (Maggie Gyllenhaal) ends up being intrigued by the filmmaking process. C.C. (Gary Carr) shows Lori (Emily Meade) the advantages of having a pimp, while Larry (Gbenga Akinnagbe) is unsettled by Darlene’s (Dominique Fishback) interest in literature – and by Sandra Washington (Natalie Paul), a reporter. Police officers Chris Alston (Lawrence Gilliard, Jr.) and Danny Flanagan (Don Harvey) are joined by detectives Grossman (Brian Muller) and Haddix (Ralph Macchio) for a routine hooker round-up, as well as a raid of an adult porn shop whose peep shows cross the line. Written by Richard Price & George Pelecanos; directed by Ernest Dickerson.
–Episode #03: “The Principle Is All” Debut date: SUNDAY, SEPT. 24 (9:00-10:00pm)
Putting the finishing touches on his new bar, Vincent (James Franco) is blindsided by the sudden appearance of an unexpected partner, causing Frankie (James Franco) to blow a gasket. Rudy (Michael Rispoli) buys into a rival’s plan to reconfigure The Deuce, hopefully with the support of an ambitious mayor. Candy (Maggie Gyllenhaal) eyes an entrée into the filmmaking business; Abby (Margarita Levieva) languishes in her new job; Darlene (Dominique Fishback) works overtime to compensate Larry (Gbenga Akinnagbe); C.C. (Gary Carr) tasks Lori (Emily Meade) to play the “long game”; Bobby (Chris Bauer) pays a price for his recent stress at work. Big Mike (Mustafa Shakir), a menacing drifter, proves useful to Vincent as the Hi-Hat finally opens. Written by David Simon & Richard Price; directed by James Franco.
The tumultuous school year at North Jackson High continues and a new semester brings changes when VICE PRINCIPALS begins its second season SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 (10:30-11:00pm). Gamby and Russell are about to learn that the only thing harder than gaining power is holding on to it, as the darkest comedy on television returns to finish what was started. Danny McBride (Gamby) and Walton Goggins (Russell) star in part two of HBO’s hit comedy series, created by McBride and Jody Hill and directed by David Gordon Green. McBride, Hill and Green are joined as executive producers by Jonathan Watson and Stephanie Laing.
Gamby (Danny McBride) fingers a suspect, with Dayshawn’s (Sheaun McKinney) help; Russell (Walton Goggins) tests out a kindness strategy at school. Written by Danny McBride & John Carcieri & Ben Dougan; directed by David Gordon Green.
BALLERS continues its ten-episode third season SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 03 (10:00-10:30pm), followed by other new episodes subsequent Sundays at 10:00 p.m., leading up to the Sept. 24 season finale. Dwayne Johnson stars as ex-pro football superstar Spencer Strasmore, who has reinvented himself as a financial manager for today’s players in sun-soaked Miami. Other cast members regulars include Rob Corddry, John David Washington, Omar Benson Miller, Donovan Carter, Troy Garity, London Brown, Jazmyn Simon and Dulé Hill.
Spencer (Dwayne Johnson) finds himself in damage-control mode after an incident involving Ricky (John David Washington) and a brash high-schooler. Excited over a possible plum job, Charles (Omar Benson Miller) bristles at Julie’s lack of disclosure at work. Looking to reduce Vernon’s (Donovan Carter) suspension, Reggie (London Brown) impresses Candace (Emayatzy Corinealdi) at the league office. Spencer and Joe (Rob Corddry) find themselves at odds with Anderson (Richard Schiff) over ASM’s future. Written by Rob Weiss; directed by Rob Weiss.
Spencer (Dwayne Johnson) gets unexpected info that leads him to reassess his priorities. Joe (Rob Corddry) considers the best way to break bad news to the ASM staff. Marginalized once again by Larry (Dulé Hill), Charles (Omar Benson Miller) decides to take matters into his own hands. Written by Rashard Mendenhall; directed by David Katzenberg.
Spencer (Dwayne Johnson) learns that his master plan to bring a team to Las Vegas may be in jeopardy. Ricky (John David Washington) arrives at a crossroads, personally and professionally. Charles (Omar Benson Miller) sees his wish come true in Miami, but ends up with regrets. Written by Evan Reilly & Steve Sharlet; directed by Julian Farino.
Spencer (Dwayne Johnson) and Joe (Rob Corddry) get a late-game assist in their efforts to win over team owners. After soul-searching, Ricky (John David Washington) maps out a new future. Jason (Troy Garity) gets Charles (Omar Benson Miller) another crack at a coveted job. Reggie (London Brown) makes an impact at training camp. Written by Evan Reilly; directed by Julian Farino.
Created by Issa Rae and Larry Wilmore, INSECURE continues its eight-episode second season SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 03 (10:30-11:00pm), followed by its season finale Sept. 10 at 11:00 p.m. 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.
Tensions run high during Derek (Wade Allain-Marcus) and Tiffany’s (Amanda Seales) dinner party. Molly (Yvonne Orji) rethinks her future after being forced to come to terms with her romantic realities. Issa (Issa Rae) tries to make things right with Frieda (Lisa Joyce). Written by Prentice Penny; directed by Kevin Bray.
Over the course of one pivotal month, Issa (Issa Rae), Molly (Yvonne Orji) and Lawrence (Jay Ellis) face choices affecting their work and personal lives, with each considering whether to embrace a new future or look back to the past. Written by Issa Rae; directed by Melina Matsoukas.
Telling assorted tales of the various characters who pass through a single room of an average American motel, ROOM 104 continues FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 01 (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.
In 1969, the sole survivor (Amy Landecker) of a plane crash is faced with a decision: go back to the life she had or seize the opportunity to start anew. Mae Whitman also stars. Story by Xan Aranda and Ross Partridge; teleplay by Ross Partridge; directed by Ross Partridge.
When an aging Croatian tennis player (Konstantin Lavysh) reveals memories of his tortured past to a housekeeper (Veronica Falcon), an unlikely bond is formed. Biff Wiff also stars. Written by Ross Partridge; directed by Chad Hartigan.
Two young men (Keir Gilchrist, Brian Hostenske) plotting to disrupt a political convention are interrupted by nerves… and an AC repairman (Hugo Armstrong). Written by Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck; directed by Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck.
Outspoken comedian/social commentator Bill Maher continues the 15th season of REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER on FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 08 (10:00-11:00pm live ET/tape-delayed PT), followed by other shows subsequent Fridays at the same time. Devoted primarily to news and comedy, the show’s format includes an opening monologue, roundtable discussions with panelists and interviews with guests. LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER continues its fourth season SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 10 (11:00-11:30pm), followed by new episodes on subsequent Sundays at the same time. Presenting a satirical look at the week in news, politics and current events, as well as addressing broader issues, the Emmy®-winning show is the only weekly news-oriented comedy series to be presented on Sunday night. 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, SEPTEMBER 08 (7:30-8:0pm), followed by other episodes subsequent Fridays at the same time. VICE NEWS TONIGHT, the half-hour nightly newscast from VICE Media and HBO, debuts a new edition TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 05 (7:30-8:00pm), followed by other new editions subsequent weeknights Monday through Thursday.
Movies: September stretches out for an additional weekend so there are five movie premieres on Saturday primetime. Some acclaimed movies fill the slot. They are A MONSTER CALLS, HIDDEN FIGURES, LA LA LAND, ASSASSIN’S CREED and WHY HIM?
While dealing with his terminally ill mother, strict grandmother and bullies at school, a 12-year-old boy finds an unlikely friend in A MONSTER CALLS, debuting SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 02 (8:00-10:00pm). The fantasy film stars Lewis MacDougall, Felicity Jones, Sigourney Weaver, Tobe Kebbell, Lewis MacDougall and Liam Neeson. Directed by Theodore Melfi with a screenplay by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi, HIDDEN FIGURES tells the story of NASA’s launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit and the three African-American women behind the achievement that changed the Space Race. The film debuts SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 09 (8:00- 10:15pm) and stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst and Jim Parsons.
A jazz pianist and an aspiring actress fall in love while trying to make it big in Los Angeles in LA LA LAND, debuting SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 (8:00- 10:10pm). Ryan Gosling and Oscar-winner Emma Stone star in this magical story about following your dreams and doing what you love, directed by Oscar-winner Damien Chazelle. Based on the videogame of the same name, the action-packed fantasy ASSASSIN’S CREED debuts SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 (8:00-10:00pm) and stars Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, Charlotte Rampling and Michael K. Williams. Directed by Justin Kurzel; screenplay by Michael Leslie and Adam Cooper & Bill Collage. A father (Bryan Cranston) who disapproves of his daughter’s new boyfriend (James Franco) must deal with their impending engagement when WHY HIM? debuts SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 (8:00-10:00 p.m.). The comedy also stars Megan Mullally, Zoey Deutch, Cedric the Entertainer, Griffin Gluck and Keegan-Michael Key. Directed by John Hamburg, story by Jonah Hill and John Hamburg & Ian Helfer with a screenplay by John Hamburg & Ian Helfer.
HBO Documentary Films:Filmmaker Maxim Pozdorovkin (HBO’s “Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer”) visits Puentes de Salud, a health-care clinic that serves undocumented immigrants in CLÍNICA DE MIGRANTES: LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS, debuting MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 (10:00-10:45pm). The film shines a compassionate spotlight on patients at Puentes, many of whom have left their families behind to come to America and perform physically exhausting labor for meager wages, as well as following the tireless clinic staffers who treat around ten thousand patients each year with limited space and even less funding. Premiering during Hispanic Heritage Month, the documentary is especially timely given current tensions in the United States over immigration reform.
HBO Special: FELIPE ESPARZA: TRANSLATE THIS, his first HBO comedy special, features his unconventional riffs on the immigrant experience and life’s everyday battles when it debuts SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 (10:00-11:10pm).
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 show concludes its 47th season with the episode debuting SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 02 (9:00-9:30am).
HBO Sports:HBO BOXING AFTER DARK: SRISAKET SOR RUNGVISAI VS. ROMAN “CHOCOLATITO” GONZALEZ AND NAOYA INOUE VS. ANTONIO NIEVES AND CARLOS CUADRAS VS. JUAN FRANCISCO ESTRADA will be presented SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 09 (10:15pm-1:00am from StubHub Center in Carson, Cal., exclusively on HBO. The main event features the sport’s most anticipated rematch when Thailand’s Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (43-4-1, 39 KOs) defends his super flyweight title against Nicaragua’s Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (46-1, 38 KOs) in a scheduled 12-round bout. In the co-main event, Naoya Inoue (13-0, 11 KOs) of Yokohama, Japan, defends his share of the super flyweight title against Cleveland’s Antonio Nieves (17-1-2, 9 KOs) in a scheduled 12-round bout. In the opening bout, former world champions from Mexico square off when Carlos Cuadras (36-1-1, 27 KOs) of Mexico City takes on Juan Francisco Estrada (35-2, 25 KOs) of Sonora in a scheduled 12-round super flyweight contest. 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.
HBO BOXING AFTER DARK: JORGE LINARES VS. LUKE CAMPBELL will be presented SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 (10:00pm-12:15am) from The Forum in Los Angeles, exclusively on HBO. Jorge Linares (42-3, 27 KOs) defends his world lightweight titles against Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell (17-1, 14 KOs) in a 12-round title bout. 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.
HBO Sports, NFL Films and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers team up for an all-access look at what it takes to make it in the National Football League when the finale of HARD KNOCKS: TRAINING CAMP WITH THE TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS debuts TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 05 (10:00-11:00pm). A 30-person NFL Films crew is at Buccaneers training camp at team headquarters in Tampa, shooting more than 1,500 hours of footage over the course of the series. Camera and sound crews have unencumbered access to players’ and coaches’ meeting rooms, training rooms, living quarters and practice fields.
THE FIGHT GAME WITH JIM LAMPLEY returns WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 (11:00-11:30pm). Hosted by the four-time Sports Emmy winner, who has hosted HBO Boxing since joining the network in 1988, the show is a provocative, engaging and informative experience that delves into intriguing storylines, newsmakers and issues that are top-of-mind in boxing. 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, SEPTEMBER 26 (10:00-11:00pm).
Other Movies and Shows: Here is a quick singling out of other First Runs on HBO. How about AUSTIN POWERS: THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME, ORANGE COUNTY, TRADERS, THE AMITYVILLE HORROR (the 2005 remake) and HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION. HBO2 offers up mini-binges of THE WIRE, GAME OF THRONES, INSECURE, BALLERS, CLASSIC BOXING, VICE and CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM throughout the month. All of these I’ve heard of or seen but one. Though I lost track of the Halloween franchise long ago at least I’ve heard of it; that is not the case for ORANGE COUNTY. In that one the question is asked – what’s a California teen to do when his dreams of getting into Stanford are dashed thanks to an administrative error? Colin Hanks stars as the Orange County youth who goes to extremes to find a way into the prestigious university and pursue a career as a writer. Also find HBO FIRST LOOK: BATTLE OF THE SEXES and KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE: HBO FIRST LOOK on the schedule.
HBO’s Other Platforms: There is always something interesting to find when you go off the beaten path. HBO Latino: Chart-topping Colombian reggaeton singer J Balvin performs in his hometown of Medellín in this exciting concert featuring an all-star lineup of special guests. It is J BALVIN: BRUUTTAL. On the movie front, there is AL FINAL DEL TUNEL (At The End Of the Tunnel), MAQUINARIA PANAMERICANA (Panamerican Machinery) and YO SOY UN POLITICO (I Am A Politician). In the first one thieves want to dig a tunnel under a house to get to a bank on the other side; the next one is a satire of Mexican business; the last title has a former movie director running for Governor of Puerto Rico. HBO Family: Alas an animated tale, not a classic Harryhausen tale – it is SINBAD: LEGEND OF THE SEVEN SEAS. FANTASTIC VOYAGE from 1966 is a classic one though, with Raquel Welch. Ever heard of her? For something a bit more modern how about SPEED RACER or SISTER ACT? HBO Signature: from this channel I will single out THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY based on the Douglas Adams sci-fi book, STICK IT in which trouble with the law forces a rebellious former gymnast to return to the sport she left years earlier, TRADE, a harrowing drama set in the sadistic world of human trafficking and 2002’s RESIDENT EVIL. HBO Comedy: Are movies like DO THE RIGHT THING, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE or HBO FILMS: CLEAR HISTORY of interest? Or perhaps standup like TRACEY ULLMAN: LIVE & EXPOSED is more to your liking on this channel? HBO Zone: This channel is light on First Runs this time around but since we got to throw out a few titles how about SIR OF ECHOES: HOMECOMING, MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE, BODY PARTS and CIRQUE DU FREAK: THE VAMPIRE’S ASSISTANT. Hey, I thought Halloween wasn’t until October?
HBONow/Go: We start with a listing of some of the Collections that can be found on either site. Judd Apatow was a writer for THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW and he has a collection of six of his favorite episodes from the comedy. Also, there is a larger collection of twelve episodes from that series that highlights celebrities you won’t believe were on it – like Sean Penn. Plus, a collection of ten movies featuring Ben Affleck and/or Matt Damon like PEARL HARBOR and JASON BOURNE. Movies like DOCTOR DETROIT, LUCAS, TRON and BILLIE JEAN KING: PORTRAIT OF A PIONEER are just a few of the titles to be found as well.
Cinemax: From Mike Judge, co-creator of HBO’s hit comedy series SILICON VALLEY comes MIKE JUDGE PRESENTS: TALES FROM THE TOUR BUS, an animated half-hour series chronicling the tales of some of country music’s most eccentric characters. The eight-episode season debuts FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 (10:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT), with other new episodes debuting subsequent Fridays at the same time. The show was created by Mike Judge, Richard Mullins and Dub Cornett. Judge is executive producer; Glen Zipper, Sean Stuart and Dub Cornett are also executive producers.
Hit the road with the craziest stories from some of country music’s greatest singers. From Mike Judge, the hilariously demented mind behind Beavis and Butt-head, King of the Hill and HBO’s SILICON VALLEY, comes this comedy series that shines a spotlight on misbehaving country musicians and their incredible on-the-road adventures. Follow the true (and truly unbelievable) exploits of country stars from the 1960s and 1970s, including Johnny Paycheck, Waylon Jennings, Jerry Lee Lewis, Tammy Wynette and George Jones, as told by the people who knew them best. In addition to live-action performance footage and archival photos, the series features narration by Judge and interviews with managers, producers, friends and former bandmates who share personal insights into these larger-than-life artists—all brought to life by animated reenactments.
Hey, at least there is a new series starting. Movies include Jake Gyllenhal in DEMOLITION, Melissa McCarthy in THE BOSS, Russell Crowe in THE NICE GUYS and The Four Horsemen reappear in NOW YOU SEE ME 2 and ‘20’s gangsters take to the screen in LIVE BY NIGHT. Plus, the channel highlights Dustin Hoffman in a collection of films in September.
Next Month’s Tease: His first directing job was an episode of Marcus Welby, M. D. in 1970; his first as a producer was for I Wanna Hold Your Hand in 1978. He is featured on HBO in October. Who is he?
To answer last month’s Tease we needed to know Eileen “Candy” Merrell is the name of Maggie Gyllenhal’s character in THE DEUCE. You’ll soon get to know her intimately.
Final Clip: We will offer in closing a trailer from one of the movies debuting in primetime Saturday night. Here is the acclaimed LA LA LAND.