This month’s top TV (and streaming) debuts
Below, our editors have selected the most interesting TV shows (including TV movies and specials) debuting this month, listed in order by premiere date.
A Black Lady Sketch Show
Comedy | Season 1 debuts August 2 at 11p on HBO
The next season of HBO’s hit comedy Insecure won’t arrive until 2020 as a result of star Issa Rae’s busy schedule. One of the products she’s been busy with is this brand new HBO sketch comedy series, which she produces alongside series creator and star Robin Thede (former head writer of The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore and host of her own BET series The Rundown). Joining Thede in the cast are Ashley Nicole Black, Gabrielle Dennis, and Quinta Brunson, while the impressive guest roster includes Lena Waithe, Angela Bassett, Khandi Alexander, Gina Torres, Yvonne Orji, Yvette Nicole Brown, Larry Wilmore, and Jermaine Fowler, to name just some.
Photo by HBO
Drama | Season 1 debuts August 7 at 9p on Fox
Well, this is a thing. Returning the entire* living cast of early Fox hit Beverly Hills, 90210, BH90210 is neither sequel nor reboot, but instead a “meta” reunion. That means stars Jason Priestley, Shannen Doherty, Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, Gabrielle Carteris, Brian Austin Green, and Tori Spelling (among others) will be playing exaggerated versions of themselves as they reunite for a Beverly Hills, 90210 reboot series. (Yes, the late Luke Perry had also signed on.) Given that the original showrunner and several writers quit the series in May after some unspecified behind-the-scenes disagreements, it’s hard to know what to expect from this six-episode series, which will also feature 90210 newcomers La La Anthony and Vanessa Lachey.
* Not Douglas Emerson, obviously.
Photo by Shane Harvey/FOX
Comedy/Drama | Season 3 debuts August 9 on Netflix
Geena Davis joins the cast for five episodes of the acclaimed Netflix dramedy’s third season, which finds the wrestlers now living and working in Las Vegas in 1986. Early reviews suggest that GLOW is still an entertaining watch as it continues to de-emphasize an overarching story in favor of further developing the lives of each of the characters in its ensemble.
Photo by Ali Goldstein/Netflix
Drama | Season 2 debuts August 11 on HBO
Recently nominated for five Emmys (including best drama series) for its debut season, Succession has all of the twisty, backstabbing, treacherous plotting of fellow HBO drama Game of Thrones—minus the dragons and swordplay (at least so far). Instead, it follows the warring factions within a family-run media empire led by a Rupert Murdoch-like patriarch (Brian Cox). The stellar ensemble cast (who, somewhat surprisingly, were shut out by Emmy voters) once again includes Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook, Kieran Culkin, Matthew Macfadyen, and Alan Ruck (among others), while this season’s major newcomer is Holly Hunter, who plays the CEO of a rival media company.
Photo by Peter Kramer/HBO
Comedy/Drama | Season 2 debuts August 12 at 10p on AMC
Often compared to The Big Lebowski—though its lead character (Wyatt Russell’s aimless but optimistic ex-surfer who joins a fraternal lodge in Long Beach, California) is known as “Dud” rather than “The Dude”—the somewhat hard to describe and offbeat dramedy Lodge 49 developed a cult following during its debut season … at least in the TV critic community. (Non-professional viewers seemed to avoid it, judging from the show’s ratings.) And, in this age of too much TV, that was good enough for a renewal. Paul Giamatti, already one of the show’s producers and champions, will have a recurring role in season 2.
Photo by Jackson Lee Davis/AMC
Drama | Miniseries debuts August 12 at 9p on HBO
HBO’s 10-part miniseries is based on true events and examines the repercussions of a pair of tragic events occurring near the Israel-Gaza border in 2014: the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens, and the subsequent revenge killing of a Palestinian teenager that eventually leads to an all-out war. Filmed on location in Israel, Our Boys comes from Hagai Levi (creator of The Affair and In Treatment) and Noah Stollman, and is directed in part by Joseph Cedar (Footnote). After a pair of episodes on debut night, additional chapters arrive singly each Monday.
Photo by Ran Mendelson/HBO
The Terror: Infamy
Drama/Horror | Season 2 debuts August 12 at 9p on AMC
With all new faces on both sides of the camera, the only thing that Infamy really shares with season one is a portion of its title and Ridley Scott as a producer. Based loosely on true events rather than a novel this time, the second season of AMC’s horror anthology is set in a Japanese-American internment camp in California during WWII—a storyline that, almost impossibly, might be more relevant today than ever, even if it deviates from true events to incorporate supernatural elements. Josef Kubota Wladyka (Narcos) directs the 10-episode season from writers Alexander Woo and Max Borenstein, and his cast includes Derek Mio, Kiki Sukezane, Naoko Mori, and George Takei (who actually spent time in an internment camp as a young child and who also serves as a consultant on the series).
Photo by Ed Araquel/AMC
David Makes Man
Drama | Season 1 debuts August 14 at 10p on OWN
Moonlight writer Tarell Alvin McCraney’s debut TV series stars Akili McDowell and Phylicia Rashad and counts Oprah Winfrey and Michael B. Jordan among its producers. The Florida-set drama is a coming-of-age tale (loosely based on McCraney’s own life) focusing on a 14-year-old prodigy who turns to education as an escape from poverty and a traumatic home life. Critics seemed to like the pilot at a SXSW screening earlier this year.
Photo by SXSW
Why Women Kill
Drama | Season 1 debuts August 15 on CBS All Access
This streaming series from Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry is another darkly comedic drama, though it plays around with structure to follow three different betrayed wives in three different time periods: the 1960s, the ’80s, and the present day. Ginnifer Goodwin, Lucy Liu, and Kirby Howell-Baptiste play the three wives in those respective decades, and the cast also features Jack Davenport, Reid Scott, Sam Jaeger, and Alexandra Daddario. Each of the 10 episodes will arrive weekly on Thursdays.
Photo by Ali Goldstein/CBS
Drama | Season 2 debuts August 16 on Netflix
David Fincher’s second Netflix series (following House of Cards) won approval from critics two years ago when its debut season ranked among 2017’s top newcomers. This month, it finally returns for an eight-episode second season that jumps ahead a few years to trace the continued development of the FBI’s first serial killer profiling unit. Damon Herriman (best known as Dewey Crowe on Justified) may have popped up for just a few seconds as Charles Manson in Quentin Tarantino’s new film, but you’ll be seeing a bit more of his take on Manson in Mindhunter this season, as FBI agents Tench (Holt McCallany) and Ford (Jonathan Groff) interview him and other convicted murderers (like “Son of Sam” killer David Berkowitz) for insights as they investigate a string of murders in Atlanta, based on the real-life “Atlanta Child Murders” case that shook the city from 1979-81.
Photo by Netflix
The Righteous Gemstones
Comedy | Season 1 debuts August 18 at 10p on HBO
Danny McBride, John Goodman, Edi Patterson, and Adam Devine star in this nine-episode comedy about a family of televangelists from much of the team behind former HBO shows Eastbound & Down and Vice Principals, including producer David Gordon Green.
Photo by Fred Norris/HBO
Documentary | Movie debuts August 21 on Netflix
Snapped up by Netflix near the close of Sundance, where the film scored solid reviews, this occasionally funny and often insightful documentary from a pair of veteran filmmakers examines the escalating clash of cultures and the changing nature of labor within an auto-glass factory in Dayton, Ohio that is populated by American workers but owned and managed by a major Chinese company.
Photo by Netflix
Documentary | Movie debuts August 23 on Hulu
Another well-received Sundance documentary (it won a Special Jury Award at the festival), the debut from Liza Mandelup profiles rising social media celebrity Austyn Tester, a 16-year-old living in rural Tennessee who gains a minor fanbase as an Instagram model and TikTok star and hopes to use his fame to escape his dead-end town. The film spends time with Tester and his new manager while on a nationwide tour, as well as with some of Tester’s young female fans, examining the slightly surreal nature of celebrity in a culture dominated by social media.
Photo by Hulu
On Becoming a God in Central Florida
Comedy/Drama | Season 1 debuts August 25 at 10p on Showtime
Originally ordered to series by YouTube but acquired by Showtime in June, this one-hour dark comedy series from newcomers Robert Funke and Matt Kutsky is set in early-1990s Orlando. Kirsten Dunst (in her first regular TV gig since Fargo four years ago) stars as a waterpark employee who seeks greater fortune through a multi-level marketing scheme—the very same one that ruined her family. Alexander Skarsgård, Mel Rodriguez, Beth Ditto, Théodore Pellerin, Julie Benz, and Ted Levine also star.
Photo by Showtime
Drama/Fantasy | Season 1 debuts August 30 on Prime Video
Amazon’s eight-episode fantasy series—which was just renewed for a second season—comes from writers Rene Echevarria (Teen Wolf, The 4400) and Travis Beacham (Pacific Rim) and producer Marc Guggenheim, and has its origins in a feature film script penned by Beacham nearly 15 years ago. Ambitious in scope, the series is set in a “neo-Victorian” city inhabited by both humans and mythological creatures, with the latter group having limited rights as immigrants. (Timely, no?) Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne head the cast. Jon Amiel replaces the original director, Paul McGuigan, who departed the project near the start of production.
Photo by Amazon
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
Drama/Fantasy/Family | Season 1 debuts August 30 on Netflix
The cult hit 1982 Jim Henson/Frank Oz film The Dark Crystal serves as the inspiration for this new Netflix series from director Louis Leterrier and The Jim Henson Company. Resistance is a 10-episode prequel set many years before the original story that once again uses only puppets and practical effects (no CGI!) to tell a (darker than you might think) fantasy story set on the planet Thra, where races include the elfin Gelflings, the mean Skeksis, and the magical Mystics. The absolutely loaded voice cast is led by Taron Egerton, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Nathalie Emmanuel and also includes Awkwafina, Mark Hamill, Andy Samberg, Simon Pegg, Keegan-Michael Key, Helena Bonham Carter, Caitriona Balfe, Eddie Izzard, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Alicia Vikander, Lena Headey, Sigourney Weaver, Benedict Wong, and more. Reports out of a pilot screening at Comic-Con this summer suggest that it could be a one-of-a-kind treat to close out the summer.
Photo by Netflix
More upcoming shows
Visit our TV Premiere Calendar for a complete, frequently updated listing of all upcoming TV debuts.
Top recent theatrical releases streaming in August
Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes debuts August 16 on the Starz App
The Bookshop debuts August 18 on Hulu
A Boy. A Girl. A Dream. debuts August 1 on the Starz App
Boy Erased debuts August 2 on HBO Go/HBO Now
Can You Ever Forgive Me? debuts August 31 on HBO Go/HBO Now
Dogman debuts August 15 on Hulu
The Favourite debuts August 3 on HBO Go/HBO Now
Hail, Satan? debuts August 22 on Hulu
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World debuts August 28 on Hulu
Mission: Impossible–Fallout debuts August 23 on Hulu and Prime Video
Non-Fiction debuts August 2 on Hulu
Photograph debuts August 16 on Prime Video
Plus One debuts August 6 on Hulu
Screwball debuts August 6 on Netflix
A Simple Favor debuts August 22 on Hulu and Prime VIdeo