While the July lineup has just kicked off, HBO is already giving an early look at its August schedule. In addition to the anticipated HBO August 2019 schedule, we’ve got some highlights for Cinemax as well.
The acclaimed drama series Succession returns for a second season on Sunday, August 11 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT) and explores themes of power, politics, money, and family, played out within a rich and dysfunctional family whose patriarch, Logan Roy (Brian Cox), is CEO of Waystar Royco, one of the world’s largest media and entertainment conglomerates. Beginning where season one dramatically left off, season two follows the Roys as they struggle to retain control of their empire amidst internal and external threats. While the future looks increasingly uncertain, it is the past that portends to ultimately destroy them, as each of Logan’s four children remains focused on personal agendas that may or may not sync with those of their siblings. As Kendall (Jeremy Strong) deals with fallout from his hostile takeover attempt, this season finds Shiv (Sarah Snook) poised to make her way into the upper-echelons of the company, while Roman (Kieran Culkin) decides to reacquaint himself with the business by starting at the bottom, and Connor (Alan Ruck), who’s long eschewed the Waystar machinations, launches an unlikely bid for president. Blending high drama with sharp humor, season two of the series promises plenty of palace intrigue as this emotionally-challenged family navigates a rapidly changing media landscape and the looming question of who will take over in a post-Logan world.
The Righteous Gemstones, a new comedy from Danny McBride (HBO’s Vice Principals, Eastbound & Down), debuts Sunday, August 18 (10:00-11:00 p.m.), with new episodes airing subsequent Sundays at the same time, centers on the Gemstones, a celebrity televangelist family behind a popular megachurch that is also a major money-making enterprise. McBride stars as Jesse Gemstone, the eldest of three grown Gemstone children, who sees himself as a maverick in the ministry game but, as the series begins, receives a blackmail video that could put his reputation at risk. Getting caught up in the hunt for the culprits are Jesse’s sister Judy (Edi Patterson), who is secretly “living in sin” with her fiancé and dreams of escaping the Gemstone compound, and Jesse’s youngest sibling Kelvin (Adam Devine), a pseudo-hipster who always finds a way to get under his brother’s skin. Meanwhile, the family’s patriarch Eli (John Goodman) finds himself in a point of crisis as he mourns the loss of his wife Aimee-Leigh and questions whether the Gemstones are still serving a higher power as they aggressively expand their empire. Also causing a headache for the Gemstones is Baby Billy (special guest star Walton Goggins), Aimee-Leigh’s younger brother, who agrees to minister at a new Gemstone prayer center that riles a local pastor trying to hang on to his flock. Following the antics of this emotionally stunted family in nine episodes, the series is a hilarious, irreverent look at high-living, holyrollers – whose world of mansions, jets, greed and corruption belies their virtuous, godly mission.
A Black Lady Sketch Show, debuting Friday, August 2 (11:00-11:30 p.m.), is a narrative series set in a limitless magical reality full of dynamic, hilarious characters and celebrity guests. The show presents sketches performed by a core cast of black women, including Robin Thede, Ashley Nicole Black, Gabrielle Dennis and Quinta Brunson. Thede produces, writes and stars and Issa Rae (Emmy and Golden Globe nominee for HBO’s Insecure) executive produces.
From Hagai Levi (HBO’s In Treatment), Joseph Cedar and Tawfik Abu Wael, Our Boys, debuting Monday, August 12 (9:00-11:00 p.m.) with two episodes back-to-back, followed by new episodes subsequent Mondays at 9:00 p.m., is a captivating limited drama series from Hagai Levi that follows Simon, an Israeli terrorism investigator, on his search for answers in the wake of the murder of Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir, telling the stories of Jews and Arabs alike who were forever changed by a series of horrific events in the summer of 2014.
Based on the groundbreaking Israeli series of the same name, Euphoria concludes its first season Sunday, August 4 (10:00-11:00 p.m.). This provocative, authentic and unforgettable new drama puts a fresh spin on the coming-of-age narrative. Serving as a guide through the teenage landscape of substance-enhanced parties and anxiety-ridden day-to-day life is 17-year-old Rue Bennett (Zendaya), a drug addict fresh from rehab, who’s struggling to make sense of her future. Her life is changed drastically when she meets Jules Vaughn (Hunter Schafer), a trans girl who recently moved to town following her parents’ divorce, and, like Rue, is searching for where she belongs. Also in Rue’s orbit are classmates Nate Jacobs (Jacob Elordi), a jock whose anger issues mask sexual insecurities; Maddy Perez (Alexa Demie), Nate’s on- and off-again girlfriend; Chris McKay (Algee Smith), a football star who finds the adjustment from high school to college harder than expected; Cassie Howard (Sydney Sweeney), a sweet girl whose sexual history continues to dog her; Lexi Howard (Maude Apatow), Cassie’s younger sister and Rue’s level-headed childhood friend; and Kat Hernandez (Barbie Ferreira), a body-conscious teen exploring her sexuality. Raw and unapologetic, the series provides an up-close-and-personal look at what it’s like to be a young person today in a compelling narrative that’s equal parts shocking and empathetic.
Concluding its third and final season Monday, August 5 (10:00-10:30 p.m.), Divorce centers on ex-spouses Frances (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Robert (Thomas Haden Church), who, after more than a decade of marriage and two children, find themselves caught up in the lengthy process of unwinding their relationship. In season three, Frances and Robert are living independent lives, but still share an emotional and day-to-day connection through their children. With sharp, observant humor, the series mines the awkward moments and intense emotions of two people trying to embrace life’s changes – and move on with their lives – after their divorce. The show also stars Molly Shannon, Talia Balsam, Sterling Jerins, Charlie Kilgore and Becki Newton.
Comedian and “Space Prince” Julio Torres (HBO’s Los Espookys) headlines his first hour-long comedy special on HBO this summer when My Favorite Shapes by Julio Torres debuts Saturday, August 10 (10:30-11:30 p.m.). Taped before a live audience at Elsewhere in Brooklyn, the special is executive produced by Fred Armisen and Lorne Michaels. In the multimedia comedy show, Torres explores his favorite shapes, which include a plexiglass square, a triangle, an oval that wishes he were a circle, a self-conscious cactus and a Ferrero Rocher chocolate that Julio is mad at because she left her little skirt at home. The objects are presented via an industrial conveyer belt and serve as a jumping-off point for fantastical stories, anecdotes and jokes.
Presenting a satirical look at the week in news, politics and current events, as well as addressing broader issues, the Emmy-winning Last Week Tonight with John Oliver continues its sixth season Sunday, August 4 (11:00-11:30 p.m.), followed by new episodes subsequent Sundays at the same time, with a hiatus on August 25. Taped in New York a few hours before it debuts on HBO, the show is the only weekly news-oriented comedy series to be presented on Sunday night.
Real Time with Bill Maher continues its 17th season Friday, August 2 (10:00-11:00 p.m. live ET/tape-delayed PT), followed by other new editions subsequent Fridays at the same time, with a hiatus on August 30. 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 Thursday, August 1 (7:30-8:00 p.m.), followed by other new editions subsequent weeknights Tuesday through Friday.
The Favourite, debuting Saturday, August 3 (8:00-10:00 p.m.), tells the story of two cousins vying for power against the backdrop of early 18th-century England. The film stars Oscar winner Olivia Colman and Oscar nominees Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz. The film was directed by Yorgos Lanthimos from a script by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara.
The human-born heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis seeks to make peace between the ocean and land worlds when Aquaman debuts Saturday, August 10 (8:00-10:30 p.m.). The film stars Jason Momoa (HBO’s Game of Thrones), Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Nicole Kidman (HBO’s Big Little Lies), Dolph Lundgren and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (HBO’s Watchmen).
Clint Eastwood directs and stars in The Mule, debuting Saturday, August 17 (8:00-10:00 p.m.). Inspired by the New York Times Magazine article “The Sinaloa Cartel’s 90-Year Old Drug Mule” by Sam Dolnick, the film tells the story of a 90-year-old war veteran who becomes a drug mule for a Mexican cartel.
In a dystopian world, a young woman teams up with an outcast and an outlaw in Mortal Engines, debuting Saturday, August 24 (8:00-10:10 p.m.). The film stars Hera Hilmar, Robert Sheehan, Hugo Weaving, Jihae, Ronan Raftery, Leila George, Patrick Malahide, and Stephen Lang.
An author desperate for money begins selling forged letter by famous writers, but finds herself in trouble when dealers and collectors start to discover her scheme in Can You Ever Forgive Me? debuting Saturday, August 31 (8:00-9:50 p.m.). The film stars Melissa McCarthy and features Richard E. Grant (HBO’s Girls), Dolly Wells (HBO’s Doll & Em and Room 104), Jane Curtin, Anna Deavere Smith (HBO’s Notes from the Field), Stephen Spinella (Cinemax’s The Knick) and Ben Falcone. The film was directed by Marielle Heller from a screenplay by Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty. It was based on the book by Lee Israel.
Buzz, debuting Wednesday, August 7 (8:00-9:30 p.m.), follows a year in the life
of Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and bestselling author Buzz Bissinger as he experiences a sexual awakening while collaborating with Caitlyn Jenner on her tell-all memoir. A verité portrait of this transformative time in Bissinger’s personal life, the feature documentary is directed by his childhood friend Andrew Shea. As he works to perfect Jenner’s book, Bissinger simultaneously experiments with cross dressing, BDSM and uncharted desires in ways that test his marriage, family and sense of self. Interweaving intimate editing sessions between Bissinger and Jenner with insights into his sexual evolution from his wife, children, friends and colleagues, Buzz tells the candid story of a man seeking his authentic self, as well as the destabilizing effects that may have on the relationships he cares about most.
Directed and produced by Perri Peltz and Matthew O’Neill (HBO’s Axios), Alternate Endings: Six New Ways to Die in America, debuting Wednesday, August 14 (8:00-9:09 p.m.), offers a fascinating look at the varied ways Americans are choosing to celebrate life as it comes to an end. With attitudes about death and end-of-life choices rapidly changing, 2018 saw the first time more Americans chose cremation over more expensive burials, disrupting the $16 billion a year funeral industry. As the baby boomer generation approaches death, more and more are rethinking the way end of life is recognized and are deciding to take control of what will happen when they die. Touching and heartfelt, the documentary spotlights a subject most would rather avoid and presents it in a positive and thought-provoking manner. The documentary tells six stories of people nearing death and of family members of the recently deceased, who have chosen non-traditional burial options, from celebrations of life and living wakes, to green burials, space burials and more. Profoundly intimate and illuminating, the film explores what it means to be near death, either from age or terminal illness, and captures the healing power of honoring, giving thanks, and staying true to loved ones who have passed away.
HBO Sports, NFL Films and the Raiders team up for an unfiltered all-access look at what it takes to make it in the National Football League when Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Oakland Raiders kicks off its five-episode season Tuesday, August 6 (10:00-11:00 p.m.), with new episodes airing subsequent Tuesdays at the same time. One of the fastest-turnaround programs on TV, the 14th edition of the 18-time Sports Emmy-winning series focuses on the daily lives and routines of Oakland Raiders players and coaches. Under second-year head coach Jon Gruden, the team has an intriguing mix of established veterans, highly regarded rookie hopefuls and free-agent acquisitions. The Raiders compete in the highly-competitive AFC West, where they maintain an intense rivalry with their opponents and have set their sights on ascending in the standings. With camera crews heading to the Bay area to film for several weeks, the cinéma vérité series will capture all the action heating up in August.
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, August 20 (11:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.).
Pico de Neblina, debuting Friday, August 9 (10:00-11:00 p.m.), is a ten-episode HBO Latino series set in a fictional modern-day São Paulo where marijuana has been legalized. The story follows 29-year-old Biriba (Luis Navarro), a drug dealer who decides to give up his criminal life and enter the legal drug sales industry. Unfortunately for Biriba, going straight is more difficult than he could have imagined. This brave new world of dealing means he has a whole new set of rules to follow, forcing him to reexamine everything he knew as a lowly dealer. To make matters worse, his new career isn’t sitting well with people from his past who desperately want to put him out of business. The series explores the gray area between what is criminal and what is legal, diving into the social and economic consequences drug trafficking can have on not only a person, but their country as well.
Recorded in front of a live audience and back by popular demand after her 2018 HBO Latino stand-up appearance in Entre Nos: The Series, actress-writer-comedian Gina Brillon’s Entre Nos: Gina Brillon: Easily Offended, a hilarious half-hour stand-up special, debuts Friday, August 16 (9:30-10:00 p.m.), only on HBO Latino. In the special, Brillon couples her magnetic stage presence with all-too relatable content – from the charm of Southern accents to the nuisance of people who talk too much; from the excitement of cruise-ship buffets to the pros of “marrying up.”
In August, Cinemax continues to be the only premium channel presented in 100% True HD (1080i). Created, written, directed and executive produced by Sebastian Gutierrez, Jett continues its nine-episode first season Friday, August 2 (10:00-11:00 p.m.) with the season finale airing on Aug. 9. This series stars Carla Gugino as Daisy “Jett” Kowalski, a world-class thief just out of prison and trying to stay on the straight and narrow. When powerful crime lord Charlie Baudelaire (Giancarlo Esposito) offers her the proverbial “last job” – a jewel heist in Cuba that will see her reunited with former flame and safecracker extraordinaire Quinn (Mustafa Shakir) – Jett goes back to doing what she does best. Over the course of the nine-episode season, Jett deals with the fallout of this heist, finding herself buffeted from job to job through a series of unpredictable reversals, tethered to a cast of morally ambivalent and eccentric criminals – from budding femme fatales to compromised law enforcers to unscrupulous Russian mobsters – as she deftly navigates shifting loyalties, trying to figure out who double-crossed her and how to protect her daughter.
Based on the science fiction novel of the same name and directed by Steven Spielberg, Ready Player One, debuting Friday, August 9 (7:35-10:00 p.m.), is set in 2045, where the world has drastically changed for the worse, but humanity has found solace in the virtual reality universe of Oasis. When its creator, James Halliday (Mark Rylance), dies and leaves his fortune to the first player to find a digital Easter egg hidden in the game, Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) is pulled into a massive treasure hunt in an unpredictable, digital world.
After their daughters make a pact to lose their virginity on prom night, overprotective parents Lisa (Leslie Mann), Mitchell (John Cena) and Hunter (Ike Barinholtz) join forces to stop the plan in Blockers, debuting Friday, August 16 (8:00- 9:45 p.m.). The raucous comedy also stars Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan and Gideon Adlon.
After they are suspended for assaulting a suspect on video, two policemen are brought into the criminal underworld in Dragged Across Concrete, debuting Friday, August 23 (8:00-10:40 p.m.) The film features an ensemble cast including Mel Gibson, Vince Vaughn, Tory Kittles, Michael Jai White, Jennifer Carpenter, Laurie Holden, Fred Melamed, Udo Kier, Thomas Kretschmann and Don Johnson.
After her husband leaves her, a housewife (Melissa McCarthy) goes back to college and embraces her independence on a journey of self-discovery in Life of the Party, debuting Friday, August 30 (8:00-9:45 p.m.). The comedy is directed by Ben Falcone.