Here we go with what we hope will be another exciting year for HBO! To kick off the year we have the return of half-hour comedies and a limited series with a unique twist. We can only hope you find something of interest. HBOWatch will help you along the way with a look at all the developing news and reviews of as many of the series, movies and specials as we can. The traditionally bone-chilling month of January is a great time to curl up and see what HBO has to offer. Here is What’s On.
Original Series: The six-part limited series MOSAIC, a twisting tale of passion, intrigue and deception, debuts MONDAY, JANUARY 22 (8:00-8:50pm), followed by other episodes debuting subsequent nights – Jan. 23, 24 and 25 – at the same time, with the final two episodes debuting back-to-back on Friday, Jan. 26. The story focuses on the brutal New Year’s Eve disappearance of a high-profile resident of picturesque Summit, Utah – and the four-year effort of law-enforcement officers and civilians to arrive at the truth behind the crime. Directed and executive produced by Steven Soderbergh (Oscar winner for Traffic; Emmy winner for HBO’s BEHIND THE CANDELABRA), the six-part limited series stars Sharon Stone, along with Garrett Hedlund, Frederick Weller, Beau Bridges, Paul Reubens, Jennifer Ferrin, Devin Ratray, Michael Cerveris, James Ransone, Jeremy Bobb and Maya Kazan.
–Episode #1 Debut date: MONDAY, JANUARY 22 (8:00-8:50pm ET/PT)
In Summit, Utah, celebrated children’s author Olivia Lake (Sharon Stone) and her close friend, JC (Paul Reubens), attend a fete hosted by Michael O’Connor (James Ransone), a wealthy financier and neighbor who delivered seed money for Mosaic, a children’s art workshop that is her pet project. Bartending at the party is Joel (Garrett Hedlund), an aspiring artist who catches Olivia’s wandering eye. Deciding to mentor the handsome young man, Olivia offers him lodging and a workspace at her home, a remote estate with picturesque countryside views. Michael and his associate, Tom Davis (Michael Cerveris), are extremely interested in buying Olivia’s property, and when she balks, they enlist a con man, Eric Neill (Frederick Weller), to convince her to sell. Written by Ed Solomon; directed by Steven Soderbergh.
–Episode #2 Debut date: TUESDAY, JANUARY 23 (8:00-8:50pm)
While criticizing Joel (Garrett Hedlund) for not telling her about his girlfriend, Laura (Maya Kazan), Olivia (Sharon Stone) finds herself emotionally drawn to Eric (Frederick Weller), who suggests they meet with Michael (James Ransone) and Tom (Michael Cerveris) about financing an expansion of Mosaic to other cities. Eric’s secretive employer chafes over Eric’s slow progress in getting Olivia to sell her property and is floored when Eric announces he’s quitting the scam and will come clean to Olivia. That decision triggers a chain of events that ends with Olivia vanishing on New Year’s Day – and Eric targeted as the prime suspect in her disappearance. Written by Ed Solomon; directed by Steven Soderbergh.
–Episode #3 Debut date: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 24 (8:00-8:50pm)
Alan Pape (Beau Bridges), a longtime veteran of the police department, is hired by Tom Davis (Michael Cerveris) to run a lucrative private-security operation in Summit. After a break in Olivia’s case, Eric’s sister, Petra (Jennifer Ferrin), queries Summit detective Nate Henry (Devin Ratray) about alibis and heads to Louisiana to track down Joel (Garrett Hedlund), who’s relocated there with Laura (Maya Kazan). Reluctantly, he agrees to return to Summit with Petra and ends up scouring the local bars in search of a mysterious intruder. Written by Ed Solomon; directed by Steven Soderbergh.
–Episode #4 Debut date: THURSDAY, JANUARY 25 (8:00-8:50pm)
Joel’s (Garrett Hedlund) New Year’s Eve whereabouts come under increased scrutiny after his bar buddy, Frank (Jeremy Bobb), admits to Nate (Devin Ratray) and Petra (Jennifer Ferrin) that their alibi was bogus. A visit to a New Year’s reveler clears up one issue, but the timing of another remains unclear. Written by Ed Solomon; directed by Steven Soderbergh.
–-Episode #5 Debut date: FRIDAY, JANUARY 26 (8:00-8:50pm)
Though he has suspicions that the wrong man is in prison, Nate (Devin Ratray) faces major obstacles as he tries to get a subpoena on a closed case. Eric (Frederick Weller) is dogged by allegations stemming from an earlier mysterious death. An increasingly paranoid Joel (Garrett Hedlund) weighs his options as evidence against him mounts. Written by Ed Solomon; directed by Steven Soderbergh.
–Episode #6 (finale) Debut date: FRIDAY, JANUARY 26 (8:50-9:45pm)
Determined to uncover the missing pieces of the Summit murder puzzle, Petra (Jennifer Ferrin) turns up the heat on JC (Paul Reubens), Alan (Beau Bridges) and Tom (Michael Cerveris) while probing the mining history of several interconnected Summit properties. After getting the cold shoulder from the lead prosecutor on a closed case, she finds herself treading on dangerous ground as the truth – or what she hopes is the truth – is finally revealed. Written by Ed Solomon; directed by Steven Soderbergh.
Sarah Jessica Parker and Thomas Haden Church return for season two of DIVORCE, which begins SUNDAY, JANUARY 14 (10:00-10:30pm). Created by Sharon Horgan, the show centers on suburban exes Frances and Robert, who, after more than a decade of marriage and two children, find themselves caught up in the lengthy process of unwinding their relationship. The new season finds Frances and Robert dealing with the aftermath of their drawn-out separation, and learning to rebuild their lives. Other returning regulars include Molly Shannon, Talia Balsam, Tracy Letts, Sterling Jerins and Charlie Kilgore.
After finally signing divorce papers, a financially strapped Robert (Thomas Haden Church) looks for work and a new living situation, while Frances (Sarah Jessica Parker) battles insomnia and her newly complex relationship with her children. Diane (Molly Shannon) and Nick’s (Tracy Letts) new communication technique leads him to make an unexpected decision. Dallas (Talia Balsam) continues her secret fling with Robert’s lawyer, Tony Silvercreek (Dean Winters). Written by Jenny Bicks; directed by Adam Bernstein.
Frances (Sarah Jessica Parker) is forced to deal with Lila’s (Sterling Jerins) growing resentment toward her. After his coworkers encourage him to get back in the game, Robert (Thomas Haden Church) reconnects with Janice (Gillian Vigman), who tries to help him live out a fantasy. Diane (Molly Shannon) blindsides Frances with a setup, and Dallas (Talia Balsam) attempts to call things off with Tony Silvercreek (Dean Winters). Written by Julie Rottenberg & Elisa Zuritsky; directed by Adam Bernstein.
After helping her new friend, Andrew (Steven Pasquale), appraise art, an inspired Frances (Sarah Jessica Parker) tries to track down an unknown painter. Diane (Molly Shannon) attempts to ignore her issues with Nick (Tracy Letts) by throwing herself into the gallery. Sparks fly when Robert (Thomas Haden Church) shows his house to a realtor (Becki Newton). Written by Liz Tuccillo; directed by Wendey Stanzler.
Executive produced by Judd Apatow and Pete Holmes, and drawing on Holmes’ own real-life experiences, CRASHING returns for its second season SUNDAY, JANUARY 14 (10:30-11:00 p.m.). Feeling lost in the universe, Pete has an enlightening conversation with an atheist, which sends him into a night of New York debauchery. This marks the beginning of a process in which he starts to question his faith and find his voice. Series veterans featured on season two include Lauren Lapkus and George Basil and comics Dave Attell, Dov Davidoff and Artie Lange, playing versions of themselves. Among the other established talents playing versions of themselves this season are Joy Behar, Doug Benson, Bill Burr, Whitney Cummings, Wayne Federman, Jermaine Fowler, Gilbert Gottfried, Penn Jillette, The Lucas Brothers, Eugene Mirman, John Mulaney, Aparna Nancherla, Dr. Oz, Jeff Ross, Bobby Tisdale, Melissa Villaseñor and Henry Zebrowski, while Jamie Lee joins the series in a recurring role.
–Episode #9 (season 2, episode 1): “The Atheist” Debut: SUNDAY, JANUARY 14 (10:30-11:00pm ET/PT)
Pete (Pete Holmes) has a chance encounter with famed magician Penn Jillette, who shakes his faith and inspires a questioning Pete to try living with abandon for one night. Written by Pete Holmes & Judd Apatow; directed by Ryan McFaul.
–Episode #10 (season 2, episode 2): “Pete and Leif” Debut: SUNDAY, JANUARY 21 (10:30-11:00pm)
Pete (Pete Holmes) decides to spend the day with Leif (George Basil), who encourages him to be open to the universe. Their carefree attitude is challenged when the two find themselves at odds and in trouble with the law. Written by Judd Apatow & Pete Holmes; directed by Ryan McFaul.
When Pete (Pete Holmes) is abandoned by Artie (Artie Lang), he is rescued by comedian Bill Burr, who takes pity on him and offers his guest room. As they become unlikely friends, Bill encourages Pete to toughen up and embrace his masculine side. Written by Pete Holmes & Greg Fitzsimmons; directed by Ryan McFaul.
The acclaimed HBO comedy series HIGH MAINTENANCE returns for its second season FRIDAY, JANUARY 19 (11:00-11:30 p.m.), exploring the private lives of eccentric New Yorkers these unique individuals through a common thread: their weed deliveryman. Ben Sinclair stars as The Guy, whose client base includes a group of characters with neuroses as diverse as the city. The new season reveals new facets of The Guy’s personal life as he traverses the city streets on his bike, encountering good and bad surprises along the way. Featuring familiar faces and memorable new characters, HIGH MAINTENANCE delves deeper into big issues like economic inequality, race, religion and politics, while showcasing small, quiet moments often taken for granted, emphasizing the importance of savoring the highs of life in an increasingly volatile world.
The Guy (Ben Sinclair) has a busier-than-usual day as New Yorkers react to world-changing news. The morning after a hookup, carefree hotel guests spend an indulgent day, unaware of what’s going on outside their door. With the world around him in disarray, a client’s roommate (Joshua Schubart) struggles to maintain his commitment to losing weight. Written and directed by Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair.
A couple (Marcia DeBonis, Ray Anthony Thomas) visiting their daughter (Amanda Debraux) in Bushwick embraces the urban surroundings while dealing with a less-than-ideal rental that comes with an unwelcome roommate. The Guy (Ben Sinclair) delivers to Brenna (Brenna Palughi) and Molly’s (Molly Knefel) all-female, politically-minded meetup, where things get dramatic fast. Written by Rebecca Drysdale & Isaac Oliver and Katja Blichfeld & Ben Sinclair; directed by Katja Blichfeld & Ben Sinclair.
REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER kicks off its 16th season FRIDAY, JANUARY 19 (10:00-11:00pm). Allowing Maher to offer his unique perspective on contemporary issues, the show includes an opening monologue, roundtable discussions with panelists and interviews with guests. VICE NEWS TONIGHT, the half-hour nightly newscast from VICE Media and HBO, debuts a new edition TUESDAY, JANUARY 02 (7:30-8:00pm), followed by other new editions subsequent weeknights Monday through Friday, with a hiatus Jan. 12 and 15.
Movies: Four Saturdays in January means four primetime premieres of a fairly recent theatrical release. They don’t thrill me, but they will surely cause someone to check them out as they debut. He is a romance, an action sequel, a comedy and a biopic to take in. They are EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING, THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS, SNATCHED and ALL EYEZ ON ME.
An ill, homebound teenager risks everything when she falls in love with the boy next door in EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING, debuting SATURDAY, JANUARY 06 (8:00-9:40pm). This heartfelt film stars Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson. In the latest installment of the hit series, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) is living a new, low-key life with his wife, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). When cyberterrorist Cipher (Charlize Theron) tricks him into working for her, he is forced to turn on his team. His once retired crew must then locate him and take down Cipher when THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS debuts SATURDAY, JANUARY 13 (8:00-10:20pm). The film also features Dwayne Johnson, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Jordana Brewster, Kurt Russell, Elsa Pataky, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jason Statham, and Scott Eastwood. When Emily’s (Amy Schumer) boyfriend dumps her right before their trip to South America, she convinces her sensible mother Linda (Goldie Hawn) to come along. After being abducted, they must get past their differences and work together to survive in the comedy SNATCHED, debuting SATURDAY, JANUARY 20 (8:00-9:35 p.m.). Based on the true story of legendary rapper Tupac Shakur, the drama ALL EYEZ ON ME, debuts SATURDAY, JANUARY 27 (8:00-10:20 p.m.), and stars Kat Graham, Lauren Cohan, Hill Harper, Jamal Woolard, Danai Gurira and Demetrius Shipp Jr. as Tupac Shakur. Looking at his influential upbringing in New York to his untimely death, the film pays tribute to the cultural icon, his artistry and his activism.
HBO Documentary Films: Premiering on what would have been his 71st birthday, DAVID BOWIE: THE LAST FIVE YEARS, debuting MONDAY, JANUARY 08 (8:00-9:35pm) spotlights the evolving genius of one of rock music’s greatest icons through rare video and audio interviews, archival footage from his 50-plus year career, audio from the recording sessions for “The Next Day” and “Blackstar” (his last two albums), footage from rehearsals and performances of his musical “Lazarus,” and unprecedented access to Bowie’s close friends and collaborators. Filmed with extraordinary access over the course of more than two years, MAY IT LAST: A PORTRAIT OF THE AVETT BROTHERS, debuting MONDAY, JANUARY 29 (8:00-9:45pm) chronicles North Carolina brothers Scott and Seth Avett, founders of the folk-rock band The Avett Brothers, on the long journey from their rural childhoods to topping the charts and selling out arenas, experiencing heartbreak, tragedy and joy along the way. Directed by Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio, this feature-length documentary profile provides an inside look at the Avett Brothers’ collaboration with legendary producer Rick Rubin on their 2016 Grammy-nominated album “True Sadness.” THE NUMBER ON GREAT-GRANDPA’S ARM debuts SATURDAY, JANUARY 27 (6:00-6:24pm). Directed and produced by seven-time Emmy® winner Amy Schatz, and featuring animation from award-winning artist Jeff Scher, this documentary short shines a light on the tender relationship between ten-year-old Elliot, an inquisitive American boy and his great-grandfather Jack, a Polish-born Jew who lost both his parents to the Nazis, but was able to survive Auschwitz and make his way to America at the end of WWII.
HBO Kids: SESAME STREET continues its 48th season SATURDAY, JANUARY 06 (9:00-9:30am), with other new weekly episodes subsequent Saturdays at the same time.
Bert can’t fall asleep because Ernie is making too much noise. Bert becomes angry and leaves with his bed in search of a quiet place to nap. While they are apart, Bert and Ernie think about what they did and how it made the other feel. They apologize to each other and learn that even though they had a fight, they can still be friends.
There’s a lost kitten on Sesame Street. While Chris and Elmo put up signs to try and find its owner, Grover and Cookie Monster help look after it and learn how to take care of a kitten.
HBO Sports:REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL – featuring a top lineup of contributors, the next monthly edition debuts TUESDAY, JANUARY 30 (10:00-11:00pm). HBO BOXING AFTER DARK also has a round airing SATURDAY, JANUARY 27 (10:30-11:30pm). Duking it out is Matthysse vs. Kiram/Linares vs. Gesta.
Other Movies and Shows: Go behind the scenes with THE MAKING OF ALL EYEZ ON ME and warm up your winter nights with heated dramas like INTO THE BLUE in which Paul Walker and Jessica Alba steam up the screen as two sexy young divers in the Bahamas who dream of finding hidden treasure. But they soon find themselves battling a ruthless gang of criminals after discovering a cache of cocaine. Also, find THE QUIET AMERICAN which is Graham Greene’s classic tale of espionage and murder centers on a love triangle set against the French Indochina War in 1952 Vietnam. and DOMESTIC DISTURBANCE with John Travolta as a divorced shipbuilder fearing for his son’s life when he uncovers the dark past of his new stepfather (Vince Vaughn). MORGAN, about a genetically engineered young girl with superior intelligence and physical skills to humans and IN A VALLEY OF VIOLENCE about a lone rider with a mysterious past that clashes with the troublemaking son a Texas town’s marshal can also be found.
HBO’s Other Platforms: Here are some entirely random picks HBO Latino: We start with a short film (14 minutes long) that sounds like a ROOM 104 episode. It is ALEX, LISTEN TO YOUR HEART in which a young man who has given up on love gets a call from his heart. While dreaming of prosperous futures, three young habaneros decide to open a business on the rooftop where they hang out in EL TECHNO (On The Roof). Also debuting is LA PUNTA DEL ICEBERG (The Tip of the Iceberg) in which an executive of a multinational company is assigned to investigate why three of its employees working on a secret project committed suicide and PROMOCION FANTASMA (Ghost Graduation) a comedy about a teacher with paranormal abilities who is hired to help a group of deceased students graduate so they will stop haunting a high school.HBO Family: Family flicks to nestle under a blanket to all watch together could be HOLES, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, HONEY, I SHRUNK THE KIDS, HONEY, I BLEW UP THE KIDS and the animated THUMBELINA. Plus there are always plenty of repeats of SESAME STREET, CRASHBOX, ELECTRIC COMPANY and FRAGGLE ROCK for the young ones. HBO Signature: There is CIVIL BRAND about an imprisoned African American woman who attempts to expose the atrocities inflicted upon female inmates behind bars; GREY GARDENS with Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange; PRIDE AND GLORY tells of a botched raid that takes down four officers and sets the NYPD unit up for scrutiny. Detective Ray (Edward Norton) reluctantly leads the inquiry. LAST OF THE MOHICANS is another good movie; that one stars Daniel Day-Lewis. HBO Comedy: Have you ever seen SERENDIPITY, THE ROCKER, BAD COMPANY or HAMLET 2? This could be your chance. That last movie has a talentless high-school drama teacher who lays it all on the line as he attempts to mount his dream project–a musical sequel to Hamlet. Steve Coogan, Catherine Keener, David Arquette, Amy Poehler and Elisabeth Shue star. HBO Zone: New Orleans cop John Cena must undergo a dozen death-defying tests of nerve in order to save his girlfriend from a psycho criminal in 12 ROUNDS; in EXTREME OPS a group, while shooting a commercial on a remote Austrian mountaintop, put their extreme sports skills to good use when they clash with terrorists; in LOVE AND A BULLET, a hired contract killer falls in love with his target–his boss’s girlfriend—and begins to reconsider his deadly career. You can also find THE DARKNESS, SCREWED, THE STRANGERS and FROM MEXICO WITH LOVE. Okay, maybe CINDERELLA’S HOT NIGHT sounds better? If you don’t believe me, it’s on the schedule just look it up.
HBONow/Go:We already told you of Harry Potter’s arrival. Here, alphabetically are all the movies in the franchise now at home at HBO. HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS from 2002, HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS (Part 1) from 2010, HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS (Part 2) from 2011, HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE from 2005, HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE from 2009, HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX from 2007, HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN from 2004 and HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE from 2001. Also on the streaming sites is a collection you’ll want to see entitled “17 Biggest HBO Moments of 2017.” They are not whole episodes, but cinematic moments ranging from 3 to 5 minutes long. There is an intimate moment with Carrie Fisher & Debbie Reynolds from their documentary, key scenes from BIG LITTLE LIES, SILICON VALLEY, BALLERS and VEEP. There is also Arya and Sansa’s reunion, Hannah Horvath’s surprise news and Issa getting an eyeful. You’ll find Jon Stewart, John Oliver and Golovkin. Plus, there is still much to watch with PAKT, WASTELAND, HALFWORLDS, THE TEENAGE PSYCHIC, EL HIONOTIZADOR and LA VIDA SECRETA DE LAS PAREJAS from HBO International onsite.
Cinemax: CINEMAX has the best selection of the most movies, including top theatrical films, timeless favorites, classics, critically acclaimed independents and more. The channel is advertising the following: A young, orphaned magician, who sells drugs to provide a better life for his younger sister, must use his powers to save her after she’s kidnapped in SLEIGHT, debuting FRIDAY, JANUARY 05 (8:00-9:30pm). The thriller stars Jacob Latimore, Seychelle Gabriel and Storm Reid. A math savant (Ben Affleck) who runs an undercover business as an accountant for criminals takes a legitimate job at a robotics company and the victims pile up in THE ACCOUNTANT, debuting FRIDAY, JANUARY 12 (8:00-10:10pm), follows. The thriller also stars Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons and Jon Bernthal. The Joker (Oscar winner Heath Ledger) descends on Gotham City, spurring an alliance between Batman (Christian Bale), Lt. Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and DA Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) in THE DARK KNIGHT, debuting FRIDAY, JANUARY 19 (8:00-10:35pm). Directed by Christopher Nolan; written by Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan. Based on the novel of the same name, MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN tells the story of Jake, who discovers a new world that spans across time, as he finds a place where children with all different powers live.When enemies of the group become a threat, Jake must explore his own peculiarity to save his new friends. This imaginative film debuts FRIDAY, JANUARY 26 (8:00-10:10pm). Directed by Tim Burton; screenplay by Jane Goldman. Also in January, the channel will run the first 40 episodes of the action series STRIKE BACK as a buildup to the relaunch of the series in February. Launching the new year for the channel though is Robert DeNiro. See some of his movies in January.
Next Month’s Tease: How about another name game? We’ve told you about them so if you’ve been paying attention it won’t be a surprise when Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson arrive in February. Who are they?
So, how about David Robert Jones? He is featured alongside The Guy, Frances and Bill Maher in January. It is the birth name of the late, David Bowie. We can’t wait for THE LAST FIVE YEARS.
Final Clip: We told you we couldn’t wait.
And so 2018 at HBO begins. And HBOWatch will be here all year. So check back for news, reviews and schedules.
Happy New Year!
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