August has always been a strange month in television. Back in the days before streaming, it was the month before fall premieres when almost everything was in repeats, forcing people to actually leave their homes and/or talk to people.
Now, with shows premiering year-round, we face no such interruptions of our TV viewing experience, but this year NBC’s broadcast of the delayed 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo is taking up at least some of that bandwidth.
Still, neither summer nor sports are reasons for streamers to stop debuting new content, and August is no different, with such programs on tap as Apple TV Plus’ Mr. Corman written, directed by and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, FX’s Reservation Dogs from Taika Waititi, Starz’ Heels from Loki’s Michael Waldron, and Hulu’s Nine Perfect Strangers from David E. Kelley and Nicole Kidman.
Without further ado, here are the shows Brief is checking out this month:
August 2: HBO’s Small Town News (six-part limited documentary series)
A small but dedicated team of people produce the news at KVPR Pahrump in Nevada and now they’re expanding to the much larger market of Las Vegas.
The series is executive produced by Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Nikki Calabrese and Nelson Walters with Christi Martinelli and Steven Sims producing. Bailey and Barbato also produced HBO’s Catch and Kill: The Podcast Tapes and Carrie Fisher: Wishful Drinking. Sara Rodriguez is senior producer, with Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller executive producing for HBO.
August 6: Apple TV Plus’ Mr. Corman (series premiere)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in this story of a fifth-grade teacher who feels like he’s failed at life and now is being haunted by anxiety and loneliness. His girlfriend, Megan, (Ted Lasso’s Juno Temple) has left him and his high school buddy/human weighted blanket, Victor, (Arturo Castro) has moved in. Meanwhile, he’s trying to figure out where his hopes and dreams went as he struggles along as a teacher.
Gordon-Levitt is creator, director and executive producer on the series, which hails from A24. Bruce Eric Kaplan, Ravi Nandan and Inman Young also serve as executive producers, with Pamela Harvey-White producing.
Debra Winger, Bobby Hall a.k.a. Logic, Alexander Jo, Jamie Chung, Shannon Woodward and Hector Hernandez also star.
August 9: FX’s Reservation Dogs (series premiere)
From Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnorak, What We Do in the Shadows, JoJo Rabbit), Sterlin Harjo (11/8/16, Barking Water, Four Sheets to the Wind) and Garrett Basch (What We Do in the Shadows, The Night Of) comes FX’s Reservation Dogs.
The series is about four indigenous teenagers who will do anything to get out of rural Oklahoma and make their way to the Golden State.
August 10: Fox’s Fantasy Island (rebooted series premiere)
The latest series of several about people who are just dying to go on vacation—HBO’s The White Lotus, Hulu’s Nine Perfect Strangers—Fox’s reboot of the 70s beloved Fantasy Island stars Roselyn Sanchez (Devious Maids, Grand Hotel) trying to recapture the charm of Ricardo Montalban.
Sanchez plays Elena Roarke, a descendant of the mysterious Mr. Roarke (Montalban) who has decided it is her responsibility to uphold the family legacy.
The series is executive produced by Liz Craft and Sarah Fain (The 100, The Shield, Lie to Me), and co-produced by Sony Pictures Television, Gemstone Studios and Fox Entertainment.
August 12: HBO Max’s The Hype (unscripted series premiere)
In HBO Max’s unscripted competition series The Hype, hosted by Speedy Morman, ten streetwear designers compete to see which of them best delivers on their fashion vision.
Over the course of eight episodes, such judges as recording artist Offset, Bephies Beauty Supply founder Bephie Birkett and costume designer Marni Senofonte will show up to give contestants their unvarnished opinions, while guests include such celebrities as Cardi B, Wiz Khalifa, A$AP Ferg, Dapper Dan and Bobby Hundreds.
The Hype is produced by Scout Productions with Scout’s David Collins, Rob Eric and Michael Williams developing the series with Rachelle Mendez. All four executive produce along with Jay Brown and Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith. Rikki Hughes showruns and executive produces.
August 15: Starz’ Heels (series premiere)
Brothers Jack Spade (Stephen Amell) and Ace Spade (Alexander Ludwig) can’t get along inside the ring or out of it in Starz’ new pro-wrestling drama, Heels, premiering August 15 across all Starz’ platforms.
Coming off of Disney Plus’ Loki, Michael Waldron serves as the series creator, writer and executive producer. Mike O’Malley is showrunner. Peter Smart directs and executive produces.
August 18: Hulu’s Nine Perfect Strangers (limited series premiere)
Nine Perfect Strangers show up at a boutique resort to seek healing from Nicole Kidman’s mysterious wellness guru Masha in Hulu’s upcoming limited series based on the best-selling novel by Liane Moriarty (Big Little Lies).
Besides Kidman, the eight-episode series stars Melissa McCarthy, Michael Shannon, Luke Evans, Bobby Cannavale, Regina Hall, Samara Weaving, Melvin Gregg, Asher Keddie, Grace Van Patten, Tiffany Boone and Manny Jacinto.
Nine Perfect Strangers comes from David E. Kelley, Bruna Papandrea’s Made Up Stories, Nicole Kidman’s Blossom Films, and Endeavor Content. Kelley and Kidman previously worked together on HBO’s Emmy-winning Big Little Lies as well as HBO’s The Undoing.
Jonathan Levine directs all eight episodes of the series and serves as executive producer alongside Papandrea, Steve Hutensky and Jodi Matterson for Made Up Stories, Kidman and Per Saari for Blossom Films, Moriarty, showrunner Kelley, John Henry Butterworth, Molly Allen, Samantha Strauss and McCarthy. The series is co-written by Kelley, John Butterworth and Strauss.
August 20: Netflix’s The Chair (comedy series premiere)
Sandra Oh takes on a new role as Dr. Ji-Yoon Kim, chair of the English department at the prestigious Pembroke University in Netflix’s The Chair. Kim’s already difficult job is made even harder when she has to manage a complicated relationship with her colleague, Professor Bill Dobson (Jay Duplass). The series also stars Holland Taylor, Bob Balaban, Nana Mensah, David Morse and Everly Carganilla.
August 31: Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building
Three mismatched neighbors on Manhattan’s Upper West Side have one thing in common: their love for true crime. But when someone is actually murdered in their exclusive building, their taste for true crime becomes much more than just a side interest.
The three—played by series creator Steve Martin along with Martin Short and Selena Gomez—come together to produce a podcast both about the crime and their building’s long and mysterious history. But the trio soon finds that they are in real danger and start investigating in order to save their own lives.
Only Murders in the Building is co-created and written by Martin and John Hoffman (Grace & Frankie, Looking), who executive produce along with Short, Gomez, Jamie Babbit, Dan Fogelman (This Is Us) and Jess Rosenthal. The series also features cameos from Nathan Lane, Jane Lynch, Sting and more.