HBO Sets Premiere Dates for ‘Doll & Em,’ ‘The Leftovers,’ and Amy Schumer Stand-Up Special

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At the Television Critics Association summer session, HBO announced the premiere dates for Doll  & Em, The Leftovers and the premiere of Amy Schumer’s stand-up special, Amy Schumer: Live from the Apollo.

Comedy series Doll & Em, starring Emily Mortimer (The Newsroom) and Dolly Wells (Bridget Jones’s Diary), will return for its second season Sunday, Sept. 13 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT. Guest stars on the six-episode season include Ewan McGregor, Olivia Wilde, Evan Rachel Wood and Mikhail Baryshnikov.

Written by and starring real-life best friends Mortimer and Wells, Doll & Em explored what happens when a Hollywood actress hires her childhood friend as a personal assistant while making a film in Los Angeles. In the second season, the two write an off-Broadway play together in an effort to do something creative on equal footing. They even manage to hoodwink Evan Rachel Wood and Olivia Wilde into appearing in it, with Wood playing Doll and Wilde playing Em.

Season two of drama series The Leftovers will premiere on Sunday, Oct. 4 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The series, based on the novel by Tom Perrotta and overseen by Lost’s Damon Lindelof, follows a small town in eastern Texas in the wake of a global Rapture, following those that were left behind. The cast of season two includes Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston, Liv Tyler, Carrie Coon, Ann Dowd, Margaret Qualley, Chris Zylka, Regina King, Kevin Carroll, Jovan Adepo and Janel Moloney.

Comedy darling Amy Schumer is set to star in her first HBO stand-up special, Amy Schumer: Live from the Apollo, which debuts Saturday, Oct. 17 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Directed by Chris Rock and taped May 29 before a live audience at New York’s iconic Apollo Theater, the one-hour special features Schumer talking about her life.

Photo Credit: HBO

‘The Leftovers’ Season 2 Premiere Date, Story Details Revealed

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HBO announced that The Leftovers will return for its second season on Sunday, October 4 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

The HBO drama is based on the novel by Tom Perrotta and overseen by Lost’s Damon Lindelof. The Leftovers follows a small town in eastern Texas in the wake of a global Rapture, following those that were left behind. The cast of season two includes Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston, Liv Tyler, Carrie Coon, Ann Dowd, Margaret Qualley, Chris Zylka, Regina King, Kevin Carroll, Jovan Adepo and Janel Moloney.

The network also released a very detailed, almost too detailed,  synopsis to go along with the Season 2 teaser trailer that was released last month.

Per the press release:

After last season’s elaborate Memorial Day initiative by the Guilty Remnant plunged Mapleton into chaos, season two of THE LEFTOVERS finds many searching for a fresh start. Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux) has retired from his post as chief of police of Mapleton and is moving his new family to Texas. With him is Nora Durst (Carrie Coon), who’s discovered new purpose in caring for the baby she found on Kevin’s doorstep and welcomes leaving behind Mapleton and the incredible tragedy she suffered there. Equally eager to leave the town she grew up in and the friends she made there is Kevin’s daughter, Jill (Margaret Qualley).
Upon their arrival in Jarden, Texas, the newly formed Garvey family meet their neighbors, the Murphys: John (Kevin Carroll) and Erika (Regina King) and their teenage twins, Evie (Jasmin Savoy Brown) and Michael (Jovan Adepo). Attracted to this special town and hoping for miracles for his whole family, Matt Jamison (Christopher Eccleston) has moved with his wife, Mary (Janel Moloney), who still suffers from consequences of the terrible car accident on October 14.
Meanwhile, Kevin’s ex-wife, Laurie Garvey (Amy Brenneman), has left the Guilty Remnant and reunited with her son, Tom (Chris Zylka), who may have finally discovered a cause to help replace the pain in his heart. And while Meg (Liv Tyler) remains in the Guilty Remnant, it may not be the same cult she originally joined.
The first season of THE LEFTOVERS was based on Tom Perrotta’s bestselling novel of the same name. In the second season, the show expands on the novel’s original concept of The Rapture, continuing to explore the ways ordinary people react to inexplicable events.

Photo Credit: HBO

HBO Renews ‘Veep’ and ‘Silicon Valley’

Veep

HBO has renewed comedy series Veep and Silicon Valley for a fifth and third season respectively, it was announced today by Michael Lombardo, president, HBO programming. The news comes less than a day after both premieres and we have yet to see the ratings for either show, but this is great news as it’s honestly one of HBO’s best Sunday night lineups to date.

Veep and Silicon Valley are terrific series, and I’m immensely proud that they will return to HBO next year,” noted Lombardo. “Along with Game of Thrones and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, both of which have already been renewed for 2016, they give HBO a stellar Sunday night like no other.”

Created by Armando Iannucci, Emmy®-nominated series Veep stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as new President Selina Meyer, for whom even the most banal action can have unexpected and far-reaching consequences. The fifth season will be the first without Iannucci. David Mandel (Curb Your Enthusiasm) will be taking over. Cast regulars include Emmy®winner Tony Hale, Emmy® nominee Anna Chlumsky, Reid Scott, Matt Walsh, Timothy Simons, Sufe Bradshaw, Kevin Dunn, Gary Cole and Sam Richardson.

The Emmy®– and Golden Globe®-nominated series Silicon Valley takes a comic look at the modern-day epicenter of the high-tech gold rush, where the people most qualified to succeed are the least capable of handling success. A collaboration between Mike Judge and Alec Berg, cast regulars for the second season include Thomas Middleditch, T.J. Miller, Josh Brener, Martin Starr, Kumail Nanjiani, Zach Woods, Amanda Crew, Matt Ross, Suzanne Cryer and Jimmy O. Yang.

Photo Credit: HBO

‘True Detective’ Releases Season 2 Trailer, Announces Premiere Date

HBO has released the first teaser trailer for True Detective‘s second season starring Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams, Taylor Kitsch, Collin Farrell and his mustache.

The series returns for its eight-episode second season Sunday, June 21 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. According to the HBO description, “a bizarre murder brings together three law-enforcement officers and a career criminal, each of whom must navigate a web of conspiracy and betrayal in the scorched landscapes of California.”

Check out the teaser trailer below and let us know what you think!

TV Shows Invade Week One of SXSW

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SXSW isn’t just for the tech, music and film industry anymore. The TV world is officially making its presence known with cool installations, photo opportunities, branded transportation and more. Networks and studios are coming up with new and interesting ways to grow their audience by expanding on their existing brand recognition and just stepping it up a notch.

Here’s what we saw in Austin this week:

HBO

HBO celebrated the upcoming season premiere of their hit series Game of Thrones by creating a #SXSWesteros interactive exhibit. Fans were able to sit on the Iron Throne,  participate in an interactive sword training game and even taste the new Game of Thrones-themed beer, a Three-Eyed Raven Dark Saison Ale from the Ommegang brewery. HBO joined forces with a production company called Red Paper Heart, along with Civic Entertainment Group, to create an interactive sword-fighting experience whereby attendees would pose for a portrait, then step up onto a stage and hit a target using a replica of Arya’s wooden practice sword. The more accurate you were, the more your picture would project onscreen. Users were then able to email themselves their portrait at the end.

Photo Credit: HBO

Photo Credit: HBO

In celebration of the release of Catch the Thrones: The Mixtape, Vol. 2, HBO set up a social media vending machine that gave out prizes including a Catch the Throne iPhone case. Snoop Dogg and Talib Kweli are just a couple of artists that are featured on the mixtape that you can check out below.

FOX

FOX decided to get in on the food truck bandwagon in Austin by sending out a Simpsons-themed Kwik-E-Mart Truck of their own. The popup served over 3,400 squishees and claim to have given out the frozen sugar water at a rate of “2.6 Squishees per minute.”

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NatGeo

National Geographic Channel presented attendees with an opportunity to check out their “Escape the Cold” simulator in advance of the season 3 premiere of Life Below Zero on April 9. Fans entered the cold climate of Alaska and had to complete challenges in order to get back to the warmth of Austin, TX.

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USA Network

The cable networks upcoming hacker series Mr. Robot, starring Rami Malek and Christian Slater, definitely made their presence known by sending out a street team of guys wearing all black with Mr. Robot black hoodies and sunglasses on, walking around Austin in silence. Kind of like how the guards outside of Buckingham Palace don’t speak or move. It was sort of creepy, but it goes along with the vibe of the show which premieres in June 2015. The series will debut at SXSW on March 17 and was selected as one of five TV series to appear in the Episodic Screenings, a relatively new category for SXSW Film. Other shows included The CW’s iZombie, Lifetime’s UnReal, Rashida Jones’ Angie Tribeca and FX’s The Comedians. 

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FX Networks

FX did a little something different. They took over an already existing establishment, creating the “FX Fearless Factory” where they told SXSW-goers to be Be Fearless. The installation had something fun for everyone including:

  • Interactive FXNOW App Wall
  • The Strain Evolution Gallery
  • The FX FEARLESS Social Vending Machine
  • Free Craft Coffee From Austin’s Flat Track
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Custom Giveaways And More

Visitors were treated to donuts from Little Lucy’s of Austin and could even get their own custom rigged Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll T-shirt.

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Photo Credit: FX Networks

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Photo Credit: FX Networks

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Photo Credit: FX Networks

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Photo Credit: FX Networks

NBC

What better way to promote the second season of a show than by kicking off a comedy tour featuring the stars of the series. Chris D’Elia, Brent Morin, Ron Funches and Rick Glassman performed at Esther’s Follies on Saturday night and I’m not gonna lie, they were pretty freaking hilarious. Make sure to tune in to the season 2 premiere of Undateable on Tuesday, March 17 at 9/8c.

Photo Credit: Chris McLaughlin

Photo Credit: Chris McLaughlin

Saturday Night Live had a 40th Anniversary Virtual Reality Experience Presented by Samsung Gear VR on site. Cast member Vanessa Bayer, producer Erik Kenward, and filmmaker Chris Milk were on hand to guide attendees through the experience, which allowed users to sit in on pieces of the SNL 40th (specifically, Jerry Seinfeld’s audience Q&A) as if there were part of the audience.

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A&E

SXSW wouldn’t be complete without a replica of the Bates Motel to help promote the new season which premiered on March 9. In just three days, A&E had built The Bates Motel, a fully-immersive live activation based on the hit thriller by the same name. The motel will open its doors throughout the festival to let fans truly experience the world of Norman Bates, complete with authentic décor, show props designed with the series producers, a Bates-themed Tumblr GIF booth and eerie surprises around every (dimly-lit) corner.

Fans could even enter to win a night’s stay in one of the three fully-functional replica rooms which included:

·       “Special” brownies – often found in White Pine Bay – from local bakery Delish;
·       Maid and turndown service from leading-service booking platform Handy;
·       Bates Motel-themed welcome packages from Austin-based Tito’s Vodka; and
·       “Minibar room service” from liquor delivery service Drizly.

A&E's "Bates Motel" Open Its Doors at SXSW

Photo Credit: A&E

A&E's "Bates Motel" Open Its Doors at SXSW

Photo Credit: A&E

A&E's "Bates Motel" Open Its Doors at SXSW

Photo Credit: A&E

A&E's "Bates Motel" Open Its Doors at SXSW

Photo Credit: A&E

A&E's "Bates Motel" Open Its Doors at SXSW

Photo Credit: A&E

A&E's "Bates Motel" Open Its Doors at SXSW

Photo Credit: A&E

CBS

CBS provided free rides for attendees of SXSW courtesy of Battle Creek and CSI: Cyber.

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CW – iZombie

Last but not least, was The CW / Buzzfeed party in celebration of the series premiere of iZombie on Tuesday, March 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The “Party Til You’re UNDEAD” party came with everything you hoped for in an undead party, including 3D printed candy brains and even zombie hosted bartenders serving “Brain Appétit”-themed drinks.

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New ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 5 Trailer Debuts at Apple Event

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Photo Credit: HBO

HBO made quite the announcement today regarding their stand-alone streaming service called HBO Now.

The service, which was revealed at Apple’s “Spring Forward” keynote event, will launch exclusively on Apple TV for $14.99 a month, and just in time for the season 5 premiere of Game of Thrones. During the event, HBO released the newest action-packed trailer for the upcoming season, which gives away quite a few nuggets but just enough to get us ready for what’s to come.

Winter is coming…but so is Daenerys and her dragons.

Game of Thrones premieres Sunday, April 12th at 9/8c on HBO.

‘Game of Thrones’: Season 5 Key Art Revealed

HBO has just released the new poster image for Game of Thrones’ upcoming season.

Last we saw, Tyrion was headed out of King’s Landing and the artwork shows him on the ship’s bow, with Daenerys’ uncontrollable dragon, Drogon, in the foggy background.

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What does it all mean? We’ll just have to wait and find out.

Season 5 of Game of Thrones premieres Sunday, April 12th at 9/8c on HBO.

HBO Sets Return Date for ‘Veep,’ ‘Silicon Valley’ and ‘Game of Thrones’

By Claire Gendel

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At the Television Critics Association winter session, HBO announced the return dates for Veep, Game of the Thrones and Silicon Valley. Winter is coming on Sunday, April 12!

The network also announced that Real Time with Bill Maher has been renewed for Seasons 14 and 15.

A Bessie Smith biopic starring Queen Latifah is also slated to premiere this spring.

Game of Thrones will premiere at 9/8c followed by Silicon Valley at 10 p.m. and Veep at 10:30 p.m.

HBO Renews ‘The Leftovers’ for a Second Season

Heroes Day meeting

HBO wants a second serving of The Leftovers.

The network announced it has picked up the hit drama for a second season just weeks before the season finale. The HBO drama is based on the novel by Tom Perrotta and overseen by Lost’s Damon Lindelof. The Leftovers follows a small suburban community in the wake of a global Rapture, following those that were left behind. The series stars Justin Theroux, Amy Brennemen, Christopher Eccleston, Liv Tyler, Ann Dowd and Chris Zylka.

The Leftovers premiered back in June to 1.8 million viewers and airs every Sunday at 10 p.m. on HBO.

Lisa Kudrow Returns to HBO as Valerie Cherish in ‘The Comeback’

Nine years later, Lisa Kudrow is back as Valerie Cherish in HBO’s comedy The Comeback. Apparently both the folks at HBO, Kudrow and co-creator Michael Patrick King were thinking about what Valerie would be doing now and decided to revive the comedy for a six-episode limited series.

Kudrow thinks “the show is still the same as it was nine years ago.” King added that “the DNA is the same…the DNA we liked about Valerie is her in front of the camera. We tried to reflect what was going on last time (the birth of reality television) and this time we wanted to evolve and now it’s a behind the scenes crew, not a reality crew.”

When asked who brought up the idea of bringing The Comeback, back first, Kudrow said “It would be too much of an emotional risk to even say it [to bring the show back]. We’re just really grateful that we get to pick it up again…and keep people up to date on what’s happening and to do it again. We loved doing it so very much!”

King added that they were “both so thrilled to be back at HBO – the reason it was polarizing was because it was allowed to be this original thing ten years ago.”

Casey Bloys, EVP of Programming, said “HBO is in a different place than it was nine years ago and we had room to bring it back. It felt like the right time, for us and for these guys.”

Michael Patrick King, who also serves as executive producer, likes the gap between the first season and this offering. “We got to bring back all of the character who we thought were essential.” He added that “they’d never seen a female character doing this to herself nine years ago, and since then there’s been the Real Housewives.

The Comeback premieres in November. You can watch the first season on HBO Go.

HBO Synopsis: “B level” TV star Valerie Cherish was a pioneer of reality television. Now, It’s ten years later – there’s more TV than ever and she wants back in. Lisa Kudrow (Emmy® winner for “Friends”) stars as the embattled Valerie Cherish, a fading TV “It Girl” who was once so desperate to stay in the spotlight that she allowed cameras to follow her every move as she appeared on a new sitcom – with disastrous results. When the comedy series THE COMEBACK returns as a new six-episode limited series, Valerie thinks she has it all figured out this time. She doesn’t. From Michael Patrick King (Emmy® winner for HBO’s “Sex and the City”) and Lisa Kudrow, who will serve as executive producer along with her producing partner, Dan Bucatinsky (Emmy® winner for “Scandal”).