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Westworld, Divorce Premiere Dates, Ballers, Real Time Renewed

HBO has released the premiere dates for Westworld and Divorce. HBO has also renewed Ballers and Real Time with Bill Maher. Sci-fi drama Westworld will premiere on HBO on October 2, 2016 at 9:00 P.M. The Sarah Jessica Parker star vehicle Divorce will premiere the following week on HBO on October 9, 2016 at 10:00 P.M.

Westworld has been in development for sometime and many will be glad that HBO is finally rolling it out. Divorce gave HBO the opportunity to work with Parker again after the success of Sex and the City.

The official press for Westworld:

The one-hour drama series WESTWORLD kicks off its ten-episode season SUNDAY, OCT. 2 at 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT), exclusively on HBO. Created for television by Jonathan Nolan (“Interstellar,” “The Dark Knight,” “Person of Interest”) and Lisa Joy (“Pushing Daisies,” “Burn Notice”), both of whom are executive producing and writing, with Nolan also directing, the series was inspired by the 1973 motion picture “Westworld,” written and directed by Michael Crichton.
WESTWORLD is a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the evolution of sin, exploring a world in which every human appetite, no matter how noble or depraved, can be indulged.

Co-creator Nolan explains, “Building on the incredibly evocative concept of the original film, we wanted to pose the question: If you could be completely immersed in a fantasy, one in which you could do whatever you wanted, would you discover things about yourself that you didn’t want to know?”

Co-creator Joy adds, “We also wanted to explore what it means to be human from the outside in – through the eyes of the ‘hosts’: the lifelike AI characters that are the main attractions of the park. It’s a meditation on consciousness – the blessing and the burden of it – beautifully portrayed by our remarkable cast.”

WESTWORLD stars Anthony Hopkins (Academy Award® winner for “The Silence of the Lambs”; Academy Award® nominee for “Remains of the Day,” “Nixon,” “Amistad”), Ed Harris (Golden Globe winner and Emmy® nominee for HBO’s “Game Change”; Academy Award® nominee for “Pollock,” “Apollo 13”), Evan Rachel Wood (Golden Globe nominee for “Thirteen”; Emmy® and Golden Globe nominee for HBO’s “Mildred Pierce”), James Marsden (the “X-Men” films), Thandie Newton (“Mission: Impossible II”) and Jeffrey Wright (HBO’s “Confirmation”; Emmy® and Golden Globe winner for HBO’s “Angels in America”).

The series also stars Tessa Thompson (“Creed”), Sidse Babett Knudsen (“Borgen”), Jimmi Simpson (HBO’s “The Newsroom”), Rodrigo Santoro (“Focus,” “The 33”), Shannon Woodward (“Raising Hope”), Ingrid Bolsø Berdal (“Chernobyl Diaries”), Ben Barnes (“The Chronicles of Narnia” films), Simon Quarterman (“The Devil Inside”), Angela Sarafyan (“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn”), Luke Hemsworth (“Infini”) and Clifton Collins, Jr. (“Star Trek”).

Among WESTWORLD’s main players are: Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins), the brilliant, taciturn and complicated creative director, chief programmer and founder of Westworld, who has an uncompromising creative vision for the park. The Man in Black (Ed Harris) is the distillation of pure villainy into one man. Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood) is a provincial, beautiful and kind rancher’s daughter, who begins to discover that her entire idyllic existence is an elaborately constructed lie.

Teddy Flood (James Marsden), a new arrival to a small frontier town, quickly proves both his charm and talent with a revolver. Beautiful, razor-sharp madam Maeve Millay (Thandie Newton) has a genius for reading people and a knack for survival, but her seen-it-all-before worldview is about to be challenged. Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright) is the brilliant and quixotic head of the park’s Programming Division, whose keen observation of human nature provides him with boundless inspiration for his life’s work: creating artificial people.

Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) is a mysterious and savvy provocateur with a unique perspective on Westworld. Theresa Cullen (Sidse Babett Knudsen), Westworld’s head of Quality Assurance, is responsible for keeping the park from sliding into unscripted chaos. A first-time visitor, William (Jimmi Simpson) is initially wary of the park’s more lascivious attractions, but slowly uncovers a deeper meaning.

Hector Escaton (Rodrigo Santoro), Westworld’s perennial “most wanted” bandit, subscribes to the theory that the West is a wild place, and the only way to survive is to embrace the role of predator. Elsie Hughes (Shannon Woodward), a sardonic rising star in the Behavior Department, is charged with diagnosing the odd quirks of behavior in the park’s hosts. Armistice (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal) is a savage fighter and brutal bandit, whose ruthlessness is surpassed only by her abiding loyalty to her fellow outlaws.

Logan (Ben Barnes) is a veteran guest whose hedonistic romp through the park is equally motivated by self-indulgence and a desire to help his friend, William. Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman) is the head of Narrative, whose storylines tantalize the guests, while his temperament grates on his colleagues. Clementine Pennyfeather (Angela Sarafyan), one of Westworld’s most popular attractions, is perfectly beguiling, by design.

Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) is the no-nonsense head of Security, charged with monitoring host and human interactions and ensuring the safety of the guests. Lawrence (Clifton Collins, Jr.), a charming but lethal outlaw, has a knack for maneuvering and negotiating the various criminal elements of Westworld.

WESTWORLD was inspired by the motion picture “Westworld,” written and directed by Michael Crichton. Production companies, Kilter Films, Bad Robot Productions, and Jerry Weintraub Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. Executive producer/writer/director, Jonathan Nolan; executive producer/writer, Lisa Joy; executive producers, J.J. Abrams, Jerry Weintraub, Bryan Burk.

The official press release for Divorce:

After more than a decade of marriage and two children, Frances has suddenly begun to reassess her life and her strained relationship with her husband. But she soon discovers that making a clean break and a fresh start is harder than she thought.

Serving as an executive producer, Sarah Jessica Parker (Emmy® and Golden Globe Award winner for HBO’s “Sex and the City”) stars as Frances in the comedy series DIVORCE, which begins its ten-episode season SUNDAY, OCT. 9 (10:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO. Thomas Haden Church (Oscar® nominee for “Sideways”) stars as Robert, Frances’ husband, who is struggling to cope with their marriage falling apart.

Set in Westchester County, NY, DIVORCE is created by Sharon Horgan (“Catastrophe”), with Paul Simms (HBO’s “Girls”) serving as a showrunner on the series. Paul Simms, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sharon Horgan, Alison Benson and Aaron Kaplan executive produce.

DIVORCE also stars Molly Shannon (Emmy® nominee for HBO’s “Enlightened” and “Saturday Night Live”) as Diane, Frances’ high-strung friend, who has a successful husband, a beautiful house and no children; Talia Balsam (“Mad Men”) as Dallas, Frances’ close friend, who has been both widowed and divorced; Tracy Letts (“Homeland”) as Nick, Diane’s husband; Sterling Jerins (“World War Z”) as Lila, Frances’ and Robert’s daughter; and Charlie Kilgore (“Moonrise Kingdom”) as Tom, their son.

The story of a very, very long divorce, the show follows Frances and Robert as they grapple with the fallout from their failing marriage, not just for themselves, but also for their children and friends, ranging from awkward public encounters to difficult private therapy sessions.

DIVORCE was created by Sharon Horgan, with Paul Simms serving as a showrunner; executive produced by Paul Simms, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sharon Horgan, Alison Benson and Aaron Kaplan.

Ballers has been renewed for a third season. The Season 2 premiere of Ballers brought in 5.7 Million viewers, down from the Season One average of 9.1 Million.

Real Time with Bill Maher has been renewed through 2018. Season 14 of Real Time with Bill Maher is averaging 4.4 Million per episode. Season 15 of Real Time with Bill Maher will air in 2017 and Season 16 will air in 2018.

The official press release for Ballers:

Following the return of the hit show for its second season on July 17, HBO has renewed the comedy series BALLERS for a third season, it was announced today by Casey Bloys, president, HBO Programming.

“Dwayne Johnson, Stephen Levinson, Mark Wahlberg and the rest of the BALLERS team have once again delivered a winner for our viewers,” said Bloys. “We look forward to another great season of BALLERS next year.”

Looking at the whirlwind lifestyles and real-life problems of former and current football players, BALLERS stars Dwayne Johnson as ex-superstar Spencer Strasmore, who has reinvented himself as a financial manager for today’s players in sun-soaked Miami.

Created by Stephen Levinson (HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire”), the hit comedy series kicked off its ten-episode second season July 17. The premiere episode of the new season is already at 5.7 million viewers, with only preliminary data available. BALLERS’ first season went on to average 9.1 million viewers in gross audience – HBO’s biggest half-hour in six years.

In addition to Dwayne Johnson, the cast on season two of BALLERS includes Rob Corddry, John David Washington, Omar Benson Miller, Donovan Carter, Troy Garity, Jazmyn Simon, London Brown, Arielle Kebbel, Dulé Hill, Richard Schiff and Andy Garcia.

Season two credits: BALLERS was created by Stephen Levinson; executive produced by Stephen Levinson, Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, Peter Berg, Evan Reilly, Rob Weiss, Julian Farino, Denis Biggs.

The official press release for Real Time with Bill Maher:

HBO has renewed REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER through 2018, with season 15 scheduled for 2017, and season 16 scheduled for 2018, it was announced today by Casey Bloys, president, HBO programming. Currently averaging 4.4 million viewers, REAL TIME is enjoying its most-watched season since the show’s 2003 debut season.

“Bill Maher’s fearless and irreverent insights make him an important voice of common sense,” noted Bloys. “We are happy to extend our partnership and continue to provide him with the same uncensored forum that he’s enjoyed on the network since the late ‘80s.”

“As long as Washington keeps serving up crazy, we’ll be there to push it around the plate,” says Maher. “In these turbulent, uncertain times, I can’t think of anything more important than me being on TV.”

Allowing Maher to offer his unique perspective on contemporary issues, REAL TIME includes an opening monologue, roundtable discussions with panelists, and interviews with guests. In addition to its regular weekly show, the show recently expanded its election coverage with special shows during the Republican and Democratic conventions. Four live half-hour editions were presented from Los Angeles, reporting on the Republican convention on Wednesday, July 20 and Thursday, July 21, and the Democratic convention on Wednesday, July 27 and Thursday, July 28.

Politico has hailed Maher as “a pugnacious debater and a healthy corrective to the claptrap of cable news,” while Variety noted, “There may not be a more eclectic guest list on all of television.”

Maher headlined his first special on the network in 1989 and has starred in ten solo specials to date, including the hour-long presentations “Bill Maher: Live from D.C.,” “Bill Maher…But I’m Not Wrong,” “The Decider” and “I’m Swiss” (both nominated for an Emmy® in the Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special category), “Victory Begins at Home,” “Be More Cynical,” “The Golden Goose Special” and “Stuff That Struck Me Funny,” and two half-hour stand-up specials, plus the specials “30 Seconds Over Washington” and “Comic Relief VI™.” Maher is also an executive producer of the innovative news magazine show “VICE,” which recently concluded its fourth season.

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Rollo Tomasi

A Political Science and MBA grad who started FilmBook during an eCommerce B-School course in 2008. Cinema and TV addict. Former writer at Empire Movies, Blogcritics, and Alternative Film Guide. In addition to writing for FilmBook, he also edits the copy published on the website, manages its writing staff, manages the back-end operations, site finances, its social network accounts, and works with publicists, actors, and companies on press coverage and promotions. He has also created and Trending

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