What’s On: HBO Schedule for October 2013


Here we go! Another month of programming is just about upon us and the Fall is going to be exciting. As usual HBOWatch looks at the month ahead and highlights the original series, theatricals movies and exciting sports and specials coming our way. We will find a new series, a new set of documentaries and some big-time boxing in October. It is always a long post so let’s get to it. Here’s What’s On: HBO Schedule for October 2013.


Theatrical Movies: As of late HBOWatch has been getting into the routine of reviewing each theatrical movie right before they premiere on Saturday nights. A few of our writers are big movie fans and are willing to give their thoughts on the movies that HBO are able to showcase and in October we have a pretty interesting lineup. Of course, it being October there has to be a horror flick in there and we will get to it as we look at each movie as they debut chronologically on HBO. First out is an HBO Film that we will address further down the post. The movies for October are THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, MAMA andMOVIES_Hobbit CLOUD ATLAS.

That first title is a big movie that is part of a sweeping epic story from the mind of J. R.  R. Tolkien. It is THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY which debuts on 10.12. If you don’t already know Peter Jackson has once again taken the helm of the Tolkien tales, this one being the first movie of three to convert the “The Hobbit” to film. In it a younger and more reluctant Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, sets out on an “unexpected journey” to the Lonely Mountain with a spirited group of Dwarves to reclaim their stolen mountain home from a dragon named Smaug – oh, and he obtains the One Ring from creepy Gollum. It is safe to say since this movie appears on HBO now that the next two, THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG and THERE AND BACK AGAIN, will show up in the coming years. Our writer MJ Snow will surely jump on reviewing them as she has AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY.

10.12 is the premiere date for our horror movie of the month called MAMA. I know it should have been Halloween weekend, but if you are into spooky ghouls than it doesn’t matter when it airs as long as it does.  In MAMA a mother’s love rMOVIE_CloudAtlaseaches from beyond the grave in this chilling old-school ghost story that “may be a bit confused at times. But, you’ve got to love the genuine scares and images that it brings to the table” (Movie Chamber). Lost in the wild five years earlier, two little sisters are found and taken in by their uncle, played by GAME OF THRONES’ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and his girlfriend, played by Jessica Chastain(Zero Dark Thirty) . But as the girls struggle to adjust, they come to realize that the matronly force that helped them survive their ordeal has followed them into their new home…and will stop at nothing to get them back. Our top movie critic Marc Price reviews.

CLOUD ATLAS gets the last Saturday spot of the month on 10.26. This is an epic exploration of people’s actions and of the consequences of each. It declares that everything is connected but may prove a heady trip for viewers in sorting all that out.  As Rotten Tomatoes says “Its sprawling, ambitious blend of thought-provoking narrative and eye-catching visuals will prove too unwieldy for some, but the sheer size and scope of CLOUD ATLAS are all but impossible to ignore.” HBOWatch’s Eleonora Iafano will not ignore it as she tackles the review for us. The movie stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent and Hugo Weaving in multiple roles each. Wrap your mind around this one or any of the movies this month and share your thoughts either under this post or at each of the upcoming review posts.  Enjoy!

Now comes the difficult task of guessing which trailer you might like to be teased by. Is it the epic, the horror movie or the cerebral piece? Well, it is October; Halloween is fast approaching. Yeah, let’s get spooked, I think. Oh, cover your eyes Eleonora…it is MAMA!


Damn, I haven’t found time for ARGO or HITCHCOCK yet. Thank goodness for HBOGO! Now to that list I want to add CLOUD ATLAS. I’ve seen THE HOBBIT: and MAMA isn’t my interest. Maybe, I’ll be able to catch up. How about you?


Originals: One reason for being behind in watching movies is because of the good original programming HBO offers. October gives us the continuation of a dramatic series, a movie and some comedy. There is something for everyone. Holding the attention of many is BOARDWALK EMPIRE. Winner of 12 BE_HarrowHalloweenEmmy Awards, the acclaimed HBO drama series continues its fourth thrilling season. Picking up eight months after the bloody events of Season 3, the new season returns to Atlantic City in February 1924. After forging a tenuous peace with Arnold Rothstein and Joe Masseria in the wake of Gyp Rossetti’s attempted overthrow, Atlantic City’s undisputed czar Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) now finds himself butting heads with Mayor Bader and his brother Eli. Meanwhile, he sets his sights on some lucrative drug and real-estate opportunities in Florida.

Unfortunately, all we have are titles but no descriptions for the four episodes airing in October. They are: Episode # 41 – Erlkonig debuting 10.06 and also airing 10.08, 10.09, 10.11 & 10.12 on HBO; Episode # 42 – The North Star debuting 10.03 and also airing 10.15, 10.16, 10.18 & 10.19 on HBO; Episode #43 – William Wilson debuting 10.20 and also airing 10.22, 10.23, 10.25 & 10.26 on HBO and Episode #44 – The Old Ship of Zion debuting on 10.27 and airing 10.29, 10.30 and into November. All episodes air at 9:00pm ET. While we are mentioning reviewers this post we can mention that this series has been generating weekly reviews on HBOWatch. Check back for what our writers have to say.     

EASTBOUND AND DOWN It airs Sundays at 10:00pm ET. The HBO Guide states it this way – Kenny Powers has proven to be larger than life—and death. Now he’s back for the fourth and final season of the hit HBO comedy series that follows the travails of this crass, arrogant and utterly irresistible former major league pitcher played by Danny McBride. Taking place several years after he made it back to the majors only to fake his death and head home, Season 4 finds Kenny a new man. The vices of his playing days are a thing of the past…until Kenny runs into former teammate and current talk-show host Guy Young who convinces Kenny to get back in the game—as a celebrity “titan” who deserves the lifestyle of the rich, famous and arrogant.eastbound13_03_th

The October episodes are Chapter 23 on 10.06  where looking to reclaim the spoils of celebrity, Kenny pays a visit to Guy Young, who agrees to give Kenny a shot on his show. Plus, he tries to convince Stevie to rejoin the Powers team. Air dates are also on 10.0 7, 10.08, 10.09 and10. 11. Chapter 24 debuts 10.13 which finds Kenny treating his family and friends to an overnight trip to the local waterpark. But, a day of good clean fun gives way to an evening of debauchery. Air dates include 10.14, 10.15, 10.16 & 10.18. Chapter 25 on 10.20 has Kenny following through on a threat to Gene. Stevie gets Kenny a charity to promote during Guy’s goodwill “dragon boat” race and taking the lead from his dad, Toby tries to find the courage to feed his new pet. It also airs 10.21, 10.22, 10.23 & 10.25. The final episode of the month, Chapter 26, debuts on 10.27. With Kenny getting more and more attention on “Sports Sesh,” Guy asks him to dial it down a notch. April gets Kenny to agree to undergo couples therapy and Kenny & Stevie map out a new business venture designed to capitalize on Kenny’s soaring stock. Other dates are 10.28, 10.29 and 10.30

Right behind Danny McBride is Stephen Merchant and his new comedy series HELLO LADIES Sunday nights at 10:30pm. It premiered on 09.26 so there are plenty of episodes to go. A recent transplant from England, Stuart is a gawky, 6’ 7” web designer searching for excitement and romance in Los Angeles. Half as charming – and twice as desperate – as he thinks he is, he’s obsessed with infiltrating the glamorous world of beautiful people, who won’t let him in. In his first lead role in a comedy series, Stephen Merchant stars as Stuart; other series regulars include Christine Woods as Jessica, an unsuccessful actress, Nate Torrence as Wade, reluctantly re-entering the dating world after being dumped by the wife he still loves; and Kevin Weisman as Kives, who parlays his disability to great advantage in picking up women.  

The upcoming episodes are as follows: Episode #2: The Limo on 10.06 where Wade hires a stretch limousine in an effort to win back his estranged wife Marion. Stuart seizes the opportunity to travel around LA in limo style, with Wade and Kives in tow, and picks up three very interested ladHELLOLADIES-postery tourists. When Stuart learns that Jessica’s actress/model friends are hanging out in his place watching art films, he decides to forgo a sure thing in favor of a night on the town with hotter prospects. (Written by Stephen Merchant & Lee Eisenberg & Gene Stupnitsky; directed by Stephen Merchant.) Other airdates include 10.08, 10.09 & 10.10.  

Episode #3: The Date ion 10.13n which Stuart has an encouraging first date with a yoga-studio employee named Annie, but ends up becoming unhinged. Meanwhile, upset that her ”frenemy” Amelia (Jenny Slate) got a major-film role, Jessica demands that her agent/squeeze Glenn score her an audition, pronto. Plus, after a slip in the shower, Wade institutes an emergency-alert system for his friends. (Written by Stephen Merchant & Lee Eisenberg & Gene Stupnitsky; directed by Stephen Merchant.) It also airs 10.15, 10.16, 10.17 and 10.18.

 Episode #4: The Dinner on 10.20. After learning that gay clubs are frequented by straight women, Stuart ditches Wade (who was coming over for movie night) to tag along with Jessica to a gay club. Jessica manages to get herself and Stuart invited to a dinner party of influential tastemakers and groundbreakers, where Stuart hopes to be introduced to fashion models. Back at Stuart’s house, Wade is joined by Kives and they have a fun night of their own in Stuart’s house. (Written by Stephen Merchant & Lee Eisenberg & Gene Stupnitsky; directed by Stephen Merchant.) Also check it out on 10.22, 10.23, 10.24 and 10.25

 Episode #5: Pool Party on 10.27. Stuart plans an epic pool party in hopes that Kimberly, a model he recently met, will attend. Plus, Jessica finds inspiration in a homeless 19-year-old named Heaven. (Written by Stephen Merchant & Lee Eisenberg & Gene Stupnitsky; directed by Julian Farino.) It is also seen on 10.27, 10.29, 10.30 & 10.31. Encore plays of Episode #1 Pilot can be seen on 10.01, 10.02, 10.03, 10.04, 10.10 and 10.18.

And Bill MaheFILMALiSFIGHT_Posterr is still holding down the fort on Friday nights with REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER. Catch the latest installments of the comedian and social commentator. Edition # 296 debuts 10.04; Edition # 297  follows on 10.11 and then Edition # 298 on 10.25. Each episode premieres at 10:00pm ET.   

Filling the Saturday night slot on 10.05 is the premiere of HBO Films: MUHAMMAD ALI’S GREATEST FIGHT. The HBO Films goes behind the closed doors of the United States Supreme Court as the nine Supreme Court Justices – Chief Justice Warren E. Burger (Frank Langella), Hugo Black (Fritz Weaver), William O. Douglas (Harris Yulin), John Harlan II (Christopher Plummer), William Brennan, Jr. (Peter Gerety), Potter Stewart (Barry Levinson), Byron White (John Bedford Lloyd), Thurgood Marshall (Danny Glover) and Harry Blackmun (Ed Begley, Jr.) – decide the outcome of Muhammad Ali’s landmark conscientious objector case in 1971. Justice Harlan, a respected jurist with 15 years on the Court, finds himself at odds with the Court’s status quo after his perspective is challenged by the contemporary ideals of his new clerk, Kevin Connolly (Benjamin Walker). The 1:45 movie is a A Rainmark Films Production in association with Sakura Films; A Stephen Frears Film; directed by Stephen Frears; written by Shawn Slovo; produced by Scott Ferguson with executive producers, Frank Doelger, Tracey Scoffield, Jonathan Cameron.) It also plays on 10.06, 10.08, 10.13, 10.16, 10.19, 10.22, 10.24, 10.26, 10.28 10.31 and on HBOGo. HBOWatch will have a review.

Documentary: That leads us to the documentary front and a busy place it is too. As HBO has had a successful run with its HBO SUMMER DOCUMENTARY SERIES it now has packaged the non-fiction films from the latter part of the year into the HBO FALL DOCUMENTARY SERIES which will air Monday nights from October into December. HBOWatch will review each of these films as they air starting   with VALENTINE ROAD on 10.07 beginning at 9:00pm ET. This documentary unravels the school shooting of a young teenager who had begun exploring his gender identity, detailing the circumstances that led to his murder by a fellow student, as well as its complicated aftermath. The powerful and disturbing documentary raises questions about the safety of LGBT teens, while challenging the efficacy of the country’s educational and juvenile justice systems to prevent these kinds of tragedies.

The next week, 10.14, has a marathon of three mini-documentaries. They were all nominees for the Documentary Short Subject Oscar for 2013. They are the Docs_Racine45 minute MONDAYS AT RACINE, the 35 minute REDEMPTION and the 70 minute OPEN HEART. Respectively they are about a beauty salon that opens for women diagnosed with cancer, jobless New Yorkers recycling for cash and about high-risk heart surgery in the heart of Africa.   

The next week, 10.14, has a marathon of three mini-documentaries. They were all nominees for the Documentary Short Subject Oscar for 2013. They are the 45 minute MONDAYS AT RACINE, the 35 minute REDEMPTION and the 70 minute OPEN HEART. Respectively they are about a beauty salon that opens for women diagnosed with cancer, jobless New Yorkers recycling for cash and about high-risk heart surgery in the heart of Africa.   

 Monday, 10.21 sees the remarkable story called LIFE ACCORDING TO SAM. It is about Sam Berns and his family’s courageous fight to save their son from the extremely rare and fatal disease Progeria, a progressive aging disorder.The film chronicles their inspiring, relentless pursuit of a treatment and cure as they empower Sam to enjoy the fullest life possible. On a much lighter note on 10.28 is SEDUCED AND ABANDONED which follows Alec Baldwin and James Toback as they attempt to make a deal to produce their version of “Last Tango in Paris” at the Cannes Film Festival.From intimate chats with Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola and Roman Polanski, to the pursuit of high profile names like Ryan Gosling and Jessica Chastain, to an expose of backroom wheeling and dealing, this cinematic romp is a humorous ode to everything alluring about cinema. Good documentaries all, we are sure.


Sports: There is plenty of it coming around in October – if you are a boxing aficionado. For starters there is another round of 24/7 in play. Building up to a fight later in October is a second episode of 24/7 BRADLEY/MARQUEZ debuting 10.05 at 12.30pm. The all-access series follows world-class fighters timothy Bradley Jr. and Juan Manuel Marquez as they prepare for their big pay-per-view fight.  

SPORTS_Legendarynights Another boxing series returns after a hiatus to HBO called LEGENDARY NIGHTS. This session looks at THE TALE OF GATTI-WARD. Capturing the Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Edited Sports Series when it debuted in 2003, this show returns with a a retrospective on one of boxing’s greatest rivalries, spotlighting the three-fight slugfest between Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward. The show revisits the unforgettable three-fight trilogy authored by junior welterweights Arturo Gatti of Jersey City and Micky Ward of Lowell, Mass. Over 13 months, these two throwback sluggers engaged in 30 electrifying rounds of action, with Gatti winning both Atlantic City bouts (Nov. 23, 2002 and June 7, 2003), following Ward’s dramatic triumph in the opener (May 18, 2002) in Uncasville, Conn. The documentary will feature HBO Sports’ acclaimed blend of new interviews and thrilling fight action, highlighted by previously unseen archival footage. It premieres 10.19 at 12:00am and also airs on 10.21, 10.24, 10.26 and 10.30.

 Straight from an HBO Press Release comes the news of not one but two big nights of boxing – Two of boxing’s biggest stars return to the ring for an action-packed split-site tripleheader from the SC Olimpiyskiy Arena in Moscow and the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla. when WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: MIGUEL COTTO VS. DELVIN RODRIGUEZ, TERENCE CRAWFORD VS. ANDREY KLIMOV AND WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO VS. ALEXANDER POVETKIN is seen SATURDAY, 10.05 beginning at 9:45pm.

 A heavyweight title bout live from Moscow starts off the big day, as reigning champ Wladimir Klitschko (60-3, 52 KOs) of Ukraine defends his crown for the 15th time against Alexander Povetkin (26-0, 18 KOs) of Chekhov, Russia, in a fight scheduled for 12 rounds It is followed by live action from Orlando as fast-rising lightweight prospect Terence Crawford (21-0, 16 KOs) of Omaha, Neb., gets in the ring for a scheduled ten-round fight against Russia’s Adrey Klimov (16-0, 8 KOs). The main event pits superstar Miguel Cotto (37-4, 30 KOs) from Caguas, Puerto Rico, in his return to HBO, versus intriguing challenger Delvin Rodriguez (28-6-3, 16 KOs) of the Dominican Republic in a 12-round super welterweight battle.

Then one of the most anticipated fights of this season, WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: MIKE ALVARADO VS. RUSLAN PROVODNIKOV will be seen Saturday, 10.19 beginning at 9:45 pm. In a 12-round showcase event, slugger Mike Alvarado (34-1, 23 KOs) of Denver defends his home turf and his 140-pound title against Ruslan PSPORTS_Boxing10.13-300x164rovodnikov (22-2, 15 KOs) of Russia in a junior welterweight matchup. The fight will be seen live from the 1STBank Center in Broomfield, Col. The HBO Sports team will be ringside for the event.  

Anchoring all the sports action down will be another installment of REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL debuting Episode #199 on 10.22 with repeat airings on 10.25, 10.27 & 10.29 29 and THE FIGHT GAME WITH JIM LAMPLEY debuting 10.25 at 8:30pm.


Other Movies & Shows: Once again we spin the roulette for a random sampling of shows that are appearing on HBO’s main channel in the coming month.  As always there is bound to be something of interest there. I’ll start with the Russell Crowe directed THE MAN WITH THE MOVIE_IronfistsIRON FISTS – Hiiiya! – and Brian de Palma’s SNAKE EYES. How about a few episodes of FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS? They are on the schedule and so is the HBO Documentary Film: LOVE, MARILYN repeating from earlier this summer. If you are looking for a dose of horror check out THE RING 2 and WHITE NOISE. Better yet, don’t take my advice and just snoop around yourself and find something you like.


HBO’s Other Platforms: Here are a few other choices from across the channels.  HBO Latino: It appears that there are a number of premieres on this channel. First to my attention is AUSENTE (ABSENT). It is an Argentinean thriller about a teenage athlete falling for his older swimming coach and taking drastic measures to be close to him. Another movie is GRUPO 7. It is about a crack crew of undercover cops (Unit 7) cleaning up the streets of Seville before an big international Expo arrives and the underbelly of the city isn’t to nice. Airing Friday nights is an odd comedy entitled HDP. I don’t know what the title means but it is about a sad sack futbol referee named Juarez and how he muddles through life and work. HBO Family: Let’s see this channel has MARS ATTCKS! on Halloween and oh, yeah THE MOVIE_RugratsRUGRATS MOVIE. Plus , there is THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW and MOM AND DAD SAVE THR WORLD. HBO Signature: Have you seen ONE TRUE THING? It is about a big city magazine writer going back home to help out her family when cancer strikes her mother. It stars Meryl Streep, Renee Zellweger and William Hurt.  One other movie on that channel that caught my eye is HE GOT GAME. Denzel Washington stars as a convict who is promised a reduced sentence if he can convince his estranged son, a hot college basketball recruit, to play for the governor’s alma mater. It is a Spike Lee production.  HBO Comedy: Here are a couple of titles on the comedy channel just because I can. You can catch laugh riots via two movies called PUSHING TIN with John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton and A RAGE IN HARLEM with Forest Whitaker and Gregory Hines. HBOGO: First, HBO Latino’s CAPADOCIA adds some new episodes to the site. Plus there are a total of 33 movies in the Horror/Sci-Fi category to choose from this Halloween including DARK WOLF, FROM DUSK TIL DAWN and PHANTASM II. Cinemax: We seem to be on a roll with plenty of movies with only a few series thrown in. Cinemax is no different. The one series it is hyping up is STRIKE BACk which sees its season finale on 10.18. The movies it is showcasing in the coming month are WARM BODIES on 10.04; TED on 10.11, BROKEN CITY on 10.18, THE BOURNE LEGACY on 10.25 and CHILD’S PLAY on 10.31.

 Well we covered a lot and what is left is for you to explore the HBO channels and find something good or something spooky this October! Let us know what you find.

 Next Month’s Tease: We will hear the undisputed truth!

 Final Clip: I think it is only fair to give the new show some recognition. Give HELLO LADIES by Stephen Merchant a chance. You might like it.



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