Here we go with another big month of HBO excitement. As promised HBO is ramping up the content and we only have to benefit from it. Please note that intel from HBO has changed now that WarnerMedia is in charge. Not as much detail about each new and returning show is as readily available as it once was. As a result, the ‘What’s On’ posting will start to look different, but we will still try to pack as much information as we can. With that out of the way here are the programming highlights for March 2020.
A few quick points:
Sunday nights sees THE OUTSIDER giving way to WESTWORLD
Monday nights THE NEW POPE ends and THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA begins
Also airing in March is MY BRILLIANT FRIEND: THE STORY OF A NEW NAME
Get informed with AXIOS
Fall in love with The Beatles in Theatrical Movies
Plus, HBO Max!
Original Series: Here we go! WESTWORLD returns for a third season beginningSUNDAY, MARCH 15 (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. Get ready for the excitement and the danger as the Hosts are now outside the park!
Returning cast members include Evan Rachel Wood as Dolores, Emmy winner Thandie Newton as Maeve, Ed Harris as Man in Black, Jeffrey Wright as Bernard, Tessa Thompson as Charlotte, Luke Hemsworth as Stubbs, Simon Quarterman as Lee Sizemore and Rodrigo Santoro as Hector Escaton. Joining the cast this season are Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad ), Vincent Cassel (Black Swan), Lena Waithe (HBO’s A Black Lady Sketch Show), Scott Mescudi (HBO’s upcoming We Are Who We Are), Marshawn Lynch (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), John Gallagher Jr. (HBO’s The Newsroom and Olive Kitteridge), Michael Ealy (Stumptown) and Tommy Flanagan (Sons of Anarchy).
HBO is terribly tight-lipped about any breakdown of the season at all. But we do know we are in for an AI smackdown between Delores and Maeve and that alone should make you want to watch! Here is our first look at this trailer:
THE 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. Created by frequent collaborators David Simon and Ed Burns (HBO’s TBE WIRE and GENERATION KILL), the six-part limited series debutsMONDAY, MARCH 16 (9:00-10:00pm ET/PT), exclusively on HBO. The premiere episode begins the narrative on the eve of the 1940 election cycle, as the two-term Presidential incumbent Franklin Roosevelt, as professional a politician as a democracy can produce, suddenly finds himself challenged by a political outsider. Lindbergh has won fame through his legendary solo flight across the Atlantic 13 years earlier and is, in the minds of many Americans, among the country’s greatest heroes. But the election contest becomes much more fraught for the residents of Newark’s Jewish enclave of Weequahic when Lindbergh stakes his insurgent campaign on the promise that he will keep America out of the European war, that he will remain neutral between Nazi Germany and the Allied powers, and most controversially, he names American Jews as being war instigators and disloyal to the true interests of America. The anti-Semitism and xenophobia strike a chord with many Americans, who begin to regard fellow countrymen and outsiders alike with suspicion.
–Episode 01: Debut Date: MONDAY, MARCH 16 (9:00–10:00pm)
The first hour of the series finds Herman Levin (Morgan Spector) anticipating a promotion at work and taking his family to look at a house in an upwardly mobile neighborhood, though Bess (Zoe Kazan) is wary of leaving the safety of their tight-knit Jewish community and raising a family amid growing anti-Semitism sparked by Lindbergh’s ascendancy. As the family spinster, her sister Evelyn (Winona Ryder) has a disappointing rendezvous with a married lover, but later, finds herself charmed by a distinguished local clergyman, Rabbi Lionel Bengelsdorf (John Turturro). Meanwhile, getting an earful from Herman (Spector) for being fired from his job, his orphaned nephew, Alvin Levin (Anthony Boyle) seeks retaliation for an aggrieved friend. Directed by Minkie Spiro (HBO’s “The Deuce”) with a teleplay by Ed Burns & David Simon.
Debut date: MONDAY, MARCH 23 (9:00-10:00pm)
sees Lindbergh’s increasingly popular campaign sweep through the United States and capture some in the Levin family as well as Bengelsdorf (Turturro), with Evelyn (Ryder) as his assistant and lover, becoming a fundamental asset in the Lindbergh camp , while Sandy (Caleb Malis), enamored of the aviator’s charm, celebrity, and history, begins a rebellion of his own within the family of New Deal Democrats. Meanwhile, Alvin (Anthony Boyle) brings his pride and conscience to bear as he must decide between serving a local real estate magnate and developer or risking an open fight with the fascist forces he sees spreading across the world. Directed by Minkie Spiro (HBO’s “The Deuce”) with a teleplay by Ed Burns & David Simon.
Directed by Minkie Spiro (HBO’s “The Deuce”) with a teleplay by Ed Burns & David Simon.
Based on Elena Ferrante’s second book of her four-part series, MY BRILLIANT FRIEND: THE STORY OF A NEW NAME, debuting MONDAY, MARCH 16 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), follows Elena and Lila’s journey into adulthood as they weather romance, heartbreak, success and betrayal. This season begins where the first season left off, with Lila newly – and unhappily – married to upper crust grocer Stefano Carracci (Giovanni Amura) and Elena (Margherita Mazzucco) unsure of her future, both romantically and academically. Believing she lost her own identity when she took her husband’s name, Lila (Gaia Girace) is defiant in her marriage as their world continues to orbit around the Solara family, while model student Elena comes to realize that she is not happy inside or outside her neighborhood. During a holiday in Ischia, the two girls reunite with their old childhood acquaintance Nino Sarratore (Francesco Serpico), now a university student with great expectations. The seemingly random encounter will forever change the nature of their bond, projecting the girls into two completely different worlds. Lila becomes a skillful sales assistant in the elegant shoe shop in central Naples owned by the powerful Solara family, and Elena obstinately continues her studies as she prepares to attend university in Pisa. As their worlds expand and they’re forced to deal with more adult and complex problems, Elena and Lila fight to find their place in the rapidly changing Italy of the 60s, while their fraught relationship continues to vacillate between love and contempt.
Concluding it run in March is THE OUTSIDER. The seemingly straightforward murder investigation took a supernatural turn and still has our investigators stumped for two more episodes in March beginning SUNDAY, MARCH 01 (9:00-10:00pm ET/PT). and concluding on SUNDAY, MARCH 08 at the same time.
–Episode 9 – “Tigers and Bears”
Debut date: SUNDAY, MARCH 01 (9:00-10:00pm)
After obscuring their true purpose in town from local police, Ralph (Ben Mendelsohn) and Yunis (Yul Vázquez) interview witnesses from the cave festival, while Holly (Cynthia Erivo) and Andy (Derek Cecil) visit the scene. Later, the group considers its next move as Claude (Paddy Considine) deals with the weight of his role. Written by Dennis Lehane; directed by Charlotte Brandstrom.
–Episode 10 – “Must/Can’t” Debut date: SUNDAY, MARCH 08 (9:00-10:00pm)
The group finds itself in a climactic showdown in their last-ditch effort to root out El Coco. Written by Richard Price; directed by Andrew Bernstein.
On Monday nights THE NEW POPEalso wraps up its story. We are at the heart of political and Papal intrigue at the Vatican as Paolo Sorrentino’s lush opus ends with the penultimate installment debuting MONDAY, MARCH 02 (9:00-10:00pm ET/PT} and concluding MONDAY, MARCH 09 at the same time.
–”Episode 8” Debut date: MONDAY, MARCH 02 (9:00-10:00pm)
Bauer meets with Voiello, informing him Pius XIII has awoken and that they need to restore the weak John Paul III in order to return the Vatican to strength, as his practices help divert attention from the churches scandals. He warns of the likelihood of another terror attack from the Caliph, and implies the death of Francis II was caused by the comatose pontiff. John Paul III retreats to The Alps and is met by Sofia, who reveals leaked photos of him as a punk in his youth in Vanity Fair have restored public opinion of him despite his behavior in the interview and after the terror attack. Voiello advises John Paul III that Pius XIII cannot remain an emeritus, and the two must meet to discuss the future in person.
–”Episode 9” Debut Date: MONDAY, MARCH 09 (9:00-10:00pm)
Sophia resigns as head of marketing after ensuring her husband and his co-conspirators are arrested. A hostage crisis emerges at a Catholic elementary school on Ventotene. Pius XIII and John Paul III meet to discuss the matter, believing the caliphate is to blame. A furious Pius XIII proposes the papacy come down hard on the perpetrators and threatens to reveal himself to the world, robbing the caliphate of their monopoly on religious fanaticism and potentially starting a new religious war. He gains the support of the cardinals in secret and convinces John Paul III to echo his sentiments publicly.
As for the comedy block AVENUE 5is still in the thick of it, but not for long. It airs its final three episodes of the season in March. Debuting SUNDAY, MARCH 01 at 10:00pm is Episode 07 entitled “Are You a Spider, Matt?”, followed by Episode 8 on 03.08 and Episode 9 on 03.15. CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM also calls it a season this month. Beginning SUNDAY MARCH 01 at 10:30pm with “The Ugly Section” it offers four more episodes. 03.08 offers “Elizabeth, Margaret and Larry”; 03.15 is “Beep Panic” and the 100th episode of the show is on 03.22 with “The Spite Store.” The last week of the month on the Sunday-at-ten is a repeat of that week’s WESTWORLD.
Over on Friday nights, HIGH MAINTENANCE is still smokin’. You’ll find it starting the month on FRIDAY, MARCH 06 at 11:00pm with episode #30 entitled ”Screen” followed by #31 on 03.13, #32 on 03. 20 and episode #33 on 03.27. The series does not conclude until April.
REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER continues its 18th season FRIDAY, MARCH 06 (10:00-11:00pm. live ET/tape-delayed PT). Guests as of late have included Steve Bannon, Fareed Zakaria, Katie Couric, and Democratic presidential candidate Senator Amy Klobuchar. Presenting a satirical look at the week in news, politics and current events, as well as shining a light on issues big and small as the U.S. heads toward a pivotal 2020 Presidential Election, the Emmy-winning LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVERjust got started with its seventh season. It continues in March, SUNDAY, MARCH 01 (11:00-11:30pm), exclusively on HBO. Out of the gate he dropped his thoughts on the pro & cons of Medicare For All. Here is some Maher;
Movies: Here we go with another set of movies on Saturday nights. This set is a diverse group that offers something worth catching for the first time or seeing again in the comfort of your own home. Hey, after all, HBO does stand for Home Box Office, right? The movies are Yesterday, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, X-Men: Dark Phoenix and The Kitchen.
From director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) comes the fascinating fantasy YESTERDAY about a struggling musician who awakens to discover that he is literally the only person alive who knows who the Beatles are. But as he begins churning out hit after Beatles hit, he soon begins to wonder if all the fame and fortune are worth living a lie. Starring Himesh Patel and Lily James. It debuts SATURDAY, MARCH 07 (8:00-09:56pm).Ready for the ultimate ride? Then buckle up for this ninth exhilarating installment in the Fast & Furious franchise. Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham headline FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW, as the muscle-bound lawman Hobbs and irascible mercenary Shaw, respectively, who must put aside their differences to stop a cyber-enhanced super-soldier who poses a threat to the entire world. “Witty and mischievous, full of surprise and invention, and a total blast” (San Francisco Chronicle). Directed by David Leitch it debuts SATURDAY, MARCH 14 (8:00-10:17pm). In X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX we note that Jean Grey (GAME OF THRONES’ Sophie Turner) is one of the ost beloved X-Men. But when a mission goes wrong, Jean is exposed to a dark and ancient power. This power has destroyed everything it comes in contact with, until her. Now that this power is becoming unstable, she releases it with destruction and anger. Now that this foreign power is consuming her, and the world is threatened, the X-Men have to face an important truth: they must save either the world or their friend who threatens it. Find it debuting SATURDAY, MARCH 21 (8:00-9:55pm) on HBO. The last week has THE KITCHEN debuting SATURDAY, MARCH 28 (8:00-9:45pm) offers a trio of tough broads. The film stars Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss as three 1978 Hell’s Kitchen housewives whose mobster husbands are sent to prison by the FBI. Left with little but a sharp ax to grind, the ladies take the Irish mafia’s matters into their own hands—proving unexpectedly adept at everything from running the rackets to taking out the competition…literally.
HBO Documentary Films: Two very relevant documentaries appear in March starting with AFTER TRUTH: DISINFORMATION AND THE COST OF FAKE NEWS. It debuts THURSDAY, MARCH 19 at 10:00pm. In the age of social media, this eye-opening documentary examines the rising phenomenon of “fake news” in the U.S. and the impact that disinformation, conspiracy theories and false news stories have on the average citizen. Drawing from exclusive verite access and interviews with a variety of experts, as well as purveyors and targets of misinformation, the documentary sheds light on how post-truth culture has become an increasingly dangerous part of the global information environment. Also on the slate is KILL CHAIN: THE CYBER WAR ON AMERICA’S ELECTIONS. This film takes a chilling look into the security of election technology revealing how unprotected our voting systems really are. With the integrity of 2016’s election in question, 2020 is also at risk as malware may already be in place to disrupt aspects of the multi-faceted election system – from voter registration rolls to ballots. In part, it follows Harri Hursti, the legendary Finnish hacker turned election expert, as he investigates election-related hacks. This documentary debuts THURSDAY, MARCH 26 at 09:00pm.
AXIOSreturns with a third set of informative stuff in March. The news-breaking documentary series will continue to work with Axios journalists to cover it all – politics, business, technology – and share insight on other big topics shaping the future. Co-founded in 2016 by Mike Allen, Jim VandeHei and Roy Schwartz, Axios is known for its headline-generating interviews, illuminating coverage and trustworthy insight delivered with “smart brevity.” It begins it’s run SUNDAY, MARCH 01 at 6:00pm and will offer an installment each Sunday at that time for a total of four in March. It will return for another stint in May. AndMCMILLION$wraps up its six-part run this month. Episode 5 premieres on MONDAY, MARCH 02 at 10:00pm and the final installment is 03.09 at the same time.
HBO Kids:SESAME STREET continues its 50th season SATURDAY, MARCH 07 (9:00-9:30am), with other episodes airing Saturdays at the same time. All I can give you is episodes titles (I know you are disappointed) and they are “Magic Spell” on 03.07; “What Floats Rocco’s Boat” on 03.14, “Comic Book Adventures” on 03.21 and “Neighborhood Safari” on 03.28.
HBO Sports: HBO Sports and Bill Simmons’ Ringer Films have partnered with Triple Threat TV to debut WOMEN OF TROY, an illuminating tale of the historic and transcendent USC women’s basketball team of the 1980s. Directed by acclaimed feature-film director Alison Ellwood and produced by Gary Cohen of Triple Threat TV, the film explores how the Cheryl Miller-led Trojans changed women’s basketball forever with their up-tempo style and superior athleticism en route to winning consecutive national championships, and ultimately influencing the establishment of the WNBA. It debuts TUESDAY, MARCH 10 at 9:00pm. On September 26, 2017, an extensive two-year undercover FBI investigation into a basketball corruption scandal led to the arrest of executives at Adidas and assistant coaches at major college programs. At the center of it all was Christian Dawkins, an unassuming and unknown 25-year-old who was allegedly part of a criminal enterprise that infiltrated college basketball teams and funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to steer recruits to prominent athletic programs. HBO Sports presents this story via THE SCHEME debuting TUESDAY, MARCH 31 at 9:00pm.
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, MARCH 24 (10:00-11:00pm). Another installment of THE SHOP: UNINTERRUPTED appears SATURDAY, MARCH 07 at 10:00pm.
Other Movies and Shows: You can find the 3-hour PEARL HARBOR playing on HBO on 03.02 and the almost 3-hour GANGS OF NEW YORK on the same day. A lone wolf American submarine commander discovers a coup attempt by the Russian military and assembles an elite Navy SEAL team to rescue the kidnapped Russian president to prevent World War III in the channel premiere of HUNTER KILLER on 03.03 (It has been on the sites but not the TV channel). HBO2 is the place to catch mini-marathons and on 03.01 it starts right off the gun with a run of the first eight episodes of THE OUTSIDER. On 03.07 you can binge the first season of MY BRILLIANT FRIEND and on 03.14 & 03. 15 the first two seasons of WESTWORLD replay. It pays to remember HBO2.
Other HBO Platforms: Also, if you still do the cable option don’t forget the additional HBO channels. We don’t. HBOLatino: A TINY AUDIENCEcontinues its run and another installment of this channel’s stand-up specials continue with ENTRE NOUS PRESENTS: NICK GUERRA: LOVE ME AT MY WORST. You can find it debuting 03.20.20. A series entitled TODXS NOSOTRXS(He, She, They) debuts on Friday, March 27 with two half-hour episodes beginning at 10:00pm. It comes from Brazil and shows three twentysomethings navigating adulthood and pursuing their dreams. And the movie El CHATA(The Sparring Partner) debuts on March 06 at 7:40pm. It is about a once-promising boxer leaves prison after eight years determined to better his life–but finds himself relegated to sparring.HBO Family: I wasn’t even aware that FAME was remade in 2009, but here it is. Hiow about MIDNIGHT SPECIAL or BIG TOP PEE-WEE? For the younger set I haven’t mentioned the animated ANASTASIA, RIO and PUSS IN BOOTS in a while.HBO Signature:THEY CAME TOGETHER has Molly (Amy Poehler) owning a quaint little sweet shop and Joel (Paul Rudd) working for a gigantic candy company threatening to shut her down until love intervenes; RUSH is not a Geoffrey Rush bio-pic or about the band behind “Tom Sawyer” (that would be cool), but instead it is about the adrenaline-fueled Formula One racing with Chris Hemsworth. FREEHELD stars Julianne Moore and Ellen Page and is based on the true story of a terminally-ill New Jersey police detective fighting to leave her pension to her female domestic partner and GREENBERG summed up as – Neurotic. Obsessive. Impulsive. Impossible. Welcome to the world of Roger Greenberg, played by Ben Stiller. HBO Comedy: Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Julia Stiles shine in this cute rom-com about two New York City college students who fall head over heels for each other calledDOWN TO YOU; A GOOD WOMAN is a modern update of Oscar Wilde’s classic comedy-of-manners “Lady Windermere’s Fan”; UPGRADE gives us a thriller about a man who is given the ultimate chance for revenge against the thugs who murdered his wife and left him paralyzed when an artificial intelligence implant that gives him strength. I’m not sure why that last one is on this channel (unless it is unintentionally funny) but OVERNIGHT DELIVERY certainly belongs there as Paul Rudd shows up in another rom-com, this time with Christine Taylor.HBO Zone: Stand-up and TV star Mo’Nique delivers plus-size laughs in the raucous comedyPHAT GIRLZ; fifteen years after a work accident killed his brother, a Texas power lineman and his crew race to finish a huge job as a dangerous storm approaches and John Travolta is at the heart of it in LIFE ON THE LINE.Sigourney Weaver delivers a powerful performance as a mother trying to keep her sanity as her family splinters in IMAGINARY HEROES and Miley Cyrus stars as an insecure teen dealing with romance, friendship, parental pressure and exam stress in a world connected by social media in LOL with Demi Moore.
HBONow/Go: Another HBO International series comes to the U. S. Debuting March 02 from HBO Asia is FOOD LORE. The eight-episode series is helmed by eight different directors and are filmed in eight different Asiatic countries and explores a human’s connection to food. So, dig in and join these filmmakers on an emotional journey as they explore several stories displaying how food brings people together and inspires us to take risks. Feel a sense of connectivity and celebrate what it means to live through anecdotes of love, passion, and memories of Asia. Let’s take a moment to find a HBO gem or two that are always available on the streaming services if you take the time to look. THE WORLD BETWEEN US – Set two years after Li Hsiao-ming (Ko-Yuan Wang) commits indiscriminate murder at a movie theater, this drama series follows the intertwined stories of those impacted by the shooting, including the victims’ families, Hsiao-ming’s defense attorney, and Hsiao-ming’s family. For a comedy, how about streaming CRASHING and if we can single out a documentary for you find WELL-GROOMED. And of course, catch all the movies coming and going
Cinemax: The long-standing series STRIKE BACK continues for one more rock-em-sock-em season.
Novin (Alin Sumarwata) is forced to cooperate with Topal (Arty Froushan) and Danny (Daniel Donskoy), as Spencer (John Michie) gives the squad an ultimatum. After an explosive stand-off with Zayef (Alec Secareanu) and Mahir (Bamshad Abedi-Amin), Spiegel (Jacob Fortune-Lloyd) threatens to blow the lid off S20’s operations in Tel Aviv, and later, the squad’s arrangement with the local police reaches its tipping point. Meanwhile, a serious threat is posed to S20’s alliance with Zarkova (Yasemin Kay Allen). Written by Jack Lothian; directed by Bill Eagles.
Season 7, Episode 5
Debut date: FRIDAY, MARCH 13 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT)
When the location of Zayef’s (Alec Secareanu) hideout is compromised, S20 raids the premises, leading to a confrontation that finds Mac (Warren Brown) defying orders to keep his team members safe. Suspecting that Zayef plans to deploy the stolen military tech during a United Nations conference in Munich, S20 heads west, where a showdown of epic proportions awaits. Written by Jack Lothian; directed by Jonathan Jones.
Season 7, Episode 6
Debut date: FRIDAY, MARCH 20 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT)
Long after the incident in Munich, Wyatt (Daniel MacPherson) and Novin (Alin Sumarwata) reunite with Mac (Warren Brown), who has since left the military. But while he lives out a seemingly idyllic existence with his wife and daughter, his violent past – and fears that his service was inadequate – haunt him. Written by Jack Lothian; directed by Jonathan Jones.
Of course, if you get the channel through cable then you have six more Cinemax channels to find plenty of movies, movies and more movies. Just check out the link to its schedule here.
HBO Max – That’s right, it is time to introduce here a new section as we offer highlights from WarnerMedia’s new streaming destination. The launch is coming this May. There is plenty of content to look out for but we single out a program that has been getting a lot of talk…
FRIENDS remains one of television’s most beloved series. One of the highest-rated shows on television in its original network run, the series still remains a perennial go-to in syndication and was a top viewed title on Netflix. Now it returns to Warner and the entire 10-season run of the show will be at home on HBO Max. It has just become official that the site will celebrate the show’s presence on the site. Series stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer will return to the iconic comedy’s original soundstage, Stage 24, on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank for a celebration of the beloved show. The unscripted cast reunion special, along with all 236 episodes of the Emmy®-winning series, will be available to subscribers at the launch of HBO Max.
Next Month’s Tease: This time it isn’t a person but a place – Roslyn School District. What HBO programming in April takes place there?
Last month we were counting on your interest in Caleb. He is a new character to WESTWORLD, which is upon us this month. He is in the trailers as the one played by Aaron Paul. The third season is subtitled “The New World” and we can’t wait to see it.
Final Clip: In case you didn’t find this hidden trailer!
Enjoy the month! Discover HBO. Stop back here for more news, reviews and schedules.