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What’s On: HBO Schedule for September 2023

by Jef Dinsmore
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Well, friends, it is once again lean times. Big series have run their course, little series got canceled right & left, and replacing the pandemic for putting a hurt on content are the industry strikes looming large. That leads us to wonder what fresh, fun content will be on the schedule for the new month.      

A few quick points:  

  • Well, WINNING TIME S2 is still in the Game  
  • STARSTRUCK still has life on Max 
  • A supermodel graces the place in Docs 
  • Plus, Sam Jay pays a surprise visit  
  • and CNN and AMC make their presence known.   

HBO Original Series: WINNING TIME: THE RISE OF THE LAKERS DYNASTY is still doing its thing. As of this posting, we are not sure whether it is a Yea or Nay on Season Three to the point that Jeff Pearlman, author of the source material for this series, begged more people to watch to keep the show alive. All we know is that there are still three more episodes to go in the current season. Find it resuming its run on SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 03 at 9:00 pm ET/PT. 

WinningTime_S2Continues

–S2 Episode 5 – “The Hamburger Hamlet”
Debut Date: SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 03 @ 9:00 pm ET/PT 

After a final clash between Earvin and Coach Westhead, Buss tasks Jerry West with picking up the pieces. As Honey attempts a heart-to-heart with Jeanie, Buss faces pushback from the press and his Captain. Later, Pat faces his demons and takes control of his team. 

–S2 Episode 6 – “beat L. A.”
Debut Date: SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 10 @ 9:00 pm ET/PT 

Despite taking home another ring, the Lakers face a series of humiliating defeats. While attempting to regroup, Buss fields accusations from Honey, Norm receives devastating news, and Earvin does his best to win Cookie over for good. Then, when a life-changing event alters Kareem’s perspective, a newly united team vies for a shot at taking on the Celtics – and Larry Bird. 

–S2 Episode 7 – “What Is and What Should Never Be”
Debut Date: SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 @ 9:00 pm ET/PT 

As the 1984 NBA Finals begin, tensions between the Lakers and Celtics reach new heights. While Buss fends off a potentially life-altering lawsuit, Claire faces the possibility of yet another bankruptcy, and Jeanie questions her place in professional sports. Later, Earvin and Larry battle to the bitter end of their first Finals face-off. 

Original Series Exclusive to Max: Season three of STARSTRUCK follows Jesse (Rose Matafeo), who is living in London and working at the local cinema while exploring a new single life after parting ways with film star Tom (Nikesh Patel). I guess if you’ve been following along you know that. Well, now, two years after the breakup, Jessie navigates the pressures of adulthood and is confronted with the consequences of her own choices as her friends move on to the next stages in their lives, while Jessie is left questioning what she is really looking for. The series is created by comedian and writer Rose Matafeo, and co-written by Matafeo, Alice Snedden, and Nic Sampson, with Matafeo and Snedden also directing. It lands beginning THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28.

Starstruck-S3-300x173

HBO International Titles: It looks like MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 18 is a big day for this sort of content. A total of seven works upload to Max that day. They are all short films that made the festival circuit this year. CHICO VIRTUAL, by writer/director Olivia de Camps, is about a boy who must come to terms with the harsh reality of his immigrant status when his brother alarmingly doesn’t come home; DOUBLE CULTURA, by writer/director Yessenia Sanchez, is about twelve-year-old Marisol, the only English speaker KeepDelete_Shortof the house, who takes on the overwhelming responsibility of being her immigrant mother’s translator and Nelly slogs through another unsuccessful day of street vending in Queens, New York in EL CARRITO. Determined to improve her circumstances, she makes a risky business decision that ends in misfortune; by writer/director Zahida Pirani.  

Also arriving is KEEP/DELETE, by writer/director Kryzz Gautier, a sci-fi short; in a future where memories are stored like files, broken couples are offered the ability to wipe every trace of a relationship from their minds. Also uploading are LA MACANA, THANK YOU, HAVE A NICE DAY, and UN PEQUENO CORTE. In the first one, by writer/director Maria Mealla, recently divorced Carmen and Franco work through their fervent relationship to support their daughter Sol when she gets her period for the first time. The next piece, by writer/director Rodrigo Olivar, tells of a Mexican delivery worker in New York who tries to connect with his daughter while doing his job, but one of his deliveries turns out to be a very bitter surprise. That last title, by writer/director Mariana Serrano, sees six-year-old Elizabeth making an image-altering decision. She is left to face the backlash from culturally imposing beauty standards as she grapples between her two cultures and seeks her own identity. And we are left with the winners of the Latino Short Film competition.  

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HBO & Max Theatrical Movies: Like a bolt of lightning on August 24th, they struck us with THE Movies_TheFlashFLASH on Max and a debut on HBO on Saturday the 26th. Enjoy it, whether it bombed or not because that is the only new release in movies for a while. Like I stated before it’s a long wait for BARBIE to be sure. So, what movies are in rotation then? As of this posting, we only know of 3 of the 5 Saturday night movies on HBO. (Their schedule hasn’t played out that far yet.) Robert De Niro races through France in 1998’s Ronin on September 02; 2002’s thriller XXX and its sequel 2005’s XXX: State of the Union run back-to-back on September 09 and on September 16 it is the comedy Date Night with Steve Carell and Tina Fey. 

Franchises to Max include the demon doll Annabelle (2014), Annabelle: Creation (2017) and Annabelle Comes Home (2019); vampire hunter Blade (1998), Blade II (2002) and Blade: Trinity (2004); horror chills Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (1993), Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest (1995), Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering (1996), Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror (1998), Children of the Corn 666: Isaac’s Return Movies_ChildrenOfTheCornII-300x161(1999) and Children of the Corn: Revelation (2001). And if that wasn’t enough there is Friday the 13th (1980), Friday the 13th Part II (1981), Friday the 13th Part III (1982), Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985), Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988) and Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989).  

TCM classics include Boyz n the Hood (1991), Cat People (1942), The Exorcist (1973), Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977), Mommie Dearest (1981), THX 1138 (1971) and Time After Time (1979).

HBO Documentary Films: August had two interesting titles to offer in this category; so does September. First is DONYALE LUNA: SUPERMODEL debuting WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13 (9:00-10:35 pm ET/PT). It chronicles the remarkable life and career of Donyale Luna, the first Black model to grace the cover of both Harper’s Bazaar (1965) and Vogue (1966). Breaking barriers in the fashion industry, challenging the prevailing ideals of beauty, and influencing culture in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Luna remains largely unknown despite her stunning body of work and her collaborations with some of the foremost fashion photographers of the 20th century. 

On TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26 is the debut of a 3-part documentary entitled SAVIOR COMPLEX. No, it is not a behind-the-scenes look at Pheobe Bridgers’ music video but the saddening social phenomenon. If you’re not familiar it is the situation where the “Helper” tries to “Help” the “Helped” but ultimately only makes the “Helper” feel better about themselves. Think The Blind Side as a current example. Anyway, in this documentary series, they break it all down using Christian missionary outreach as an example.

MAX Original Documentary Films: To be honest I am not sure if this title fits under this category or is actually an import over from CNN or TLC. You know, like the Kim K./Kanye divorce special on the streamer right now? This work focuses on Tory Lanez shooting Megan Thee Stallion in the toes. Yeah, please don’t watch MEGAN THEE STALLION VS TORY LANEZ: FIVE SHOTS when it drops (MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 04, if you must) so this kind of crap gets purged. That’s the true reason I mention it here, so that low views gets it and it’s like purged! That ends this rant.

HBO Original Special: A surprise comedy special pops up this month. Tracey Morgan’s gig was a Max exclusive last month, so HBO gets a routine this month and it is from someone we didn’t suspect. Sam Jay, People_SamJay-300x219the same one who had the brief stint called PAUSE WITH SAM JAY on HBO, offers up a go at stand-up and she is brave enough to give it a go on HBO. The PR states – In her first HBO stand-up special, SAM JAY: SALUTE ME OR SHOOT ME, debuting this September, comedian and writer Sam Jay takes the stage at Brooklyn Steel for a hilariously frank discussion on embracing our differences, the stresses of long-term relationships, and the power of empathy. Newly engaged, the Emmy-nominated comedian gets candid about life with her future wife and the unknown stresses of being “the man,” the grim reality of trash day, and more. Deftly showcasing her conversational style, the special is a witty and raw rumination on life’s challenges as well as society at large – ultimately urging us to have empathy for one another in spite of our differences. Oh, come on, how hard is it to lock in a debut date for cryinout loud? The special is TBA in September.   

Max Kids & Family: It’s the first day of school at Acme Looniversity and laughs are in session! From Amblin Television and Warner Bros. Animation comes the brand-new series TINY TOONS LOONIVERSITY. This Cartoon Network import will offer all 10 episodes of the first season on Max beginning FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 08. A press release tells us – rebooting the Emmy Award-winning “Tiny Toon Adventures” for a new generation, “Tiny Toons Looniversity” follows Babs, Buster, and their new friends Hamton, Plucky, and Sweetie to Acme Looniversity, the premier institution of higher hijinx learning. While enrolled, they form long-lasting friendships with one another and perfect their cartoony craft while studying under the greatest cartoon characters in history, the Looney Tunes.

Looniversity

The voice cast includes Emmy Award-winner Eric Bauza as Buster, Daffy, and Gossamer, Ashleigh Hairston as Babs, David Errigo Jr. as Hamton J. Pig and Plucky, and Tessa Netting as Sweety. The series also welcomes back “Tiny Toon Adventures” alumni Jeff Bergman, Bob Bergen, Candi Milo, and Cree Summer, who reprise their roles as Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Dean Granny, and Elmyra, respectively. Bergman also voices Sylvester and Foghorn Leghorn, and Milo also voices Witch Hazel. Looney Tunes veteran actor Fred Tatasciore voices Taz and Yosemite Sam. It is pretty hard to beat getting Looney!

The Max Original animated series YOUNG LOVE, debuting THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, expands on the animated short Hair Love, from creator Matthew A. Cherry and Sony Pictures Animation, which centered around the relationship between an African American father, his daughter Zuri, and the most daunting task a father could ever come across – doing his daughter’s hair for the first time. Filled with comedy and heart, the series is an honest look into the world of a tight-knit Chicago family as they juggle their careers, marriage, parenthood, social issues and multi-generational dynamics, all while striving to make a better life for themselves. Voices include Scott Mescudi, Issa Rae, Loretta Devine, Harry Lennix, Tamar Braxton, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Debra Wilson, and Brooke Monroe Conaway. There are also more installments of ADVENTURE TIME: FIONNA & CAKE. 

HBO Sports: So, in September we will be sitting between HARD KNOCKS: IN TRAINING and HARD KNOCKS: IN SEASON. HARD KNOCKS: TRAINING CAMP WITH THE NEW YORK JETS concludes TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 05 (10:00-11:00 pm ET/PT)So that means the old stalwart REAL SPORT WITH BRYANT GUMBEL will be the last sports programming standing at the end of it all. Look for it on TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 (10:00-11:00 pm ET/PT).

Other Shows On HBO or Max: If you were a fan of the Adult Swim import The Venture Bros. on the streamer you know the series concluded its four-season run a few years ago. You also know that the creator Jackson Publick promised a telemovie to wrap up the whole shebang. That work, entitled THE VENTURE BROS. RADIANT IS THE BLOOD OF THE BABOON HEART, centers on a nationwide manhunt for Hank Venture, which leads to a coming darkness from the past that involves the Venture Family, the Guild, and the Monarch themselves. It uploads SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 02 and serves as the series finale.  

CNNMaxAnother WBD brand CNN is upping its presence on Max as well. Beginning September 27, Max will offer 24/7 news in its streaming offering with the U.S. launch of CNN Max, included with all Max packages – Max With Ads, Max Ad-Free, and Max Ultimate Ad-Free. CNN Max will leverage CNN’s reporting excellence, global newsgathering, and live programming from CNN US, and CNN International, and feature original programming built specifically for Max. CNN Max will be a seven-day-a-week/24-hour service and will be part of an open beta for news that will enable experimentation with product features, content offerings, and original storytelling, all with the input and feedback from the Max community.  

With the dearth of content out there a bold agreement to air AMC content on Max for a limited time has been reached. A press release states – Starting 9/1, Max will feature AMC+ Picks on Max, a collection of AMCOnMaxseven AMC+ series, providing subscribers with an opportunity to enjoy award-winning shows from the brand for 60 days. Series include FEAR THE WALKING DEAD (Seasons 1-7), ANNE RICE’S INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE (Season 1), DARK WINDS (Season 1), GANGS OF LONDON (Seasons 1-2), RIDE WITH NORMAN REEDUS (Seasons 1-5), A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES (Seasons 1-3) and KILLING EVE (Seasons 1-4). AMC+ Picks on Max will be featured in a branded rail, available on both the ad-free and ad-lite subscription tiers of Max, giving subscribers the chance to unlock a world of new characters and stories. The AMC+ titles will not include advertising. 

I guess even more borrowed content from somewhere else is better than nothing. I don’t know, you decide for yourself. LONG LIVE HBO!!!!!

Next Month’s Tease: He wrote the novels “Snobs” in 2004 and “Past Imperfect” in 2009 and wrote the script for theater’s School of Rock. Who is he and what has he contributed to HBO?   

Last month –Well we blew that. We guessed that we might have seen INDUSTRY or TRUE DETECTIVE Season 4 this coming month and neither are on the slate. TD got bumped to 2024 and the third season of the BBC/HBO show hasn’t surfaced yet. It turns out there is no big debuting HBO show in September. But October looks big!  

Final Clip:  There is not a lot to choose from or available so, STARSTRUCK it is! 

 

Enjoy HBO and HBOWatch!

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