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What’s On: HBO Schedule for January 2019

by Jef Dinsmore
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Here we go. With AT&T at the helm of WarnerMedia we just are not sure what is in store for HBO in 2019. We do know that they want to aggressively take on the competition and up their game, while still striving to maintain the quality & creative excellence HBO is known for. All we can do at HBOWatch is to do our best at keeping up with it all. We will, as we’ve always done, take it a month at a time. To start us off, January has the highly anticipated return of a crime anthology, comedies we love to laugh with and one controversial pundit back to the stage. Here is what’s on for January 2019.    

Original Series: Straight from an HBO press release comes all the details on the top drama of the month.  


1980: Will and Julie Purcell, the children of feuding parents Tom and Lucy Purcell, go missing a week after Halloween in West Finger, Ark. 

2015: Retired detective Wayne Hays, who originally investigated the crime, is asked to look back on the twists of the unsolved case with a true-crime documentary producer. 

Created by Nic Pizzolatto, TRUE DETECTIVE returns for its eight-episode third season with two episodes debuting back-to-back SUNDAY, JAN. 13 (9:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO, followed by single episodes subsequent Sundays at the same time. Retired detective Wayne Hays, his memory failing, looks back at the disappearance of 12-year-old Will and ten-year-old Julie Purcell, recalling the days and weeks immediately following the 1980 crime, as well as developments in 1990, when he and his former partner, Roland West, were subpoenaed after a major break in the case.  

Playing out in three separate time periods, the third season tells the story of a macabre crime in the heart of the Ozarks and a mystery that deepens over decades. Mahershala Ali (Oscar winner for Moonlight) stars as state police detective Wayne Hays, with Stephen Dorff (Somewhere) starring as Roland West, the detective who investigated the case with Hays, and Carmen Ejogo (Selma) starring as schoolteacher and writer Amelia Reardon. It was filmed at locations throughout northwest Arkansas.  TrueDetective_S3Duo-300x200

–Episode #17 (season 3, episode 1): “The Great War and Modern Memory”
Debut date: SUNDAY, JANUARY 13 (9:00-10:00pm) 

The disappearance of a young Arkansas boy (Phoenix Elkin) and his sister (Lena McCarthy) in 1980 triggers vivid memories and enduring questions for retired detective Wayne Hays (Mahershala Ali), who worked the case 35 years before with partner Roland West (Stephen Dorff). What started as a routine case becomes a long journey to dissect and make sense of the crime. Written by Nic Pizzolatto; directed by Jeremy Saulnier. 

 –Episode #18 (season 3, episode 2): “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye”
Debut date: SUNDAY, JANUARY 13 (10:00-11:00pm) 

 Hays (Mahershala Ali) looks back at the aftermath of the 1980 Purcell case in West Finger, Ark., including possible evidence left behind at the Devil’s Den, an outdoor hangout for local kids. As attention focuses on two conspicuous suspects – Brett Woodard (Michael Greyeyes), a solitary vet and trash collector, and Ted LaGrange (Shawn-Caulin Young), an ex-con with a penchant for children – the parents of the missing kids, Tom (Scoot McNairy) and Lucy Purcell (Mamie Gummer), receive a cryptic note from an anonymous source. Written by Nic Pizzolatto; directed by Jeremy Saulnier. 

–Episode #19 (season 3, episode 3): “The Big Never”
Debut date: SUNDAY, JANUARY 20 (10:00-11:00pm) 

Hays (Mahershala Ali) recalls his early romance with Amelia (Carmen Ejogo), as well as cracks in their relationship that surfaced after they married and had children. Ten years after the Purcell crimes, new evidence emerges, giving him a second chance to vindicate himself and the investigation. Written by Nic Pizzolatto; directed by Daniel Sackheim. 

–Episode #20 (season 3, episode 4): “The Hour and the Day”
Debut date: SUNDAY, JANUARY 27 (10:00-11:00pm) 

Hays (Mahershala Ali) and West (Stephen Dorff) see a possible connection between the local church and the Purcell crimes. As the detectives search for one suspect and round up another for interrogation, Woodard (Michael Greyeyes) is targeted by a vigilante group. Written by David Milch & Nic Pizzolatto; directed by Nic Pizzolatto. 

Executive produced by Judd Apatow and Pete Holmes, and inspired by Holmes’ own real-life experiences, CRASHING returns for its third season SUNDAY, JANUARY 20 (10:00-10:30pm), followed by new episodes subsequent Sundays at the same time. This season finds a reinvigorated Pete (Holmes) fresh off of his two-month college comedy tour, returning to New York with newfound confidence in his comedic abilities. Continuing to feature a whos-who of comedy talent and rising stars, the show takes a nuanced, but hilarious look at the state of comedy today, as Pete edges closer to success, one stand-up set at a time. 

CrashingS3Episodes include: 
–Episode #17 (season 3, episode 1): “Jaboukie” 
Debut date: SUNDAY, JANUARY 20 (10:00-10:30pm) 
As his successful two-month college comedy tour comes to an end, Pete (Pete Holmes), donning a new look and confidence to match, takes a college-age aspiring comedian, Jaboukie (Jaboukie Young-White), under his wing. But Pete’s return to New York finds him having an awkward reunion and a big audition at the Comedy Cellar that could change everything. Written by Judd Apatow & Pete Holmes; directed by Ryan McFaul. 
–Episode #18 (season 3, episode 2): “The Temple Gig” 
Debut date: SUNDAY, JANUARY 27 (10:10-10:40pm) 
Feeling like his time away from New York has taken him out of the scene, Pete (Pete Holmes) accepts an offer to perform at a Jewish show, where Elon Gold and Modi (Modi Rosenfeld) question his impulsive behavior with a woman he met earlier that day. Written by Judah Miller & Pete Holmes & Yoni Weinberg; directed by Ryan McFaul. 

From creators Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair, HIGH MAINTENANCE returns for its third season SUNDAY, JANUARY 20 (10:30-11:00pm) with new episodes subsequent Sundays at the same time. The show delves into the private lives of New Yorkers as they look to make lasting connections, unaware of their shared link through an affable and always-available weed dealer, The Guy (Sinclair). Featuring an elaborate web of memorable returning characters and unforgettable new faces, the show captures the smaller, intimate moments in life, continuing to tell funny, authentic and heartfelt stories of regular people just trying to get by – and get high. 

Note this show has moved from Friday late night to Sunday primetime. Episodes include: HighMaintenanceS3-297x300
-Season 3, episode 1: “M.A.S.H.” 
Debut date: SUNDAY, JANUARY 20 (10:30-11:05pm) 
While spending time away from the city in his RV, The Guy (Ben Sinclair) gets upsetting news but makes an intriguing new connection. Cori (Erin Markey), meanwhile, tries to adjust to a new reality without her friend. Written by Katja Blichfeld & Ben Sinclair; directed by Katja Blichfeld. 
–Season 3, episode 2: “Craig” 
Debut date: SUNDAY, JANUARY 27 (10:40-11:10pm) 
After his bike is stolen, regular customer Marty (Gary Richardson) consults The Guy (Ben Sinclair), whose suggestion sends him down a surprising path. Bored with her mundane life, Darby (Catherine Cohen) finds ways to unnerve and bewilder strangers. Written by Isaac Oliver & Zack Schamberg; directed by Ben Sinclair. 

REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER begins its 17th season FRIDAY, JANUARY 18 (10:00-11:00pm live ET/tape-delayed PT), followed by other new editions subsequent Fridays at the same time. Allowing Maher to offer his unique perspective on contemporary issues, the show includes an opening monologue, BillMaherS17-292x300roundtable discussions with panelists and interviews with guests. Maher always returns to work faster than John Oliver. Are you ready for what comes out of his mouth this time around? VICE NEWS TONIGHT, the half-hour nightly newscast from VICE Media and HBO, debuts a new edition WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 02 (7:30-8:00pm), followed by other new editions subsequent weeknights Tuesday through Friday. 


Movies: HBO tries to give you a variety of titles each month from comedy to action to horror. January is mostly comedy heralding in the new year. Here is a quick look at SUPPER TROOPERS 2, OCEAN’S 8, TULLY and TAG. 

Movies_SuperTroopers2-229x300After being fired for mischievousness, former Vermont Highway Patrol officers have a chance to reclaim their jobs when they are tasked with providing law enforcement for a French-Canadian town transitioning to U.S. sovereignty in SUPER TROOPERS 2, debuting SATURDAY, JANUARY 05 (8:00-9:40pm). The comedy stars Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, Erik Stolhanske with Rob Lowe and Brian Cox. Directed by Jay Chandrasekhar; written by Broken Lizard. Shortly after being released from prison, a con woman puts together a team of unlikely crooks to help pull off the biggest heist of their lives in OCEAN’S 8, debuting SATURDAY, JANUARY 12 (8:00-9:50pm). The crime thriller stars Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Movies_Oceans8-249x300Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, Sandra Paulson, Awkwafina and Richard Armitage. When she is “gifted” a nanny, a mother of three forms a unique and unexpected bond with the young woman helping to care for her childrenMovies_Tully-214x300 in TULLY, debuting SATURDAY, JANUARY 19 (7:20-9:00pm). The comedy-drama stars Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis and Mark Duplass. A group of friends’ annual competitive game of tag presents a new challenge when the game coincides with the only undefeated player’s wedding in TAG, debuting SATURDAY, JANUARY 26 (8:15-10:00pm). Based on a true story, the comedy stars Ed Helms, Jake Johnson, Hannibal Buress, Jon Hamm and Jeremy Renner. 

HBO Films/Miniseries: The result of the Brexit referendum in summer 2016 caused a political earthquake that laid waste to the normally stable British establishment and sent political tremors around the world. BREXIT, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, will debut SATURDAY, JANUARY 19 at 9:00pm ET/PT. Cumberbatch portrays Dominic Cummings, who spearheaded the Vote Leave campaign. Rory Kinnear plays Craig Oliver, Prime Minister David Cameron’s director of communications and head of the Remain campaign. This provocative feature-length drama goes behind the scenes, revealing the personalities, strategies and feuds of the Leave and Remain campaigns. The tactics employed by Vote Leave during the data-driven campaign swayed a historically silent voting bloc that would ultimately decide the outcome of the referendum, as well as affecting future elections around the world. BREXIT is directed by Toby Haynes; written by James Graham; executive producers, James Graham, Juliette Howell, Tessa Ross; produced by Lynn Horsford. 


HBO Documentary Films: Brilliant writers, tribunes of the working class and icons of the lost world of newspapering, Jimmy Breslin and his friend, Pete Hamill, personified New York City. The documentary BRESLIN AND HAMILL: DEADLINE ARTISTS, debuting MONDAY, JANUARY 28 (9:00-10:50pm), spotlights their unique take on many of the historic events of the second half of the 20th century. 


HBO Special: The stand-up comedy special AMANDA SEALES: I BE KNOWIN’ will debut SATURDAY, JANUARY 26 (10:00-11:00pm ET/PT), exclusively on HBO. Taped at the Edison Ballroom in New York City, the comedian’s first hour-long special is produced for HBO by Jesse Collins Entertainment; executive producers, Amanda Seales, Jesse Collins; directed by Stan Lathan; written by Amanda Seales. 


HBO Kids: SESAME STREET continues its 49th season SATURDAY, JANUARY 05 (9:00-9:30am), with other episodes airing Saturdays at the same time.  



HBO Sports: 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, JANUARY 29 (10:00 -11:00pm). 

Movies_DownADarkHallOther Movies and Shows: We’ve got COOTIES. Relax, it just means we have that particular movie appearing on the main channel for the first time. It is a horror spoof that has something to do with contaminated chicken nuggets. Joining it are AGAINST THE ROPES with Meg Ryan as the first fight promoter; GEOSTORM, an evil climate change story; BAD PARENTS with Janeane Garofalo dealing with youth soccer and DOWN A DARK HALL about troubled teens in boarding school. We can still add Z FOR ZACHARIAH, in which there are only a handful of survivors in a post-apocalyptic and two of them, both male, find themselves at increasing odds over what may be the last women on Earth. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Margot Robbie and Chris Pine star as the trio involved in the unlikely love triangle. There is also MIRACLE AT ST. ANNA, COLLISION and THE FIRST GRADER. They respectively deal with a WWII tale from Spike Lee, a woman who plots with her lover to kill her rich husband while honeymooning in Morocco and the true story of an 84-year-old school student.

If that is not enough there are a total of 93 movies returning to the channel for at least one showing or more throughout the month and HBO2 is marathoning both THE SOPRANOS and GAME OF THRONES.

Because I felt like it.

VampiresSuck-150x150Other HBO Platforms: Just a few titles to whet your appetite – HBO Latino: As always, this channel has some short films buried in the schedule. Debuting on 01.01 are LESSON #7 BY ALBERTO FERRERAS and SRA. GENOVESE  (Mrs. Genovese). They are about a mother/daughter bond and a retirement home escapee, respectively. Full-length films show an introverted youth on the ranch in EL RIO (The River); Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Oscar-nominated BIUTIFUL (Beautiful); VENENO: PRIMERA CAIDA,EL RELAMPAGO DE JACK, the origin story of the most famous Dominican wrestler of all time and SIN RODEOS Movies_Goodfellas(Empowered), in which a woman feels empowered after meeting an alternative healer.  HBO Family: There is Steve Martin’s spin on CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN; the story of the Quimby Sisters in RAMONA & BEEZUS; Wes Anderson’s THE FANTASTIC MR. FOX, but only after you see his ISLE OF DOGS.HBO Signature: MURDER BY NUMBERS, THE STATEMENT, THE BEACH and GOODFELLAS, which just lost one of its actors with the death of Frank Adonis.HBO Comedy: VAMPIRES SUCK and AMERICAN LOSER – Jeff is a nice enough guy–he just has a few issues…like A.D.D., alcoholism, Tourette’s Syndrome…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Seann William Scott stars as Jeff whose many issues take a backseat to his bizarre relationship with a young woman (Gretchen Mol) he meets at a support group meeting in this comedy. HBO Zone: THE GHOST WRITER, PASSENGER 57, WARLOCK and Jonathan Demme’s THE TRUTH ABOUT CHARLIE. 

HBONow/Go: First, a few titles leave the sites every month; here is a few this time around so catch them while they last – 1966’s BATMAN, THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, THE BLIND SIDE, IT, LADY MACBETH, THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US and THE PRINCESS BRIDE. One collection worth a look & a laugh is the “12 Stellar Stand-Up Specials” Collection with routines by Amy Schumer, Bill Maher, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, Drew Michael, Flight of the Conchords, Jerrod Carmichael, John Leguizamo, Michelle Wolf, Pete Holmes, Tig Notaro and Wanda Skyes.  

It is always tricky to know what changes up on the sites before the month in question and actually not that many changes occur anyway. So, I’m going to include what I’m watching or watching again. What’s on my watchlist? I’ve got to see the BLEED OUT documentary yet, and finish SALLY4EVER. The drama I’ve got going right now is DIOS INC. What? You haven’t heard of it let alone seen it? Then you are not snooping deep enough into the archives.


Cinemax: In January, CINEMAX continues to be the only premium channel presented in 100% True HD (1080i). Showcasing the network’s unparalleled movie volume and variety daily in prime time, CINEMAX has the best selection of the most movies, including top theatrical films, timeless favorites, classics, critically acclaimed independents and more.


STRIKE BACK returns with more adrenalized action and heart-pounding suspense than ever before, FRIDAY, JANUARY 25 (10:00-11:00pm), with new episodes subsequent Fridays at the same time. When a Russian bomber crashes in the South China Sea, the covert special-ops soldiers of Section 20 – Gracie Novin (Alin Sumarwata), Thomas “Mac” McAllister (Warren Brown) and Samuel Wyatt (Daniel MacPherson) – are reunited and sent on a mission to investigate. Facing off against mercenary drug agents and terrifying warlords, they expose a conspiracy that threatens to push the world to the brink of global conflict.

New movies they feature are as follows –  

DUNKIRK, debuting FRIDAY, JANUARY 04 (8:00-9:50pm), tells the story of the Battle of Dunkirk. In May of 1940, Germany advanced into France, trapping the Allied troops on the beaches. With the help of the British and French armies, the Allied troops were brought to safety in an unlikely rescue mission. Fionn Movies_AmericanAnimalsWhitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard, James D’Arcy, Barry Keoghan, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, and Tom Hardy star. The film received three Oscars and was nominated for five others, including Best Picture and Director (Christopher Nolan). AMERICAN ANIMALS, debuting FRIDAY, JANUARY 11 (8:00-10:00pm), is based on the true story of four men who attempted to rob the Transylvania University library in 2004. The crime drama stars Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner, Jared Abrahamson, and Ann Dowd, and includes interviews with the real-life foursome who attempted the heist. Playing a life-or-death game on a trip to Mexico, a group of college friends are forced to confront their deepest fears in TRUTH OR DARE, debuting FRIDAY, JANUARY 18 (8:00-9:40pm). The thriller stars Lucy Hale, Tyler Posey, Violett Beane, Hayden Szeto and Landon Liboiron. Officer K (Ryan Gosling), a new blade runner for the Los Angeles Police Department, finds a long-lost secret that leads him on a mission to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former blade runner who has disappeared for three decades, when BLADE RUNNER 2049 debuts FRIDAY, JANUARY 25 (7:15-10:00pm). The sci-fi film received two Oscars. 



Next Month’s Tease: “X-Force”. Should be easy for the right crowd.

Last month we wondered if you knew that Gatsby was a sensitive yet fun-loving dog from HIGH MAINTENANCE? It seems that he struggles with the culture shock of moving from the suburban Midwest to Queens and needs the service of The Guy.

Final Clip: Normally we report the heck out of the Yearender & Coming Soon clips about now. Last month, we posted one very poorly constructed end-of-year clip and the link to that video is already broken. For this month, I sought out another choice and, though titled differently, is the exact same uninspiring piece from before. So, instead of some exciting Coming in 2019 piece (which will drop, once they are ready to release new GAME OF THRONES footage), the best I can give you is the SUPER TROOPERS 2 trailer.     

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


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