August isn’t traditionally considered “prime time” for television, but given what’s in store this month, it may become prime viewing. Below, we run down the new and returning TV shows and streaming options arriving in August.
Way back in June, we shared our Summer 2019 TV Guide, but it barely mentioned the bounty that is August programming.
From HBO’s A Black Lady Sketch Show, the first sketch series to feature a cast entirely made up of black women to BH90210, Fox’s hybrid reboot of ‘90s teen hit Beverly Hills 90210, and the much-anticipated return of Mindhunter on Netflix, there will be something to please everyone in August. Below we highlight some of the most noteworthy viewing options this month, in chronological order.
A Black Lady Sketch Show
Premiere: Aug. 2 on HBO
Fans of HBO’s comedy series Insecure will have to wait until 2020 for a new season, the show’s creator, star and executive producer Issa Rae recently announced. But Rae’s got something to tide fans over in the meantime, A Black Lady Sketch Show, which she co-executive produces along with creator Robin Thede. The show presents sketches performed by a core cast of black women, including Thede, Ashley Nicole Black, Gabrielle Dennis, and Quinta Brunson. Look out for guest appearances by Rae, Lena Waithe, Angela Bassett, Patti LaBelle, Laverne Cox, and more.
Premiere: Aug. 7 on Fox
Neither a sequel nor a reboot of Beverly Hills 90210, Fox’s BH90210, which features the original series cast (minus the late Luke Perry), will certainly be…interesting. Watching actors Shannen Doherty, Jason Priestley, Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, Gabrielle Carteris, Brian Austin Green, and Tori Spelling play semi-fictionalized versions of themselves reuniting for a Beverly Hills 90210 reunion just might be the meta TV experience we need right now. But given BH90210’s showrunner Patrick Sean Smith and multiple senior-level writers quit the new show back in May, we’re not exactly sure what to expect. Which means we’ll definitely be watching.
Premiere: Aug. 9 on Netflix
The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling return to the ring for season 3 of the crowd-pleasing Netflix series and this time around, the ladies are in Las Vegas for their new live show. Geena Davis joins the cast this season in the role of entertainment director (and former showgirl) Sandy Devereaux St. Clair. As if GLOW could get any more entertaining! TV Guide recently gave the third season a solid review, writing GLOW has a gift for not feeling uninspiring when it digs into the ways women inflict pain. It’s so straightforward about women’s complexity that it’s thrilling.”
Premiere: Aug. 11 on HBO
This critically acclaimed HBO series from Oscar-winning director-producer Adam McKay recently garnered five Emmy nominations for its debut season, including Outstanding Drama Series and Best Drama Directing (for McKay, who directed the pilot). Drama is plentiful in Succession, which follows the backstabbing, ultra-rich adult children of the Roy family, who, along with Rupert Murdoch-like patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox), control one of the world’s largest media conglomerates. For season two, Holly Hunter joins the already impressive cast (with standouts Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook, Kieran Culkin, Matthew Macfadyen, and Alan Ruck) as the CEO of a rival media company.
Why Women Kill
Premiere: Aug. 15 on CBS All Access
The new dark comedy from Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry details the lives of three women living in the same house during three different decades. There’s a housewife played by Ginnifer Goodwin in the ‘60s, a socialite (Lucy Liu) in the ‘80s, and a lawyer (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) in 2019, each dealing with infidelity in their marriages. Why Women Kill is Cherry’s follow-up to Devious Maids, which ran for four seasons on Lifetime. Though Cherry’s latest will only be available on CBS All Access, the top-notch cast and Cherry’s track record should be enough to draw attention.
Premiere: Aug. 16 on Netflix
The first season of Mindhunter, the serial-killer drama series from David Fincher, was an instant hit when it premiered worldwide on Netflix in late 2017, garnering critical praise and buzz. Time included it in its list of Top 10 Television Shows of 2017. Fans are eagerly awaiting season two, which shifts the story’s focus to the Atlanta Child Murders of 1979 to 1981, as well as notorious killers Charles Manson and, the “Son of Sam” David Berkowitz. Observant viewers will notice that Damon Herriman, who portrays Manson in Mindhunter, also played him in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Downton Abbey Live
Premiere: Aug. 18 on PBS
Okay, this may be just for die-hard Downton Abbey fans, but that’s a sizable group.
The sudsy period drama, which aired on PBS from 2010 to 2016 (and is now available to stream on Amazon Prime), won three Golden Globes and 15 Emmys during its six season run. The show was one of the most popular ever to air on the public broadcaster, attracting nearly 10 million viewers for its final season premiere.
This “live celebration” of the beloved TV series, which will soon be a major motion picture, promises some never-heard-before stories and sneak peeks of the upcoming feature film. As the event trailer teases, “It’s live, so who knows what will happen?”
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