1st seasons of Based On A True Story, The Best Man: The Final Chapters; new Minx, Winning Time, Bel-Air
BASED ON A TRUE STORY | Two episodes on Mondays at 9:30pm from 7 August
Based on a True Story is the gripping tale of a realtor, a former tennis star and a plumber whose lives collide when they seize a unique opportunity to capitalise on America’s obsession with true-crime.
Triple-Emmy nominee Kaley Cuoco (The Flight Attendant, The Big Bang Theory) and Critics Choice nominee Chris Messina (Sharp Objects, The Mindy Project) play Ava and Nathan, a married couple with a baby on the way. They are facing the harsh realisation that their youthful dreams are not going to come true; that is, until they meet Matt (Tom Bateman from Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile), an enigmatic plumber who they quickly come to suspect is an infamous serial killer. Ava has a brilliant idea, which could end up costing them everything…
The Los Angeles Times calls the Peacock Original “a hilarious indictment of the public’s preoccupation with morbid crime and the media’s fire hose of content in service of that addiction.”
Based on a True Story’s Emmy-nominated creator Craig Rosenberg (The Boys) exec produces alongside Emmy winner Jason Bateman (Ozark) and Oscar nominee Alexander Buono (Russian Doll, Documentary Now!), who also directs two episodes.
THE BEST MAN: THE FINAL CHAPTERS | Binge from 20 August
Based on Malcolm D. Lee’s multi-award-winning film franchise, The Best Man: The Final Chapters catches up with Harper, Robyn, Jordan, Lance, Quentin, Shelby, Candace, and Murch as relationships evolve and past grievances resurface in the unpredictable stages of midlife crisis meets midlife renaissance.
The Best Man: The Final Chapters won the 2023 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Television Movie, Limited Series or Dramatic Special, as well as Best Actor for Morris Chestnut as Lance and Best Supporting Actress for Nia Long as Jordan.
The Peacock Original is also up for a record 18 awards in August at the 2023 Black Reel Awards for Television – the most by any show ever in a single year. This includes acting nominations for Chestnut and Long, as well as their co-stars Terrence Howard, Taye Diggs, Regina Hall, Sanaa Lathan, Melissa de Sousa and Harold Perrineau.
The Best Man: The Final Chapters has a 91% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Variety saying, “For fans of a specific period of Black cinema [black romcoms between 1990 to 2000], Peacock’s The Best Man: The Final Chapters is an epic, end-of-an-era conclusion on par with Avengers: Endgame.”
WINNING TIME: THE RISE OF THE LAKERS DYNASTY S2| First on Showmax | Mondays from 7 August, express
Season 2 of Winning Time continues to explore the professional and personal lives of the legendary 1980s Los Angeles Lakers basketball team. This season hones in on the period just after the Finals in 1980, building to the first professional rematch of the era’s greatest stars: Magic Johnson (Quincy Isaiah) and Larry Bird (Sean Patrick Small).
Season 1 has an 85% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.3/10 rating on IMDb. The series won a 2023 Satellite Award for Best Ensemble: Television, and a Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actor (for The Wire’s Wood Harris as Spencer Haywood). Season 1 was also nominated for an Emmy for its cinematography; four more Black Reel Awards, including Outstanding Drama Series; and two more Satellite Awards, with Oscar nominee John C Reilly (Chicago, Boogie Nights, Magnolia) up for Best Actor as team owner Jerry Buss and Oscar winner Sally Field (Maniac, Forrest Gump) up for Best Supporting Actress as Jerry’s mother, Jessie Buss.
Once again exec produced by Oscar- and three-time Emmy winner Adam McKay (Don’t Look Up, Succession), Season 2’s returning cast also includes Oscar winner Adrien Brody (Asteroid City), Critics Choice winner Jason Segel (Shrinking, How I Met Your Mother), and Emmy nominee Gaby Hoffman (Transparent), alongside new cast like Emmy winner Michael Chiklis (The Shield).
THE RIGHTEOUS GEMSTONES S3 | First on Showmax | Binge from 7 August
Nominated for a 2022 Emmy Award for its Stunt Coordination, The Righteous Gemstones tells the story of a world-famous televangelist family with a long tradition of deviance, greed, and charitable work. When the spoiled Gemstone children finally get their wish to take control of the church, they discover leadership is harder than they imagined and that their extravagant lifestyle comes with a heavy price.
Emmy nominee Steve Zahn (The White Lotus) and Emmy winner Kristen Johnston (Mom, 3rd Rock from the Sun) join the cast this season. Danny McBride (who also created, wrote and executive produces), MTV Movie Award and Teen Choice Award winner Adam Devine, Edi Patterson, Skyler Gisondo, Emmy winner John Goodman and Emmy nominee Walton Goggins all return to what Collider hails as “one of the greatest ensembles in comedic television.”
Season 3 has a 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus says, “The Righteous Gemstones has its mixture of broad comedy and genuine pathos down pat, chapter and verse, and it preaches a riotously funny gospel in what might be its darkest installment yet.”
HBO has just renewed The Righteous Gemstones for a fourth season, after announcing that Season 3 is on track to mark a viewership high for the series, with episodes currently averaging 4.9 million viewers and growing. It is now Danny McBride’s most-watched HBO series, ahead of both Eastbound and Down and Vice Principals.
MINX S2 | First on Showmax | New episodes on Mondays
Set in 1970s Los Angeles, Minx follows Joyce, an earnest young feminist (Ophelia Lovibond from Feel Good, Elementary and This England) who joins forces with low-rent publisher Doug (Critics Choice nominee Jake Johnson from New Girl) to create the first erotic magazine for women.
Season 2 picks up as Doug and Joyce sell Bottom Dollar to a retired shipping magnate and Minx becomes a commercial success. Under new leadership, Doug struggles to maintain his control within Bottom Dollar while Joyce loses sight of her core beliefs as she rises to stardom. As our Bottom Dollar misfits go mainstream, they start to question who they’re becoming and what they really want from this newfound success.
With five-time Emmy nominee Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, The Office, Love Life) among its exec producers, Season 1 was nominated for Best Comedy and Best Actress in a Comedy (Lovibond) at the 2023 Satellite Awards.
Season 2 has an 86% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus says, “Still getting great mileage from its marriage of the feminist and the frivolous, Minx’s second season is smart, sexy, and fun.”
Look out for Elizabeth Perkins from Weeds and Sharp Objects joining the cast this season, which is rated 18SNL.
WARRIOR S3 | First on Showmax | Binge from 18 August
Warrior is set in the ruthless world of late 19th-Century San Francisco, where rival Chinatown tongs fight for dominance. In the wake of the race riots that upended Chinatown in Season 2, Mai Ling (Dianne Doan from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Descendants) uses her government connections to consolidate power, while Ah Sahm (Andrew Koji from Bullet Train, in a Critics Choice Super-nominated performance) and the Hop Wei tong must find new ways to survive.
Filmed in Cape Town with Moonlighting, Warrior was nominated for two Emmys as well as Best Action Series at the Critics Choice Super Awards. The HBO series is created by Jonathan Tropper (Banshee) and based on the writings of martial arts icon Bruce Lee, with Bruce Lee’s daughter Shannon Lee and Justin Lin (director of five Fast and Furious films) among its executive producers.
Season 3 has a 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes. As IMDb says, “If you’re a fan of martial arts, Westerns, historical dramas, and insanely cool fight scenes, this Bruce Lee-inspired crime drama is not to be missed.”
NEW AMSTERDAM S5 | Binge from 1 August
The fifth and final season of New Amsterdam returns us to America’s oldest public hospital, where Dr Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold from BlacKkKlansman, 90210and The Blacklist) continues his fight to put saving lives above the bottom line.
Based on Eric Manheimeris’ book Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital, the medical drama was created by writer-producer David Schulner (Desperate Housewives), who was nominated for a 2022 award from the Writers Guild of America for Best Episodic Drama.
At the 2022 Hollywood Critics Association awards, New Amsterdam was again up for Best Broadcast Network Series, Drama – a category it won in 2021 – with Freema Agyeman (Doctor Who, Law & Order: UK) nominated for Best Actress and Sandra Mae Frank for Best Supporting Actress. The hit series holds an 8/10 score on IMDb.
This season, look out for Oscar winner Marlee Matlin (CODA, The L Word, The West Wing), who makes a guest appearance as Dr. Wilder’s former mentor, Dr. Bev Clemons.
POWER BOOK III: RAISING KANAN S2 | Binge from 4 August
Power Book III: Raising Kanan follows 15-year-old Kanan Stark as he gets into the drug trade, making a bid to join the growing family business.
Mekai Curtis returns in Season 2 as the young Kanan, the character played in Power by Emmy and Grammy winner Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, who is one of the executive producers here.
Power Book III: Raising Kanan has a rare 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Tony winner Patina Miller (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Madam Secretary) nominated for a 2022 Black Reel Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Raquel Thomas, Kanan’s mother and one of the most powerful drug lords in Queens.
Omar Epps (Love & Basketball, This Is Us, and House) is back as Detective Howard, with Grammy winner and Destiny’s Child founding member LeToya Luckett (Greenleaf, Ballers, Treme) and People’s Choice winner Tony Danza (The Practice, Who’s the Boss?) joining the cast this season.
The hit prequel has already been renewed for a third season. Catch all six seasons of the original series, Power, as well as Season 1 of the latest spin-off series, Power Book IV: Force, on Showmax.
A MILLION LITTLE THINGS S5 | Binge from 7 August
The farewell season of A Million Little Things is bringing all the feels to remind us that friendship isn’t one big thing, it’s a million little things.
Centred on a group of friends who are pushed to live fuller lives after the unexpected death of a close friend, A Million Little Things stars the likes of three-time Teen Choice nominee Grace Park (Hawaii Five-O), MTV Movie Award nominee Romany Malco (Weeds), David Giuntoli (Grimm) as Eddie, and three-time Kids Choice nominee Lizzy Greene (Nicky, Rick, Dicky and Dawn).
Black Reel nominee Bresha Webb (Run the World, Night School) joins the cast this season as Dr. Jessica Bruno, while Oscar and Emmy nominee JoBeth Williams (Poltergeist, Kramer vs. Kramer) guests as Greta’s mom.
Decider calls the series “a love letter to friendship and a reminder that we don’t have to face our darkest days alone.”
BEL-AIR S2| First on Showmax | 2 episodes on Mondays
Set in modern-day Los Angeles, Bel-Air re-imagines the beloved sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air through a new, dramatic take on Will’s complicated journey from the streets of West Philadelphia to the gated mansions of Bel-Air. As his two worlds collide, Will reckons with the power of second chances while navigating the conflicts, emotions, and biases of a world far different from the only one he’s ever known.
Season 2 of the Peacock Original picks up with Will at a crossroads in his life as a new figure comes into his life who challenges what he’s learned in Bel-Air, even as he tries to rebuild the trust that was broken at the end of last season. Will and Carlton’s brotherhood starts to evolve as they grow closer, while Hilary is stepping up as a boss in her influencer world, which impacts her relationship with Jazz. Meanwhile, Viv and Phil must work to balance marriage and family while trying to forge their own career paths and reconnect to the things that are important to them.
Boasting a 90% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Bel-Air won Outstanding Drama Series at the 2022 Black Reel Awards, where its breakout star, Jabari Banks, was up for Best Actor as Will. Adrian Holmes (Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Arrow, Supernatural), Nigerian-American actor Olly Sholotan, and singer-songwriter Coco Jones were also nominated in the Supporting categories as Uncle Phil, Carlton and Hilary respectively. Banks was also up for Best Actor at the BET Awards and the NAACP Image Awards.
Fans of the original series will be thrilled to see Tatyana Ali, who originally played Ashley Banks, joining the series this season as Mrs. Hughes, Ashley’s English literature teacher at Bel-Air Academy.
Peacock has already renewed Bel-Air for a third season.
A BLACK LADY SKETCH SHOW S4 | Binge from 9 August
The first three seasons of A Black Lady Sketch Show all hit 100% critics’ ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and all cracked Emmy nominations for Outstanding Scripted Variety Series.
The groundbreaking HBO show has won three Emmys and five Black Reel Awards, including Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Sketch Series, and Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series for series creator and showrunner Robin Thede; Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy for Gabrielle Dennis; and Outstanding Guest Actress, Comedy for Quinta Brunson.
As Decider says of Season 4, “Robin Thede and co. have become a comedy institution.”
A Black Lady Sketch Show has become famous as a launchpad for its talent: Quinta Brunson left at the end of Season 1 when she sold Abbott Elementary to ABC, while Ashley Nicole Black left after Season 3, having gone on to write for Ted Lasso.
Guest stars this season include Emmy winner Colman Domingo (Euphoria) and nominees Issa Rae (Insecure), Yvette Nicole Brown (Community), and Sam Richardson (Veep), as well as Grammy nominee Omarion.
ANGELA BLACK S1 | Binge from 14 August
Three-time Emmy nominee Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey’s Anna Bates) stars in the title role in Angela Black, created by Emmy winners Harry and Jack Williams (Fleabag, The Missing).
Trapped in a relationship she cannot escape, Angela is approached out of the blue by Ed, a private investigator, who spills her husband’s darkest secrets.
Critics Choice Super nominee Michiel Huisman (Alex Sokolov in The Flight Attendant and Game of Thrones’Daario Naharis) co-stars as her husband, Olivier, with BAFTA nominee Samuel Adewunmi (Secret Invasion, The Last Tree) as Ed.
The Guardian calls Froggatt’s performance “tremendous”, Financial Times says Adewunmi is “terrific,” and New York Post hails the series as “chilling.”
EVERYTHING ON SHOWMAX IN AUGUST 2023
To see everything on Showmax in August 2023, including the cancel culture Showmax Original documentary series Unfollowed, and award-winning films like M3gan, The Black Phone, and Marcel The Shell With Shoes On, click here.
A Kenyan, Dr Shikoh Gitau – an Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) proponent who has created several health and employment mobile applications for use by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in South Africa and Kenya [c]
Showmax subscribers across sub-Saharan Africa will have access to live broadcasting from BBC World News until 23 September 2022, which will include a live stream of the funeral of Britain’s longest-serving monarch at Westminster Abbey [c]