HBO has four confirmed new series slated for fall debuts, Westworld, Divorce, Insecure and High Maintenance. The one-hour drama series Westworld (ten episodes) is a tale about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the evolution of sin. Set at the intersection of the near future and the reimagined past, it explores a world in which every human appetite, no matter how noble or depraved, can be indulged. The cast includes Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Tessa Thompson, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Jimmi Simpson, Rodrigo Santoro, Shannon Woodward, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Ben Barnes, Simon Quarterman, Angela Sarafyan, Luke Hemsworth and Clifton Collins, Jr. Inspired by the motion picture “Westworld,” written and directed by Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park) in 1973 and starring the late Yul Brynner and Richard Benjamin. Growing up in the 70’s, I know this was a film beloved by science fiction and film fans both, and re-watched constantly on television (because I was one of those people). Production companies, Bad Robot Productions, Jerry Weintraub Productions, and Kilter Films 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 half-hour comedy series Divorce (ten episodes) stars Sarah Jessica Parker, who also serves as an executive producer, as Frances, a woman who suddenly begins to reassess her life and her marriage, and finds that making a clean break and a fresh start is harder than she thought. The show also stars Thomas Haden Church, Molly Shannon, Talia Balsam, Tracy Letts, Sterling Jerins and Charlie Kilgore. Pilot episode written by Sharon Horgan; directed by Jesse Peretz. Series created by Sharon Horgan; executive produced by Paul Simms, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sharon Horgan, Alison Benson and Aaron Kaplan.
The half-hour comedy series Insecure (eight episodes), starring Issa Rae, Yvonne Orji, Jay Ellis and Lisa Joyce, looks at the friendship of two black women and their uncomfortable experiences and racy tribulations. Created and executive produced by Issa Rae, the show is also executive produced by Prentice Penny, Melina Matsoukas, Michael Rotenberg, Dave Becky and Jonathan Berry. Larry Wilmore serves as a consultant.
Finally, the half-hour comedy series High Maintenance (six episodes) puts the cable network back in the “Weeds” business as it follows a Brooklyn pot dealer who delivers to clients with neuroses as diverse as the city. The show stars Ben Sinclair as “The Guy,” a friendly pot dealer whose clients include an eccentric group of characters, revealing the dynamics of their lives. From the unexpected and offbeat to the predictable and mundane, the series provides a glimpse into the daily routines of the customers and how they light things up. Created and written by the married duo of Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair, and executive produced by Katja Blichfeld, Russell Gregory and Ben Sinclair.