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HBO Announces Premiere Dates at 2019 TCA Panel

by Jef Dinsmore
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Twice a year the Television Critics Association (TCA) offers panels for networks to pitch their wares and a number of them take the opportunity, including HBO, to do just that. Casey Bloys, head of HBO programming, took to the stage to drop quite a number of premiere dates for both returning and new programs. We list them here all in one spot and will plug them into our Schedule Page for reference.  

–Returning Series 

VEEP2019-300x202EMY WINNING COMEDY SERIES VEEP, STARRING EMMY WINNER JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS, RETURNS FOR ITS SEVENTH AND FINAL SEASON MARCH 31. Selina Meyer, the former vice president and president, is looking to get back to the Oval Office. Can she shake off years of flubs and scandals? The Emmy-winning comedy series VEEP kicks off its seven-episode, seventh and final season SUNDAY, MARCH 31 (10:30-11:00pm ET/PT), exclusively on HBO. The show stars Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Award winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer, who is hitting the campaign trail as she runs for president – AGAIN!  

The ensemble cast of the show also includes two-time Emmy winner Tony Hale as Gary, her devoted bodyman; Emmy nominee Anna Chlumsky as Amy, her right hand; Emmy nominee Matt Walsh as Mike, her former spokesperson; Reid Scott as the ultra-ambitious Dan; Timothy C. Simons as Jonah Ryan, a former hanger-on turned congressman; Kevin Dunn as Ben, her campaign manager; Emmy nominee Gary Cole as analyst Kent; Sam Richardson as staffer Richard; and Sarah Sutherland as Catherine, Selina’s daughter. 

BIG LITTLE LIES, STARRING REESE WITHERSPOON, NICOLE KIDMAN, SHAILENE WOODLEY, LAURA DERN, ZOЁ KRAVITZ AND MERYL STREEP RETURNS FOR ITS SECOND SEASON IN JUNE. On the surface, in the tranquil seaside town of Monterey, California, everything seems the same. The mothers continue to dote, the husbands support, the children remain adorable and the houses are just as beautiful. But the night of the school BigLittleLies2019-300x184fundraiser changed all that, leaving the community reeling as the “Monterey Five” – Madeline, Celeste, Jane, Renata and Bonnie – bond together to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. 

Created by David E. Kelley, teleplays by David E. Kelley and story by Kelley and Liane Moriarty, and based on the novel by #1 New York Times bestselling author Liane Moriarty, BIG LITTLE LIES returns for its seven-episode second season under the direction of Andrea Arnold (Wuthering HeightsAmerican Honey). It explores the malignancy of lies, the durability of friendships, the fragility of marriage and, of course, the vicious ferocity of sound parenting. Relationships will fray, loyalties will erode…and the potential for emotional and bodily injury shall loom.  

ROOM 104 RETURNS FOR A THIRD AND A FOURTH SEASON WITH SHOWRUNNERS MARK AND JAY DUPLASS.  The series already has filmed a third season, which is in the can and is expected to get an order for a fourth. Room104

“We are talking to them about It,” HBO President of Programming Casey Bloys told Deadline. “I’m open timing-wise; we’re going to do more.” 

No official word at the TCA about BALLERS, BARRY, CAMPING, CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM, DEF COMEDY JAM, DIVORCE, INSECURE, RANDOM ACTS OF FLYNESS, SALLY4EVER, SUCCESSION, TRACEY ULLMAN’S SHOW, THE DEUCE, VICE or WYATT CENAC’S PROBLEM AREAS. We’ve already mentioned a possible continuation of TRUE DETECTIVE which airs with CRASHING and HIGH MAINTENANCE (both likely to continue) Also REAL TIME is airing and LAST WEEK TONIGHT starts soon. We will address WESTWORLD and SILICON VALLEY in forthcoming posts. And, of course, there is one more season of GAME OF THRONES and its pending prequel. 

–New Content

SPANISH-LANGUAGE COMEDY SERIES LOS ESPOOKYS, FROM FRED ARMISEN AND LORNE MICHAELS, DEBUTS IN JUNE ON LosEspookys-300x167HBO. From the minds of fresh, exciting talents Julio Torres and Ana Fabrega, alongside Fred Armisen and Lorne Michaels of “Saturday Night Live,” comes the primarily Spanish-language comedy series LOS ESPOOKYS, which begins its six-episode season this June on HBO. The half-hour series follows a group of friends who turn their love for horror into a peculiar business, providing horror to those who need it, in a dreamy Latin American country where the strange and eerie are just part of daily life. 

Starring Bernardo Velasco, Cassandra Ciangherotti, Ana Fabrega, Julio Torres and Fred Armisen, LOS ESPOOKYS was created by Fred Armisen & Ana Fabrega & Julio Torres, and executive produced by Fred Armisen, Lorne Michaels and Andrew Singer. 

FIVE-PART MINISERIES CHERNOBYL, AN HBO/SKY CO-PRODUCTION STARRING JARED HARRIS, STELLAN SKARSGÅRD AND EMILY WATSON, WRITTEN BY CRAIG MAZIN AND DIRECTED BY JOHAN RENCK, DEBUTS IN MAY ON HBO. On April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, Soviet Union suffered a massive explosion that released radioactive material across Belarus, Russia and Ukraine and as far as Chernobyl2019-300x161Scandinavia and western Europe. CHERNOBYL dramatizes the story of the 1986 nuclear accident, one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history, and of the brave men and women who made incredible sacrifices to save Europe from unimaginable disaster. 

Jared Harris portrays Valery Legasov, a leading Soviet nuclear physicist. As part of the response team, he is one of the first to grasp the scope of the unparalleled disaster that has occurred. Stellan Skarsgård plays Soviet Deputy Prime Minister Boris Shcherbina, who is assigned by the Kremlin to lead the government commission on Chernobyl in the hours immediately following the accident. Emily Watson portrays Ulana Khomyuk, a Soviet nuclear physicist committed to solving the mystery of what led to the Chernobyl disaster.

deadwood-al-toasts-300x208HBO Films: DEADWOOD expected to air before June 2019. Though nothing was directly stated at the TCA Bloys mentioned when the series movie conclusion was ramping up last year that it was expected that the HBO Film would be ready for Spring 2019. That falls into line with HBO’s practice of airing original movies in April & May. It has happened that way for a few years now with PATERNO, FAHRENHEIT 451 and THE TALE airing those months last year. Like with most of these titles, we wait for an exact date but the idea is to get it on air soon and that is good news for us.  

Though we have had teases elsewhere we heard nothing at TCA about EUPHORIA or WATCHMEN Nor were any of these new shows under various stages of development: LOVECRAFT COUNTRY, THE RIGHTEOUS GEMSTONES, THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE, THE NEVERS, MRD. FLETCHER, HIS DARK MATERIALS, PERRY MASON and THE OUTSIDER or limited series THE UNDOING and MARE OF EASTTOWN. The miniseries GENTLEMAN JACK, CATHERINE THE GREAT and THE NEW POPE were also absent. Nor was they anything said from HBO Kids or HBO Sports at this time.  We will address the news of what was announced regarding HBO Documentary Films and Cinemax in further posts.  

Stay tuned to see how HBO evolves under new ownership and get ready for an exciting Spring with new seasons & new content coming March – May 2019. What excites you?  

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