HBO/CINEMAX 2012 PROGRAMMING OVERVIEW
LUCK: This new drama series is a behind-the-track look at the world of horse racing and gambling's denizens - owners, trainers, jockeys and gamblers. The cast stars Dustin Hoffman, Dennis Farina, John Ortiz, Richard Kind, Ian Hart, Kevin Dunn, Ritchie Coster, Jason Gedrick, Jill Hennessy, Tom Payne, Kerry Condon, Gary Stevens and Nick Nolte. Executive producers, David Milch, Michael Mann and Carolyn Strauss; co-executive producers, Henry Bronchtein and Eric Roth; producer, Dustin Hoffman. The pilot is directed by Michael Mann and written by David Milch; the series was created by David Milch. The nine-episode season was filmed at Santa Anita Park and other Los Angeles locations and kicks off Jan. 29.
GAME OF THRONES: Based on the popular book series "A Song of Ice and Fire," by George R.R. Martin, this Emmy(R)-nominated fantasy series chronicles an epic struggle for power in a vast and violent fantasy kingdom. The ensemble cast for the first season included Mark Addy, Sean Bean, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Fairley, Lena Headey, Kit Harington and Aidan Gillen. The second season is shooting at Paint Hall Studio in Belfast, as well as various locations in Northern Ireland, with debut later this year.
TRUE BLOOD: Based on the popular Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris, this Emmy(R)-nominated hit drama series was created by Alan Ball, creator of HBO's Emmy(R)-winning series "Six Feet Under." The show follows the on-and-off romance between waitress and part-faerie Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), who can hear people's thoughts, and 173-year-old vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer). The fifth season begins later this year.
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF TIM: Continuing its ten-episode third season, this animated series about an average guy whose instincts repeatedly lead him down the wrong path was created by Steve Dildarian, who also executive produces and writes the show, and provides the voice of the title character. The season concludes Feb. 17.
ANGRY BOYS: This new comedy series comes from Chris Lilley, creator and star of the acclaimed HBO comedy series "Summer Heights High." Shot in mock documentary style, the show explores what it means to be a 21st-century boy by putting the male of the species under the microscope, with Lilley playing multiple roles. The six-week, 12-episode season concludes Feb. 12.
EASTBOUND & DOWN: Starring Danny McBride and executive produced by Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Chris Henchy, Jody Hill and Danny McBride, this comedy series tells the story of a star pitcher whose self-destructive behavior knocks him out of major league baseball, leaving him broke, delusional and desperate to regain his former glory. The eight-episode third season debuts Feb. 19.
LIFE'S TOO SHORT: This new comedy series is a faux documentary starring actor Warwick Davis ("Willow," the "Harry Potter" and "Star Wars" films) as a fictionalized version of himself: a down-and-out little person desperately trying to hustle and connive his way back into the spotlight. Written, directed and executive produced by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant (creators of the Golden Globe-winning BBC comedy series "The Office" and the HBO series "Extras" and "The Ricky Gervais Show"), the show features cameos by top stars, including Johnny Depp, Sting and Steve Carell, along with Gervais and Merchant playing themselves in minor roles. The seven-episode season debuts Feb. 19.
VEEP: Created by Armando Iannucci (Oscar(R) nominee for co-writing "In the Loop"), this new comedy series stars Emmy(R) winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus as former Senator Selina Meyer, who becomes vice president, only to discover the job is nothing like she expected, but everything she was warned about. The show also stars Tony Hale, Anna Chlumsky, Matt Walsh, Reid Scott, Timothy C. Simons and Sufe Bradshaw. Iannucci co-wrote and directed the pilot of the series, which he executive produces along with Frank Rich and Christopher Godsick. The eight-episode season debuts in April.
GIRLS: Created by and starring Lena Dunham ("Tiny Furniture"), the show is a comic look at the assorted humiliations and rare triumphs of a group of girls in their early 20s. Dunham wrote and directed the pilot of the series, which she executive produces along with Judd Apatow and Jenni Konner. The cast also includes Jemima Kirke, Allison Williams, Zosia Mamet and Adam Driver. The ten-episode season debuts in April.
THE RICKY GERVAIS SHOW: This animated adaptation of Ricky Gervais' hit podcasts features the comic stream-of-consciousness exchanges between Gervais, his collaborator Stephen Merchant and their offbeat friend Karl Pilkington. The third season debuts later this year.
REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER: Maher's live weekly show is devoted to news and comedy, allowing him to offer his unique perspective on contemporary issues. New editions debut Fridays at 10:00 p.m. (ET/PT), with the tenth season kicking off Jan. 13.
ON FREDDIE ROACH: Executive produced by Emmy(R) nominee Peter Berg ("Friday Night Lights"), this cinéma-vérité series focuses on Freddie Roach, the world-famous boxing trainer who owns and operates the famed Wildcard Boxing Club in Hollywood, where he has produced a host of world champions. The cameras follow Roach as he works with future stars, engages the continuous stream of celebrity visitors to his gym, finds time to sort through and balance his myriad of outside interests, and manages his new role with USA Boxing, all while fighting Parkinson's disease, an ailment likely linked to his own boxing past. A co-production of Film 44 and Atticus Entertainment; also executive produced by Jim Lampley, Sarah Aubrey and Michael Price. The six-episode series debuts Jan. 20.
GAME CHANGE: Starring Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson and Ed Harris, this HBO Films presentation follows Ariz. Sen. John McCain's (Harris) 2008 presidential campaign, from his selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (Moore) as his running mate to their defeat in the general election. Harrelson portrays Steve Schmidt, McCain's senior campaign strategist. Based on the bestselling book of the same name by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, the film is directed by Jay Roach and written by Danny Strong. A Playtone Production in association with Everyman Pictures; executive producers, Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman and Jay Roach. Debuts March 10.
HEMINGWAY & GELLHORN: This biographical drama recounts one of the greatest romances of the last century - the passionate love affair and tumultuous marriage of literary master Ernest Hemingway (Clive Owen) and trailblazing war correspondent Martha Gellhorn (Nicole Kidman) - as it follows the adventurous writers through the Spanish Civil War and beyond. As she grew in reputation and stature, Gellhorn stood toe-to-toe with Hemingway, mirroring his heroic spirit and putting his famous bravado and iconic style to the test. David Strathairn, Molly Parker, Rodrigo Santoro, Parker Posey, Lars Ulrich, Santiago Cabrera, Saverio Guerra, Peter Coyote, Diane Baker and Tony Shalhoub also star. Executive produced by James Gandolfini, Alexandra Ryan, Barbara Turner, Peter Kaufman and Trish Hofmann. Philip Kaufman directs from a script by Jerry Stahl and Barbara Turner. Debuts in May.
THE 2012 ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY (working title): This exclusive presentation features highlights from 27th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, to take place April 14 in Cleveland. The show will spotlight the music of the inductees, including Beastie Boys, Donovan, Guns N' Roses, Freddie King, Laura Nyro, Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Small Faces/The Faces, with performers to be announced. Debuts in May.
PARADISE LOST 3: PURGATORY: In the award-winning HBO documentaries "Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills" (1996) and "Paradise Lost 2: Revelations" (2000), filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky spawned a worldwide movement to free the West Memphis 3 - Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley - for wrongful murder convictions. This third film tells the entire story from the arrests in 1993, to the growing movement to free them, through the entire appeals process and the uncovering of shocking new developments and evidence, and finally to the stunning conclusion with their recent release. Directed by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky. Debuted Jan. 12.
THE UNION: Directed by Cameron Crowe, this documentary takes an unprecedented look at the creative life of Elton John and his remarkable collaborative album with his early-career idol, Leon Russell, produced by award-winning music producer T Bone Burnett. Never before filmed in his composing process, John is captured by Crowe in this candid portrait of one of the world's most treasured artists and performers. Begun in Nov. 2009, the film chronicles the entire writing and recording process of the album John recorded with Russell. Debuts Feb. 2.
THE LOVING STORY: A racially charged criminal trial and a heartrending love story converge in this documentary about Mildred and Richard Loving, a black woman and a white man whose marriage was declared illegal in 1958 by their home state of Virginia. Thrown into rat-infested jails and exiled from their hometown for 25 years, the Lovings fought back and changed history with the watershed Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia, which overturned bans on interracial marriage in 16 states. Directed by Nancy Buirski. Debuts Feb. 14.
SAVING FACE: This documentary spotlights Dr. Mohammad Jawad, a British cosmetic surgeon to the stars, as he travels to his homeland in Pakistan to treat survivors of radically disfiguring acid attacks, the majority of whom are women targeted by family members. The film also follows one of his patients as she becomes involved with women in the Pakistani parliament to address the issue of acid violence on a national level. A film by Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. Debuts in March.
GOD IS THE BIGGER ELVIS: Dolores Hart was a rising Hollywood starlet who appeared in films with Elvis Presley, Montgomery Clift and Anthony Quinn, but abandoned her career to become a Benedictine nun in 1963 at age 23. Now Mother Prioress of the cloistered Abbey of Regina Laudis, in Bethlehem, Ct., she reveals her life, past and present, with grace and humor in this unique documentary. Directed by Rebecca Camissa. Debuts in April.
IN TAHRIR SQUARE: 18 DAYS OF EGYPT'S UNFINISHED REVOLUTION: From award-winning filmmakers Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill, this documentary short chronicles the 2011 people-powered revolt in Egypt's Tahrir Square that brought down a dictator and changed Egypt forever. Debuts Jan. 25.
RAISING RENEE: This documentary tells the story of accomplished, charismatic painter Beverly Mciver and her promise to take care of her mentally handicapped sister, Renee, when their mother dies. Filmed over the course of six years by Oscar(R) nominees Jeanne Jordan and Steven Ascher, the film explores themes of family, race, class, disability and art. Debuts Feb. 22.
THE WEIGHT OF THE NATION: Developed in partnership with the country's leading research institutions, this multi-part, multi-platform series looks at the contemporary obesity epidemic. Three years in the making, it sheds new light on the facts and myths of this urgent public health problem, showing how obesity affects the health of the nation and cripples the health-care system. Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and arthritis are just some of the diseases directly linked to obesity, and these disorders will dramatically increase if the status quo continues. Debuts in May.
NAMATH: HBO Sports and NFL Films explore the fascinating life and career of one of pro football's biggest stars in a documentary on New York Jets icon Joe Namath, who led his underdog team to a world championship title in Super Bowl III versus the heavily favored Baltimore Colts. Debuts Jan. 28.
REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL: Winner of 21 Sports Emmys(R), and the only sports show ever to receive a Columbia University-duPont broadcast journalism award, the monthly magazine program explores issues, controversies and personalities in the sports world with more provocative reports in new monthly editions. Host Bryant Gumbel is joined by correspondents Mary Carillo, Frank Deford, Jon Frankel, Bernard Goldberg, Armen Keteyian and Andrea Kremer.
STRIKE BACK: This action series focuses on a charismatic former U.S. Special Forces operative who teams up with a stealth British military unit to stop international terrorists. Researched by the creators and aided by consultants, the series is rooted in the field of counter-terrorism, and set against the backdrop of timely global issues. Sullivan Stapleton and Philip Winchester star. Andy Harries and Huw Kennair-Jones executive produce. The ten-episode second season launches in mid-2012.
NEMESIS: From Frank Spotnitz comes this eight-episode drama set in the world of international espionage. Melissa George stars as an operative for an elite private intelligence firm who survives an attempt on her life that may have been orchestrated by members of her own team; when she returns to work, she doesn't know who to trust. Other cast members include Adam Raymer, Stephen Dillane, Morven Christie and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. SJ Clarkson directs the first two episodes; Frank Spotnitz, Alison Jackson, Jane Featherstone, Stephen Garrett, Christopher Aird executive produce. The series is shooting in Europe and debuts in mid-2012.
TRANSPORTER: Based on the popular film franchise of the same name created by Luc Besson, this fast-paced series follows the adventures of professional transporter Frank Martin, who operates in a seedy underworld of dangerous criminals and desperate players. Chris Vance stars as Martin; Andrea Osvart stars as his handler Carla; and Francois Berléand reprises his role as Inspector Tarconi from the films. Executive producers are Luc Besson, Takis Candilis, Klaus Zimmermann, Rob Cooper and Steve Shill. The 12-episode season shoots in Europe and Canada, with debut scheduled for 2012.
HBO THEATRICAL MOVIES
BLACK SWAN - Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey and Winona Ryder. (Directed by Darren Aronofsky; story by Andrés Heinz; screenplay by Mark Heyman and Andrés Heinz and John McLaughlin.) Debuts Jan. 14.
SANCTUM - Richard Roxburgh, Rhys Wakefield, Alice Parkinson, Dan Wyllie and Ioan Gruffudd. Debuts Jan. 21.
DOA: DEAD OR ALIVE - Jaime Pressly, Holly Valance, Sarah Carter, Eric Roberts, Natassia Malthe, Matthew Marsden, Steve Howey, Kevin Nash, Brian White, Kane Kosugi, Collin Chou and Devon Aoki. (Directed by Cory Yuen; screenplay by J.F. Lawton and Adam Gross & Seth Gross; story by J.F. Lawton.) Debuts Jan. 28.
RIO - Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Jemaine Clement, Leslie Mann, George Lopez and Jamie Foxx. (Directed by Carlos Saldanha; screenplay by Don Rhymer and Joshua Sternin & Jeffrey Ventimilia and Sam Harper.) Debuts Feb. 4.
SOMETHING BORROWED - Kate Hudson, Ginnifer Goodwin, John Krasinski and Colin Egglesfield. Debuts Feb. 11.
YOUR HIGHNESS - Danny McBride, James Franco, Natalie Portman, Zooey Deschanel, Justin Theroux, Toby Jones and Damian Lewis. (Directed by David Gordon Green; written by Danny R. McBride & Ben Best.) Debuts Feb. 18.
BIG MOMMAS: LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON - Martin Lawrence, Brandon T. Jackson and Jessica Lucas. (Directed by John Whitesell; screenplay by Matthew Fogel; based on characters created by Darryl Quarles; story by Don Rhymer and Matthew Fogel.) Debuts Feb. 25.
CINEMAX "SEE IT SATURDAY" THEATRICAL MOVIES
STAG NIGHT - Kip Pardue, Vinessa Shaw and Breckin Meyer. (Directed and written by Peter A. Dowling.) Debuts Jan. 14.
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS (PART 1) - Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson. ((C) 2010 Warner Bros. Harry Potter Publishing Rights (C) J.K. Rowling. HARRY POTTER, characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and (C) Warner Bros. All rights reserved.) Debuts Jan. 21.
HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN - Dave Bautista, Amy Smart, Dominic Purcell and Danny Trejo. Debuts Feb. 4.
PAUL - Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jason Bateman and Kristin Wiig, with Sigourney Weaver and Seth Rogen. Debuts Feb. 11.
WIN WIN - Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Bobby Cannavale and Jeffrey Tambor. (Directed by Tom McCarthy; screenplay by Tom McCarthy; story by Tom McCarthy & Joe Tiboni.) Debuts Feb. 18.
UNKNOWN - Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, January Jones, Aidan Quinn and Frank Langella. Debuts Feb. 25.