HBO Spring 2020 Programming Preview Here's everything coming to the premium network this spring

HBO is known for its originals, and its bringing out some big guns this spring, including another season of Westworld (which won’t take place in Westworld and will take the series in whole new directions) and Insecure. Check out the full schedule below, along with a synopsis of each project.

MARCH

AXIOS

  • Synopsis: 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.”
  • Credits: Directed and produced by Emmy® winner Matthew O’Neill and Perri Peltz.
  • Status: The show’s third season debuts March 1.
  • ContactAsheba.Edghill@hbo.com or Hayley.Hanson@hbo.com

 

WOMEN OF TROY (Sports Documentary)

  • Synopsis: HBO Sports and Bill Simmons’ Ringer Films have partnered with Triple Threat TV to debut 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.
  • Credits: An HBO Sports presentation of a Triple Threat TV production in association with Ringer Films. Executive producers, Bill Simmons, Peter Nelson and Rick Bernstein; Gary Cohen of Triple Threat TV; produced by Matt McDonald, Matthew Hawes and Branson Wright; directed and produced by Alison Ellwood; supervising producers Jonathan Crystal and Bentley Weiner; edited by Ross Hockrow; music composed by Wendy Blackstone.
  • Status: Debuts March 10.
  • Contact: Chuck.Kingsbury@hbo.com

 

WESTWORLD (Drama Series)

  • Synopsis: 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.
  • Cast: Confirmed season three cast includes returning stars Evan Rachel Wood, Emmy® winner Thandie Newton, Ed Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Tessa Thompson, Luke Hemsworth, Simon Quarterman, and new cast members Aaron Paul, Vincent Cassel, Lena Waithe, Scott Mescudi, Marshawn Lynch, John Gallagher Jr., Michael Ealy, and Tommy Flanagan.
  • S3 Credits: Created for television by Jonathan Nolan & Lisa Joy, who are executive producers with J.J. Abrams, Athena Wickham, Richard J. Lewis, Ben Stephenson, and Denise Thé. Production companies: Kilter Films and Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television; based on the film written by Michael Crichton.
  • Status: The third season debuts March 15.
  • Contact: Kelley.Carville@hbo.com or Christopher.Godefroy@hbo.com

 

THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA (Limited Drama Series)

Press Assets 

  • Synopsis: Based on the acclaimed Philip Roth novel of the same name, this six-part limited series imagines an alternate American history, told through the eyes of a working-class Jewish family in New Jersey as they watch the political rise of aviator-hero and xenophobic populist Charles Lindbergh, who becomes president and turns the nation toward fascism.
  • Cast: Zoe Kazan, Morgan Spector, Winona Ryder, Anthony Boyle, Azhy Robertson, Caleb Malis and John Turturro.
  • Credits: Created by David Simon and Ed Burns; executive produced by Simon, Burns, Nina K. Noble, Megan Ellison, Sue Naegle, Susan Goldberg, Joe Roth and Jeff Kirschenbaum, and co-executive produced by Philip Roth and Dennis Stratton.
  • Status: Debuts March 16.
  • Contact:  Diego.Aldana@hbo.com,  Cecile.Cross-Plummer@hbo.com or Alyssa.Michnevitz@hbo.com

 

MY BRILLIANT FRIEND: THE STORY OF A NEW NAME (Drama Series)

Press Assets 

  • Synopsis: Based on Elena Ferrante’s second book of her four-part series, this season follows Elena and Lila’s journey into adulthood as they weather romance, heartbreak, success and betrayal.
  • S2 Cast: Series regulars include Elisa Del Genio, Ludovica Nasti, Margherita Mazzucco and Gaia Girace.
  • S2 Credits: My Brilliant Friend is a series by Saverio Costanzo. Story and screenplays by Elena Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci and Saverio Costanzo.  An HBO, Rai Fiction series, produced by Lorenzo Mieli and Mario Gianani for The Apartment and Wildside, both part of Fremantle, and by Domenico Procacci for Fandango, in collaboration with Rai Fiction, In collaboration with HBO Entertainment, In co-production with Mowe and Umedia. Internationally distributed by Fremantle in collaboration with Rai Com; executive producers, Lorenzo Mieli, Mario Gianani, Domenico Procacci, Paolo Sorrentino, Jennifer Schuur, Elena Recchia, Guido De Laurentiis.  Based on Elena Ferrante’s bestselling book of the same name, which is the second of her four-part series published in the U.S. by Europa Editions.
  • Status: The second season debuts March 16.
  • Contact: Kelley.Carville@hbo.com

 

AFTER TRUTH: DISINFORMATION AND THE COST OF FAKE NEWS (Documentary)

  • Synopsis: 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. The film focuses on several high-profile made-up news stories in recent years with real world consequences, including the infamous “Pizzagate” case, the disinformation campaigns that influenced the 2016 presidential election, the Jade Helm conspiracy, and others. 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.
  • Credits: Directed by Andrew Rossi and executive produced by Brian Stelter.
  • Status: Debuts in March 19.
  • ContactVeronica.VanPelt@hbo.com or Hayley.Hanson@hbo.com

 

KILL CHAIN: THE CYBER WAR ON AMERICA’S ELECTIONS (Documentary)

  • Synopsis: 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. As more precincts rely on electronic voting machines, seemingly unrelated attacks over the past few years can be seen as part of a “kill chain,” in which state sponsored hackers employ cyber weapons instead of military force to undermine faith in the democratic process and the freedoms that many Americans assume are protected. Following Harri Hursti, the legendary Finnish hacker turned election expert, as he investigates election-related hacks, the film also features candid interviews with key figures in the election security community as well as U.S. Senators from both parties who are fighting to protect the sanctity of the votes of U.S. citizens.
  • Credits: A film by Simon Ardizzone, Russell Michaels and Sarah Teale; produced by Michael Hirschorn, Jessica Antonini, Sarah Teale, Simon Ardizzone and Russell Michaels; For Blumhouse Television: Jason Blum, Marci Wiseman, Jeremy Gold, Mary Lisio. For HBO: executive producers, Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller.
  • Status: Debuts March 26.
  • ContactLany.Iny@hbo.com or Hayley.Hanson@hbo.com

 

THE SCHEME (Sports Documentary)

Press Assets

  • Synopsis: The film chronicles the extensive and unprecedented two-year undercover FBI investigation into college basketball corruption that came to a dramatic climax on September 26, 2017, when Adidas executives and assistant coaches at major college programs were arrested in a pay-for-play scheme. While no head coaches were charged, the federal government alleged that Christian Dawkins, an unassuming and unknown 25-year-old man, was part of a criminal enterprise that had infiltrated college basketball and funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to steer recruits to prominent athletic programs. In the film, Christian Dawkins faces the camera for the first time and explains in fascinating detail how a kid from Saginaw, Michigan ended up in a hotel suite surrounded by FBI agents with a warrant for his arrest.
  • Credits: A Bat Bridge Entertainment production in association with The Freetown Project. Pat Kondelis directs; executive producers Michael H. Rockafellow, Stephen L. Germer, Jody M. Wingrove, Rudy Cline Thomas and Pat Kondelis. Executive producers for HBO, Peter Nelson and Rick Bernstein; supervising producers, Bentley Weiner and Jonathan Crystal. Produced by Lynsey Tamsen Jones. Edited by Sean McQueeney. Original Music by Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans.
  • Status: Debuts March 31
  • ContactPatrick.Byrne@hbo.com

 

APRIL

INSECURE (Comedy Series)

Press Assets

  • Synopsis: Starring Issa Rae, Yvonne Orji, Lisa Joyce, Natasha Rothwell, Amanda Seales and Y’lan Noel, this comedy series follows the friendship of two black women as they deal with their own real-life flaws while attempting to navigate different worlds and cope with an endless series of uncomfortable everyday experiences.
  • S3 Cast: Issa Rae, Yvonne Orji, Lisa Joyce, Natasha Rothwell, Amanda Seales and Y’lan Noel.
  • S3 Credits: Created by Issa Rae & Larry Wilmore; executive produced by Issa Rae, Prentice Penny, Melina Matsoukas, Michael Rotenberg, Dave Becky, Jonathan Berry, Amy Aniobi and Jim Kleverweis; co-executive producers, Laura Kittrell and Phil Augusta Jackson.
  • Status: The show’s fourth season debuts April 12.
  • Contact: Tonya.Owens@hbo.com

 

RUN (Comedy Series)

Press Assets

  • Synopsis: Ruby, a woman living a humdrum existence, one day gets a text, inviting her to fulfill a youthful pact promising true love and self-reinvention, by stepping out of her life to take a journey with her oldest flame. Domhnall Gleeson appears as Billy Johnson, a successful life guru from a wealthy Irish family; born with the gift of the gab, he deftly combines a boatload of charisma with a boundless need for approval. Merritt Wever appears as Ruby Dixie, an American family woman who functions like clockwork, but feels like a fraud; having packed away her younger self for the sake of other people, she is finally taking steps to reinvent her path. Phoebe Waller-Bridge appears in a recurring role as Flick.
  • Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Merritt Wever and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
  • Credits: Executive producer/writer, Vicky Jones for DryWrite; executive producer/recurring role, Phoebe Waller-Bridge for DryWrite; executive producer, Emily Leo for Wigwam Films; executive producer/pilot director: Kate Dennis; produced for HBO by Entertainment One (eOne).
  • Status: Debuts April 12.
  • ContactCecile.Cross-Plummer@hbo.com

 

NIGHT OF TOO MANY STARS (Live Special)

  • Synopsis: The all-star benefit will be hosted by Jon Stewart and is presented by HBO in partnership with NEXT for AUTISM
  • Cast: Hosted by Jon Stewart, other talent to be announced
  • Credits: The executive producers are Robert Smigel, Michelle Smigel, Jon Stewart, Chris McShane, and John Irwin for Irwin Entertainment.
  • Status: Presented live on April 18
  • Contact: Cecile.Cross-Plummer@hbo.com or John.Kwiatkowski@hbo.com

 

AUTISM: THE SEQUEL (Documentary)

  • Synopsis: This film follows five young adults on the spectrum as they navigate their early 20’s. Intercut with present day interviews is footage of the same youth and their families shot 12 years ago for the Emmy® winning film “AUTISM: The Musical.” The new film answers the prevailing question all of the families struggled with: what will happen when my kid grows up?
  • Credits: Directed by Sasha Alpert.
  • Status: Debuts April 28
  • ContactHayley.Hanson@hbo.com or Erica.Rosenthal@hbo.com

 

I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE (Limited Drama Series)

Press Assets

  • Synopsis: Mark Ruffalo stars as identical twin brothers Dominick and Thomas Birdsey in this family saga, which follows their parallel lives in an epic story of betrayal, sacrifice and forgiveness, set against the backdrop of 20th-century America. The six-episode limited drama series, written for television and directed by Derek Cianfrance, is based on Wally Lamb’s award-winning New York Times bestseller of the same name.
  • Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Melissa Leo, Rosie O’Donnell, Archie Panjabi, Imogen Poots, John Procaccino, Rob Huebel, Philip Ettinger, Aisling Franciosi, Michael Greyeyes, Guillermo Diaz, Marcello Fonte, Bruce Greenwood, Brian Goodman with Juliette Lewis and Kathryn Hahn.
  • Credits: Written for television and directed by Derek Cianfrance. Cianfrance executive produces along with Ben Browning & Glen Basner for FilmNationEntertainment, Mark Ruffalo for Willi Hill Productions, Gregg Fienberg, Lynette Howell Taylor, Wally Lamb, Anya Epstein; Jamie Patricof co-executive produces.
  • Status: Debuts April.
  • ContactAngela.Tarantino@hbo.com

 

ATLANTA’S MISSING AND MURDERED: THE LOST CHILDREN (Documentary Series)

  • Synopsis: This series offers a never-before-seen look at the abduction and murder of at least 30 African American children and young adults that occurred over a two-year period in Atlanta in the late-‘70s and early-‘80s, from the initial disappearance and discovery of two murdered teenage boys and the fear that gripped the city, to the prosecution and indictment of 23-year-old Atlanta native Wayne Williams and the rush to officially shut down the case. With unprecedented access and a treasure trove of archival material, this timely documentary series brings new evidence to light as the cases are reopened, providing a powerful window into one of America’s darkest chapters.
  • Credits: The series is produced and directed by the Emmy® winning team at Show of Force, including Joshua Bennett, Maro Chermayeff and Jeff Dupre, and Oscar nominee Sam Pollard and executive produced by Patrick Reardon of Roc Nation and by the Emmy® winning team at Get Lifted Film Co., Mike Jackson, Ty Stiklorius and John Legend.
  • Status: Debuts in April.
  • ContactLana.Iny@hbo.com and Asheba.Edghill@hbo.com

 

MAY

THE 2020 ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY (Live Special)

  • Synopsis: The HBO special spotlights some of the most memorable names in music through special reunions, touching tributes and heartfelt speeches from both presenters and inductees for the 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  • Cast: The performer inductees for 2020 are Depeche Mode, The Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, The Notorious B.I.G. and T-Rex
  • Status: Presented live for the first time May 2
  • Contact: John.Kwiatkowski@hbo.com

 

NATALIE WOOD: WHAT REMAINS BEHIND (Documentary)

Press Assets

  • Synopsis: Natalie Wood’s remarkable life and career are often overshadowed by the circumstances surrounding her tragic death at age 43. Guided by her daughter, Natasha Gregson Wagner, as well as her extensive circle of family and close friends, the film intimately explores Wood’s personal life and illustrious career that spanned nearly five decades. The film chronicles her triumphs and challenges, featuring previously unseen home movies, photographs, diaries and letters, as well as interviews with those that knew her best.
  • Credits: Executive producers for Amblin Television, Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey; produced by Natasha Gregson Wagner and Manoah Bowman; directed and produced by Laurent Bouzereau.
  • Status: Debuts May 5.
  • ContactLana.Iny@hbo.com or Veronica.VanPelt@hbo.com

 

THE ART OF POLITICAL MURDER (Documentary)

  • Synopsis: Based on Francisco Goldman’s book of the same name and executive produced by Oscar winner George Clooney and Grant Heslov, this film tells the story of the 1998 murder of Guatemalan human rights activist Bishop Juan Gerardi, which stunned a country ravaged by decades of political violence. Just two days after presenting a damning report blaming the atrocities of the civil war on the Guatemalan military, Bishop Gerardi was found dead in his home. Fearing a cover-up, the church assembles a team of young investigators to take on the case. They begin to unearth a web of conspiracy and murder, entangling the upper echelons of the government.
  • Credits: Directed by Paul Taylor and produced by Teddy Leifer.
  • Status: Debuts May 12.
  • Contact: Veronica.VanPelt@hbo.com or Hayley.Hanson@hbo.com

 

THE UNDOING (Limited Drama Series)

Press Assets

  • Synopsis: The six-part limited series stars Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant as Grace and Jonathan Fraser who are living the only lives they ever wanted for themselves. Overnight a chasm opens in their lives: a violent death and a chain of terrible revelations. Left behind in the wake of a spreading and very public disaster and horrified by the ways in which she has failed to heed her own advice, Grace must dismantle one life and create another for her child and her family.
  • Cast: Stars Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Edgar Ramirez, Ismael Cruz Cordova, Matilda De Angelis, Lily Rabe, Noma Dumezweni, Noah Jupe, Sofie Gråbøl and Donald Sutherland.
  • Credits: Directed by Susanne Bier; created and written for television by David E. Kelley, who also serves as showrunner; executive produced by Susanne Bier, David E. Kelley through David E. Kelley Productions, Nicole Kidman and Per Saari through Blossom Films, Bruna Papandrea through Made Up Stories, Stephen Garrett and Celia Costas; based on the novel “You Should Have Known,” by Jean Hanff Korelitz.
  • Status: Debuts in May.
  • ContactAngela.Tarantino@hbo.com

 

SPRING 2020 (debut dates forthcoming)

BETTY (New Series)

  • Synopsis: Inspired by Crystal Moselle’s critically acclaimed feature Skate Kitchen, this six-episode half-hour series follows a diverse group of young women navigating their lives through the predominantly male-oriented world of skateboarding, set against the backdrop of New York City.
  • Cast: Stars Dede Lovelace, Moonbear, Nina Moran, Ajani Russell, and Rachelle Vinberg, who all starred in the original film.
  • Credits: Directed by Crystal Moselle; executive produced by Moselle, Lesley Arfin, Igor Srubshchik and Jason Weinberg.
  • Status: Debuts spring 2020.
  • ContactErin.Tresco@hbo.com

 

WE’RE HERE (Unscripted Series)

Press Assets 

  • Synopsis: This six-part unscripted series recruits small-town residents across America to participate in a one-night-only drag show. In each episode, renowned drag queens Bob the Drag Queen, Eureka O’Hara and Shangela Laquifa Wadley will inspire and teach their own “drag daughters” to step outside their comfort zone for a night of no-holds-barred, full-on drag.
  • Cast: Caldwell Tidicue (Bob the Drag Queen), David Huggard (Eureka O’Hara) and D.J. Pierce (Shangela)
  • Credits: Created and executive produced by Stephen Warren and Johnnie Ingram; directed and executive produced by Peter LoGreco; executive produced by Eli Holzman & Aaron Saidman for Industrial Media’s The Intellectual Property Corporation (IPC). Caldwell Tidicue (Bob the Drag Queen), David Huggard (Eureka O’Hara) and D.J. Pierce (Shangela) serve as consulting producers.
  • Status: Debuts spring 2020.
  • ContactErin.Tresco@hbo.com

Also expect new original movies, thanks to Warner Max.

LOS ANGELES – February 5, 2020  The creation of Warner Max, a new film label that will serve as the feature production arm of HBO Max, was announced today by Ann Sarnoff, Chair and CEO of Warner Bros., and Warner Media Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer Chairman Robert Greenblatt. This unique joint venture between one of Hollywood’s most successful movie studios and its sister company HBO Max, which launches in May, will ensure that the new platform has a steady stream of high-quality and highly curated original films.

With an initial target of  eight to 10 mid-budget movies per year, the new joint venture will be overseen by HBO Max’s Chief Content Officer Kevin Reilly and Chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group Toby Emmerich, who share greenlight responsibility for Warner Max films and will work in close collaboration with senior executives Carolyn Blackwood (COO, Warner Bros. Pictures Group) and Sarah Aubrey (Head of Original Content, HBO Max). Jessie Henderson, executive vice president of original feature films for HBO Max, will expand her role to serve as the day-to-day head of the label and liaison between HBO Max and Warner Bros. Pictures Group and jointly report to Aubrey and Blackwood.

This new partnership will take advantage of the WarnerMedia organization’s vast feature film expertise, library, resources, and relationships, with Warner Max utilizing existing Warner Bros. Pictures infrastructure, including physical production.  Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema will continue to create mid-budget fare for traditional theatrical distribution, while Warner Max will create a new pipeline for filmmakers looking to make a particular type of film or connect with a specific audience that would be best reached in the streaming environment. The first Warner Max titles will premiere on the service in 2020, and Warner Bros. will be responsible for distribution of these titles in all other media and territories beyond the HBO Max SVOD window.

“From the get-go we have been strategizing with Toby and Carolyn about HBO Max original films,” says Kevin Reilly, chief content officer, HBO Max and president, TNT, TBS, & truTV.  “We are going to deliver a collaborative and lean process for talent, make a range of quality films, and provide a platform for each of them to have cultural impact. Now, HBO Max will be home to a robust collection of the legendary Warner Bros. film library and a new slate of original Warner Max films.”

“Working with Kevin, Sarah, Jessie and their teams, we’re committed to creating dynamic and compelling films that draw on the depth and scope of the creative resources across WarnerMedia,” says Toby Emmerich, chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group.  “We’re excited to help make HBO Max a destination for both film-lovers and the creative community, while delivering a win across the entire WarnerMedia organization.”

“Warner Bros. Pictures Group has long been the gold standard for filmmaker driven storytelling. We are proud to be in in the features business with them and continue that legacy on our SVOD platform,” Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max. “Warner Max gives us a special opportunity to continue cultivating this style of rich and diverse storytelling and it couldn’t be in better hands than with our head of features, Jessie Henderson, who’s built her career in this space.”

“It’s been great collaborating with our colleagues at HBO Max to take full advantage of our shared strategic advantages and creative expertise to make Warner Max a competitive player in the original SVOD film space from day one,” says Carolyn Blackwood, chief operating officer, Warner Bros. Pictures Group.


About HBO Max
HBO Max 
is WarnerMedia’s direct-to-consumer offering debuting in spring 2020. With 10,000 hours of curated premium content anticipated at launch, HBO Max will offer powerhouse programming for everyone in the home, bringing together HBO, a robust slate of new original series, key third-party licensed programs and movies, and fan favorites from WarnerMedia’s rich library including Warner Bros., New Line, DC, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Looney Tunes and more. Sign up for updates at HBOMax.com.

About Warner Bros. Pictures Group
Warner Bros. Pictures Group has been at the forefront of the motion picture industry since its inception and continues to be a leading creative force in the industry. Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema produce and distribute a wide-ranging slate of some 18-22 films each year, employing a business paradigm that mitigates risk while maximizing productivity and capital.  Warner Bros. either fully finances or co-finances the films it produces and maintains worldwide distribution rights.  It further monetizes its distribution and marketing operations by distributing films that are totally financed and produced by others.

About WarnerMedia
WarnerMedia 
is a leading media and entertainment company that creates and distributes premium and popular content from a diverse array of talented storytellers and journalists to global audiences through its consumer brands including: HBO, HBO Now, HBO Max, Warner Bros., TNT, TBS, truTV, CNN, DC, New Line, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies and others. WarnerMedia is part of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T).

Versability

Dr. Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. You can find his work in Cracked, High Times, HuffPost, Lifewire, Forbes, Fast Company, and dozens of other places, although much of it is no longer under his name. Dr. Penny loves annoying fake media.

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