What’s On: HBO Schedule for April 2020

Wow, how the world has changed. Most are observing self-isolation and likely going stir crazy doing it too. But that is where HBO comes into play my friends. Surf the seven channels, seek out HBO On Demand or click into the streaming sites and get a load of HBO content to while away the hours. Here isa look at what is coming for the month of April.  

A few quick points: 

  • Sunday nights see a new comedy block featuring Issa Rae 
  • Monday nights have two strong dramas continuing from Roth & Ferrante  
  • I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE debuts with Ruffalo x 2 
  • Another Docuseries ahead – ATLANTA’S MISSING AND MURDERED: THE LOST CHILDREN
  • Pennywise returns! 
  • Plus, HBO Max! 

Original Series: The new hour of comedy is what we focus on first starting with the series premiere of RUN.Written and produced by Vicky Jones, this new half-hour comedy series debuts SUNDAY, APRIL 12 (10:30-11:00pm ET/PT) and follows a woman whose humdrum life is thrown upside down when she receives a text from her college sweetheart inviting her to drop everything and meet him in New York to fulfill the pact they made 17 years earlier. Starring Emmy winner Merritt Wever and Domhnall Gleeson RUN is a romantic comedic thriller about a woman, Ruby Richardson who walks away from her ordinary life in the suburbs to revisit her past with her college boyfriend, Billy Johnson. Executive produced by Vicky Jones, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Jenny Robins, Kate Dennis, Emily Leo and Oliver Roskill of Wigwam Films. This series is produced by eOne, the studio behind acclaimed HBO series SHARP OBJECTS. Here is our first look at the full trailer: 


–Series Premiere “Run”
Debut: Sunday APRIL 12 (10:30pm ET) 

On a regular Tuesday morning, Ruby Richardson (Merritt Wever) is shaken out of her humdrum suburban life when she receives an urgent text that prompts her to fly to New York and board a cross-country train, where she reunites with college ex Billy Johnson (Domhnall Gleeson). As their adventure begins, Ruby and Billy fight the tension that still exists between them while attempting to root out each other’s secrets. Written by Vicky Jones; directed by Kate Dennis. 

–Episode 02 “Kiss”
Debut: Sunday APRIL 19 (10:30pm ET) RUN_BillRuby-300x209

During their first night aboard, Ruby’s (Merritt Wever) mind is consumed by sex, while Billy (Domhnall Gleeson) probes for personal details she’s reluctant to give up. Comforted by the fact that her husband believes she’s on a weeklong yoga retreat – and determined to make Billy jealous – Ruby brazenly connects with Derek (Saamer Usmani), a stranger on the train. Meanwhile, Billy works to shake a persistent figure from his past. Written by Adam Countee; directed by Kate Dennis. 

–Episode 03 “F*ck”
Debut: Sunday APRIL 26 (10:30pm ET) 

During their first night aboard, Ruby’s (Merritt Wever) mind is consumed by sex, while Billy (Domhnall Gleeson) probes for personal details she’s reluctant to give up. Comforted by the fact that her husband believes she’s on a weeklong yoga retreat – and determined to make Billy jealous – Ruby brazenly connects with Derek (Saamer Usmani), a stranger on the train. Meanwhile, Billy works to shake a persistent figure from his past. Written by Adam Countee; directed by Kate Dennis. 

IKnowThisMuchIsTrue_Ruffalo
Mark Ruffalo on the right, standing with Mark Ruffalo on the left.

Monday night also sees new content with the launch of I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE, the Mark Ruffalo tour-de-force. From acclaimed writer and director Derek Cianfrance (The Place Beyond the Pines) comes this a six-part limited drama series debuting MONDAY APRIL 27, (9:00-10:00pm ET/PT) starring Mark Ruffalo (Emmy winner for HBO’s THE NORMAL HEART), who also serves as an executive producer, as identical twin brothers Dominick and Thomas Birdsey in a family saga that follows their parallel lives in an epic story of betrayal, sacrifice and forgiveness. The series, set in the fictional town of Three Rivers, Connecticut, shows Dominick and Thomas at different stages in their lives, beginning in their present in the early 1990s with both brothers approaching middle-age, filled in with Dominick’s flashbacks to their young adulthood and childhood. 

Unless you know the source material the fine points of the plot have been a big secret but here is our look at the trailer: 

New reality programming is also on tap as HBO presents WE’RE HERE. The six-part unscripted series recruits small-town residents across America to participate in a one-night-only drag show. It debuts THURSDAY, APRIL 23 (11:00 – 11:30pm ET/PT). In each episode, renowned drag queens Bob the Drag Queen, Eureka O’Hara and Shangela Laquifa Wadley will inspire and teach their own “drag daughters” to step outside their comfort zone for a night of no-holds-barred, full-on drag. It is executive produced by Peter LoGreco; executive produced by Eli Holzman & Aaron Saidman for Industrial Media’s The Intellectual Property Corporation (IPC). Caldwell Tidicue (Bob the Drag Queen), David Huggard (Eureka O’Hara) and D.J. Pierce (Shangela) serve as consulting producers. Thre is no official listing of what cities they travel to, or who they makeover, but here is a first look at the trailer to get a strong feel of this unique series.

Lest we forget, there is also the return of INSECUREReturning for its ten-episode, fourth season SUNDAY, APRIL 12 (10:00-10:30pm. ET/PT)THe show follows our favorite characters as they evaluate their relationships, both new and old, in an effort to figure out who and what comes with them in this next phase of their lives. Season four follows the main characters in the aftermath of the decisions they made in the last season. Issa pursues a passion project she actually cares about, Molly navigates a real relationship for the first time, Lawrence figures out what leveling-up means for him, and we see the effect of Tiffany’s new baby on the dynamic of the friend group. Along the way, we’ll see these characters evaluating relationships, both new and old, in an effort to figure out who and what comes with them in this next phase of their lives. It stars Issa Rae. Other series regulars include Yvonne Orji, Jay Ellis, Natasha Rothwell, Amanda Seales, Kendrick Sampson and Alexander Hodge. 

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–Season 4 Episode 01 “Lowkey Feelin’ Myself”
Debut: Sunday APRIL 12 (10:00pm ET) 

 With Condola’s (Christina Elmore) guidance, Issa (Issa Rae) prepares for a mixer in her courtyard to pitch the block party to potential sponsors – but tensions rise when they discover a mutual connection. Molly (Yvonne Orji) begins to develop unexpected feelings for Andrew (Alexander Hodge).Written by Issa Rae; directed by Kevin Bray. 

–Episode 02 “Lowkey Distant”
Debut: Sunday APRIL 19 (10:00pm ET) 

When Issa (Issa Rae) and Condola (Christina Elmore) decide to confront the elephant in the room head-on, Lawrence (Jay Ellis) gets uncomfortable. In search of a real connection, Molly (Yvonne Orji) struggles to get Andrew (Alexander Hodge) to open up during a carefully architected date night.Written by Amy Aniobi; directed by Thembi Banks. 

–Episode 3 “Lowkey Thankful”
Debut: Sunday APRIL 26 (10:00pm ET) 

While Molly’s (Yvonne Orji) family celebrates Thanksgiving together, Issa (Issa Rae) and Ahmal (Jean Elie) decide to do their own thing. Meanwhile, when Lawrence (Jay Ellis) joins Friendsgiving at Condola’s (Christina Elmore) house, the new couple breaks some awkward ground.Written by Phil Augusta Jackson; directed by Mark Sadlek. 

Here is our first look at the full trailer:  

Still continuing their runs in April are the following. WESTWORLD offers its third season beginning SUNDAY, APRIL 05 (9:00 – 10:00pm ET/PT). This Emmy-winning one-hour drama series is a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the birth of a new form of life on Earth. If you are not up to speed just yet watch this clip:


–Season 3 Episode 4 “The Mother of Exiles”
Debut: Sunday, APRIL 05 (9:00- 10:10pm ET) 

The truth doesn’t always set you free.  Written by Jordan Goldberg & Lisa Joy; directed by Paul Cameron. 

And this clip also and that’s all we get: 

ThePlotAgainstAmerica_pic1THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA, a limited series based on the acclaimed Philip Roth novel of the same name, imagines an alternate American history during World War II, told through the eyes of a working-class Jewish family in New Jersey as they endure the political rise of Charles Lindbergh, an aviator-hero and xenophobic populist, who captures the presidency and turns the nation toward fascism. C  It continues MONDAY, APRIL 06 (9:00-10:00pm ET/PT), exclusively on HBO. Based on Elena Ferrante’s second book of her four-part series, MY BRILLIANT FRIEND: THE STORY OF A NEW NAME, continues MONDAY, APRIL 06 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), follows Elena and HighMaintence_AnotherTheGuyPic-300x259Lila’s journey into adulthood as they weather romance, heartbreak, success and betrayal. HBOWatch reviews both of these series weekly. Over on Friday nights, HIGH MAINTENANCE still has one more episode to be found this season. The finale is FRIDAY,APRIL 03 at 11:00-11:30pm ET/PT.  

Both of HBO’s late-night pundits had a bit of a hiatus but are resuming their respective stints in a new way as many programs are forced to do under the pandemic situation. REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER continues its 18th season FRIDAY APRIL 05 (10:00-11:00pm) and LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER moves on with his gig SUNDAY, APRIL 05 (11:00-11:30pm), We’ll take it any way they dish it out. 

Movies: We are light on the theatrical premieres this month. Four Saturdays in the month but THE NIGHT OF TOO MANY STARS Was not take the April 18 slot, but it is canceled and still listed on the schedule. Saturday the 25th  is an HBO original leaving just the first two Saturdays for a movie and they are GOOD BOYS and IT: CHAPTER 2. 

GOOD BOYS leads us off. It debuts SATURDAY APRIL 04 beginning at 8:00pm ET/PT. From the team behind Superbad comes this riotously raunchy comedy that follows the hilarious adventures of three 12-year-old boys as they prepare for their first “kissing” party. Along the way, the naive neophytes wind up in a misadventure of epic proportions as they dodge cranky cops, crankier teenage girls, and much more in this film that “manages to be adorable and twisted at the same time” (IndieWire). Starring Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, Brady Noon, Molly Gordon, Lil Rel Howery and Midori Francis. Directed by Gene Stupnitsky; written by Lee Eisenberg & Gene Stupnitsky. For 27 years, it has waited…, now, the diabolical evil that appears as Pennywise the Clown has awakened once again to terrorize Derry, Maine. IT: CHAPTER 2 debuts SATURDAY, APRIL 11 at 8:00pm ET/PT.  It’s up to the Losers Club, who reunite as adults, to stop “It” once and for all. “A psychologically merciless sequel… deeper, scarier, funnier” (Empire). Starring James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, Andy Bean, Jaeden Martell, Wyatt Oleff, Jack Dylan Grazer, Finn Wolfhard, Sophia Lillis, Chosen Jacobs, Jeremy Ray Taylor and Bill Skarsgard. Directed by Andy Muschietti; screenplay by Gary Dauberman, based on the novel “It” by Stephen King. 

HBO Films: Inspired by true events, BAD EDUCATION, debuting SATURDAY, APRIL 25 (8:00-9:30pm ET/PT), follows Frank Tassone (Hugh Jackman) and Pam Gluckin (Allison Janney) who reign over a popular Long Island school district on the verge of the nation’s top spot, spurring record college admissions and soaring property values. But when an embezzlement scheme surfaces that threatens to destroy all they’ve built, Frank is forced to maintain order and secrecy — by whatever means necessary. Here is our first look at the trailer:  

HBO Documentary Films: ATLANTA’S MISSING AND MURDERED: THE LOST CHILDRENdebuting SUNDAY, APRIL 05 (8:00-9:00pm ET/PT), is a five-part documentary series offering an unprecedented look at the abduction and murder of at least 30 African American children and young adults in Atlanta between 1979 and 1981. Forty years later, with the official re-opening of the case by Atlanta’s Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, the series tells the inside story of this shocking tragedy, shedding new light on the horrific killings through interviews with those closest to the children and the investigation, as well as exclusive archival material. The series tracks the story from the initial disappearance and discovery of two murdered teenage boys to the fear that progressively gripped the city, ultimately building to the indictment and prosecution of 23-year-old Wayne Williams, revealing the rush to officially shut down the case and the continuing deluge of questions that remain unanswered.   Docs_AtlantasMissingMurdered

–Part 1
Debut date: SUNDAY, APR. 5 (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET/PT)

Known as “The City Too Busy To Hate,” in the 1970s Atlanta is on the rise, fueled by excitement over the election of the city’s first black mayor.  Below the surface, however, long-held racial and economic divisions are percolating. When African American children begin disappearing and showing up dead, the city is on the verge of an unprecedented crisis. Outraged that their elected leaders seem more concerned with maintaining Atlanta’s image than with protecting the city’s children, members of the black community, led by Camille Bell, the mother of one of the slain boys, call for swift action.  An explosion at a local daycare center leaves five dead, and their frustration reaches a fever pitch. 

–Part 2
Debut date: SUNDAY, APR. 12 (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET/PT)

By 1980, as distrust in the police and city officials deepens, citizens organize to protect their neighborhoods and take matters into their own hands. When a volunteer search party finds a slain child in an area local police canvassed a day earlier and more and more children continue to disappear, the FBI is called to step in. But even the Feds seem to make little headway, and conspiracy theories of who might be behind the murders take root, from the Klan to a cult to pedophilia. We learn more about Wayne Williams, a local talent scout, who might have been recruiting some of the victims.

–Part 3
Debut date: SUNDAY, APR. 19 (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET/PT)

With the city’s reputation on the line, and the murder count rising, law enforcement faces immense pressure to make an arrest. On May 22, 1981, an FBI stakeout of the city’s bridges leads investigators to 23-year-old Wayne Williams, who becomes the main suspect in the killings and is promptly arrested in connection to the murders of two men in their 20s. As Williams’ trial gets underway in January 1982, victims’ family members, the press and the public descend on the courthouse to witness the trial of a case that has grabbed headlines across the country.

–Part 4
Debut date: SUNDAY, APR. 26 (7:45-9:00 p.m. ET/PT)

In a move that stuns Wayne Williams’ defense attorney, Mary Welcome, prosecutors introduce pattern evidence mid-trial that they assert links him to ten of the child murders. Drawing predominantly on hair and carpet fibers found on the victims that allegedly match items in Williams’ car and home, the jury delivers a swift guilty verdict in February 1982. Just days later, the Atlanta police department shuts down the task force investigating the 30 murders, and attributes most of the cases to Wayne Williams. A year later, as the dissent of an unconvinced community grows louder, the Georgia Supreme Court makes the controversial decision to deny Williams’ plea for a retrial.

AUTISM: THE SEQUEL follows five young adults on the spectrum as they navigate their early 20’s. Intercut with present-day interviews is footage of the same youth and their families shot 12 years ago for the Emmy winning film AUTISM: The Musical. The new film answers the prevailing question all of the families struggled with: what will happen when my kid grows up? Director Sasha Alpert fills us in when this 40-minute documentary debuts TUESDAY, APRIL 28 (9:00 – 9:40pm)  

SesameStreetAnnoucement

HBO Kids: SESAME STREET continues its 50th season SATURDAY, APRIL 11 (9:30-10:00am) and airs every Saturday in April (Repeats on 04.04). “The Fluffster Kerfuffle” is on 04.11,” The Disappoint-O-Meter” on 04.18 and “Zoe Breaks Her Arm” on 04.25. And then, I thought, SESAME STREET was to head over to HBO Max in May. So. no more debuts on HBO? No more HBO Kids programming? I guess we will find out.   

HBO Sports: Three is a great opportunity to catch up on some HBO Sports Documentary Films like THE WOMEN OF TROY and THE SCHEME. Sports programs REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL and THE SHOP: UNINTERRUPTED have been postponed.  

Movies_CasinoRoyaleOther Movies and Shows: If you don’t do the sites and are glued to the linear channel than you know that a missed episode is still available, yeah?  HBO and HBO2 repeat episodes of the debuting show of the week a few times so you can catch it. Popping up is ANTLERS: HBO FIRST LOOK, and there are popular movie titles like AMERICAN PIE, CASINO ROYALE and REQUIEM FOR A DREAM dotting the schedule. HBO2 has a marathon of all 24 episodes of INSECURE before its season premiere on 04.11.    

 Other HBO Platforms: In your free time I’m sure you are watching what you want, but I’ve got to fill the space with some titles so here we are. HBO Latino: Three short films get their debut on 04.03 from 7:15–8:00pm. They are LA SERENATA (The Serenade) in which a Mexican boy asks his parents how to serenade another boy; PEPITO, a comedic look at a boy’s visit to a confessional and SLIPPING INTO DARKNESS about a youth struggling not to become like his imprisoned father. Two movies I will note are OLA DE CRIMENES (Crime Wave) debuting Movies_LasHeredasafter the mentioned shorts on 04.03 and LAS HEREDERAS (The Heiresses,) on 04.17. In the first film, one botched crime leads to another after a teen kills his father in a fit of rage and his mother tries to hide the corpse in this frenetic black comedy. The latter one focuses on two wealthy Paraguayan women whose 30-year-long relationship is rocked by financial issues, sending one of them to jail for fraud. HBO Signature: Do you know the titles WAR DOGS with Jonah Hill, TROUBLE IN MIND with Kris Kristofferson and REALITY BITES with Ben Stiller? if the answer is negative then give them a watch; if the answer is in the affirmative then watch SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE again instead. HBO Comedy: Honestly, just grasping for anything now. WEDDING DAZE: THE PLEASURE OF YOUR COMPANY, PULLING STRINGS or THE HUDSUCKER PROXY, anyone? That last one is a good one from the Coen Brothers. HBO Family: Martin Short is good for some fun so find CLIFFORD (he plays a 10-year old) on the schedule. There is also the Peter Pan tale from 2015 called PAN and the animated caveman brought to life by John Goodman in THE FLINTSTONES IN VIVA ROCK VEGAS. HBO Zone: I could suggest BLINDSPOTTING; MY SOUL TO TAKE and BELLY. That last one is a great title for a movie. It starring NAS and is from 1998. Look it up. Better yet, here is the trailer:

HBONow/Go: Another HBO International series comes to the U. S. Debuting April 19 from HBO Latin America is ENTRE HOMBRES (Among Men). the work is from Argentina and is a four-part miniseries. It takes place in 1996 in the underground world of Buenos Aires, where there are no differences between saints and sinners. A party gone wrong, a murder that must be covered and a missing VHS cassette tape will lead down a path of revenge, blood and lawlessness. I don’t need to tell you there is plenty to Movies_ApocalypseNowwatch. All entertainment outlets are seeing an uptick as people sit for days on end. HBO’s sites have the following Collections in play. The ‘Stay In With The Family’ says “make it a family movie night every night” with a total of 25 movies including MRS. DOUBTFIRE, THE LITTLE RASCALS and THE LAST UNICORN. There are also 13 titles in the “Thrilling Fight Scenes” set including APOCALYPSE NOW and there is always the Coming & Going collections.   

HBO Max – All we know at this point is that May is the month of launch but the exact date is unknown Is it closer to the first of the month or the end? Nor do we know how that will impact HBO exactly. It has already affected the way we get information and it is not for the better, so fat. We will know soon enough. We will count the days down and see what develops. Lately, Mark Wahlberg, Betheney Frankel and Wolfgang Puch have got reality work in the plans, but like everyone else new content is pretty much ar a standstill. Be prepared for big news to drop about the launch!  

Cinemax: The long-standing series STRIKE BACK concludes its successful run on April 17.

–Season 7, Episode 8
Debut date: FRIDAY, APRIL 03 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT)

S20 hatches a plan to storm a freighter carrying a weapons shipment, but when Spencer (John Michie) administers a kill order, Coltrane (Jamie Bamber) grows suspicious of his motives. As each member of S20 contemplates whether to follow their conscience, Zayef (Alec Secareanu) divulges intel that could drastically change their fate. Meanwhile, Cinemax_StrikeBackFinalSeason-300x187Arianna (Ivana Milicevic) and Loric (Maxim Baldry) feud over the power structure of their family. Written by Jack Lothian; directed by John Strickland.

–Season 7, Episode 9
Debut date: FRIDAY, APRIL 10 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT)

With Chetri (Varada Sethu) in the wind and Carolyn (Lorraine Burroughs) on their tail, Novin (Alin Sumarwata), Wyatt (Daniel MacPherson) and Coltrane (Jamie Bamber) are forced to weigh loyalty against duty and self-preservation. Still blacklisted and left with scant resources, S20 seeks the help of Russian allies to combat Russian foes – and the hunt for Zayef’s (Alec Secareanu) hard drive marches on. Written by Jack Lothian; directed by John Strickland.

–Season 7, Episode 20 Series Finale
Debut date: FRIDAY, APRIL 17 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT)

After receiving shocking intel from an unlikely Russian informant, S20 decides to reunite for one final mission to track down Arianna (Ivana Milicevic) and avenge their comrades. This time, however, they’re doing things a little differently. Written by Jack Lothian; directed by Bill Eagles.

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Next Month’s Tease: A craft called Splendour 

Last month we cited Roslyn School District which is the hotspot of HBO Films: BAD EDUCATION. See it in April, exclusively on HBO.    

Final Clip: In case you were forgetting what was going down with INSECURE here is a recap of last season as we welcome Season 4.  

Enjoy the month! Discover HBO. Stop back here for more news, reviews and schedules.   

 

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