This Week in TV:
HBO renews Ballers for season 2; Lifetime orders a second season of rookie drama UnReal; Comedy Central renews Workaholics for seasons 6 and 7; From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series gets a season 2 trailer; and Showtime unveils trailers for Homeland season 5 and new drama Billions.
HBO renewed rookie dramedy Ballers for season 2.
Despite being just four episodes into its first season, the series - which centers on a former pro football player turned financial manager (played by Dwayne Johnson) in Miami - has instilled confidence in the network by garnering strong early ratings. The series premiere attracted 8.9 million viewers across the network's branded platforms, making it the most-watched debut episode of a half-hour HBO series since 2009.
Said president of HBO Programming, Michael Lambardo:
“The charismatic and hugely talented Dwayne Johnson, along with the rest of the 'Ballers' cast, has truly struck a chord with the HBO audience. We are thrilled with the overwhelming response the series has received and look forward to another exciting season.”
Ballers season 1 continues Sunday, July 19 on HBO.
New drama UnReal scored a 10-epiode season 2 renewal from Lifetime.
Set behind the scenes of fictional reality dating show Everlasting, UnReal got off to a slow start with live audiences, premiering to fewer than 1 million viewers. However, the series - which is one of Lifetime's youngest-skewing ever - has fared better after its initial airing, with its first three episodes averaging nearly 5 million viewers across available platforms. The show has also received critical acclaim (a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes), with many critics praising it on conceptual and dramatic levels.
Said Lifetime Head of Programming, Liz Gateley:
"We couldn’t be more proud to bring back 'UnReal.' With authentically flawed characters, sharp storytelling and impeccable performances, this show is propelling our brand in a truly exciting direction – an unexpected and bolder Lifetime.”
UnReal season 1 continues next Monday, July 20 on Lifetime.
Comedy Central's Workaholics earned a two-season renewal (seasons 6 and 7).
In ordering two more 10-episode runs of the popular workplace comedy, the cable network also announced that new episodes will premiere in January of 2016. “I remember when the title of this show was ironic,” President of Original Programming Kent Alterman said of the hit series, which, with the renewal, will become one of the longest-running original shows in Comedy Central's history. Of course, the comedy still has a long way to go to catch South Park, which was recently renewed through 2019 for seasons 21-23.
Look for Workaholics season 6 on Comedy Central in January 2016.
El Rey Network's From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series has a new season 2 trailer. Check it out below.
Based on Robert Rodriguez's cult horror film From Dusk Till Dawn, the series will explore some completely original storylines in season 2, as the show's plot advances past the events inspired by the 1996 film. Here's a synopsis for the upcoming season:
" 'From Dusk Till Dawn' season two begins with our characters in their separate worlds – Santanico ( Eliza Gonzalez) and Richie (Zane Holtz) are outside Houston, living like Bonnie and Clyde; Seth (D. J. Cotrona) and Kate (Madison Davenport) are scraping by South of the Border; and Freddie Gonzalez (Jessie Garcia) is protecting his wife and young daughter in a Houston suburb. And Carlos Madrigal (Wilmer Valderrama) and Scott Fuller (Brandon Soo-Hoo) emerge from the Titty Twister, changed men. They will all come together once again – this time facing off against an even bigger threat."
Along with an all-new story, season 2 (which looks just as gruesome as season 1, based on the footage above) will also introduce Danny Trejo as "The Regulator," a character described as "a horrifying agent of evil who has been summoned to perform a deadly errand."
From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series will return to El Rey Network with its season 2 premiere on August 25, 2015 @9pm ET.
Source: El Rey Network, Coming Soon
Showtime released a teaser trailer for Homeland season 5. Get a glimpse at the new season below.
Picking up more than two years after the events of season 4, Homeland's fifth season will find Carrie (Claire Danes) in self-imposed exile in Berlin as she struggles with feelings of guilt from her years working on the front lines of the "War on Terror" with the CIA. However, as we see in the clip, Carrie tells Saul (Mandy Patinkin) that she doesn't feel her life change represents atonement for "keeping America safe," but rather that she "is just trying to do good work" and move on from the past.
But does she really believe this? And is moving on really that easy? Based on the fact that she gets attacked not once, but twice in the teaser, we'd have to guess that things might not go so smoothly for her when the series returns.
Look for Homeland season 5 to premiere on Showtime this fall.
Showtime also released a debut trailer for its new drama Billions, starring none other than Homeland alum Damian Lewis. Scroll below for the clip.
Described as a "bold, contemporary drama that melds the worlds of ultra-wealth, influence and corruption," Billions stars Lewis as billionaire hedge fund king Bobby Axelrod (who appears to be skirting around financial laws) and Emmy winner Paul Giamatti as hard-charging U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades. While we don't get many specific plot details from this first look, we can at least gather that these two adversaries will clash in highly dramatic fashion as they engage in a high stakes cat-and-mouse game with one another.
Billions will debut on Showtime in 2016.