Summer television will go out with a bang this August, with releases ranging from a star-studded miniseries set at a health-and-wellness resort to an Emmy nominee’s animated return. This month’s offerings also include a special paying homage to the influential docuseries “Eyes on the Prize” and a comedic look at race and gender in academia.
The month will begin with Kelley Kali and Angelique Molina’s SXSW title “I’m Fine (Thanks for Asking)” premiering on BET Her August 7. The winner of SXSW’s Special Jury Award – Narrative Feature, the film sees a single mother working to convince her daughter they are camping, when they are actually unhoused. A couple weeks later, filmmaker Sophia Nahli Allison will revisit the civil rights movement and “Eyes on the Prize” with the new HBO Max documentary special “Eyes on the Prize: Hallowed Ground” (August 19).
Among the buzziest new shows this month are Netflix’s “The Chair” (August 20) and Hulu’s “Nine Perfect Strangers” (August 18). Sandra Oh finds herself under the spotlight in the former, as her character tries to meet the dizzying expectations of being the first woman to chair her university’s mostly-white English department. An adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s bestseller, “Nine Perfect Strangers” features a formidable cast, including Nicole Kidman, Melissa McCarthy, and Regina Hall, in the story of a health-and-wellness retreat gone wrong.
Television offerings this August also include a number of animated series, starting off with Disney+’s “What If…?” (August 11), from head writer Ashley Bradley. The series focuses on the alternate realities and outcomes which could have occurred in the MCU. Adult Swim and Crunchyroll’s anime show “Fena: Pirate Princess” (August 14) charts the life of a young orphan who sets offshore to find freedom and a new identity. And Hulu’s Emmy-nominated “Pen15” will debut a vacation-set animated special August 27.
Some of our favorite shows, as well as a few hidden gems, will be coming back this month, too. Among them are Awkwafina’s semi-autobiographical comedy “Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens” (August 18), “The L Word: Generation Q” (August 8), and Abby McEnany-starrer “Work in Progress” (August 22).
Here are August’s premiering and returning women-driven and women-created TV projects. All descriptions are from press materials unless otherwise noted.
TV and Episodic Premieres
“Hit & Run” – Created by Dawn Prestwich, Nicole Yorkin, Avi Issacharoff, and Lior Raz (Premieres August 6 on Netflix)
A man searching for the truth behind his wife’s death becomes caught up in a dangerous web of secrets and intrigue stretching from New York to Tel Aviv.
“The Tent Mender” (Miniseries) – Written and Directed by Laura Hand (Premieres August 6 on IMDb TV)
A recovering heroin addict returns to Skid Row after being sober for 15 years. While embarking on his journey of self-discovery, he meets and connects with some of the 14,000 people living on the streets.
“I’m Fine (Thanks for Asking)” (Film) – Directed by Kelley Kali and Angelique Molina; Written by Kelley Kali, Angelique Molina, and Roma Kong (Premieres August 7 on BET HER)
When a recently widowed mother (Kelley Kali) becomes houseless, she convinces her eight-year-old daughter (Wesley Moss) that they are only camping for fun while working to get them off of the streets.
“Fantasy Island” – Created by Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain (Premieres August 10 on Fox)
A modern drama series, “Fantasy Island” takes place at a luxury resort, where literally any fantasy requested by guests is fulfilled, although they rarely turn out as expected. The resort is run by Elena Roarke (Roselyn Sanchez), who set aside her own ambitions — and even the love of her life — to uphold her family’s legacy. Sophisticated, insightful, and always charming, Elena’s calm exterior masks the challenges of the responsibilities she has assumed as steward of this mysterious island. Delving into the “what if” questions — both big and small — that keep us awake at night, each episode will tell emotional, provocative stories about people who arrive with dreams and desires and depart enlightened and transformed through the magical realism of Fantasy Island.
“What If…?” (Anthology) – Written by Ashley Bradley (Premieres August 11 on Disney+)
Based on the comic book series of the same name, the anthology series “What If…?” reimagines classic Marvel characters in hypothetical situations that depart from the stories you know from the MCU films.
“Hear Me Out” (Talk Show) (Premieres August 12 on Vice)
In a time of global uncertainty, “Hear Me Out” is an attempt to make sense of this world through dialogue. Vice News’ Isobel Yeung sits down with some of the most influential names of our generation to discuss the most pressing issues of our time.
“The Hunt for a Killer” – Written by Lotta Erikson and Helene Lindholm (Premieres August 12 on Sundance Now)
In March 1989, the sadistic murder of Helén in Hörby, a small town in southern Sweden, traumatized the nation. A seemingly impossible case, it remained unsolved for 15 years, leaving the small community and the police force entrusted to protect it with a painful open wound. On the night Helén disappeared, there were about 20 suspected pedophiles living in Hörby. This is the prelude to “The Hunt for a Killer,” which follows the unwavering journey of the two detectives Pelle Åkesson (Anders Beckman) and Monica Olhed (Lotten Roos) who led an investigation team that solved numerous homicides in southern Sweden and who would eventually, against all odds, find Helén’s killer.
“Brand New Cherry Flavor” (Miniseries) – Created by Lenore Zion and Nick Antosca (Premieres August 13 on Netflix)
A filmmaker heads to Hollywood in the early ’90s to make her movie but tumbles down a hallucinatory rabbit hole of sex, magic, revenge — and kittens.
“Fena: Pirate Princess” (Premieres August 14 on Adult Swim and Crunchyroll)
Follow the high seas journey of Fena Houtman (Brittany Cox) as she and her crew of Japanese samurai evade great dangers and unlock her family secrets.
“Nine Perfect Strangers” (Miniseries) (Premieres August 18 on Hulu)
Based on The New York Times best-selling book by author Liane Moriarty, “Nine Perfect Strangers” takes place at a boutique health-and-wellness resort that promises healing and transformation as nine stressed city dwellers try to get on a path to a better way of living. Watching over them during this 10-day retreat is the resort’s director, Masha (Nicole Kidman), a woman on a mission to reinvigorate their tired minds and bodies. However, these nine “perfect” strangers have no idea what is about to hit them.
“Eyes on the Prize: Hallowed Ground” (Documentary Special) – Directed by Sophia Nahli Allison (Premieres August 19 on HBO Max)
This documentary special honors Henry Hampton’s masterpiece “Eyes on the Prize” (1987-1990) and conjures ancestral memories, activates the radical imagination, and explores the profound journey for Black liberation through the voices of the movement. A portal through time, “Eyes on the Prize: Hallowed Ground” is a mystical and lyrical reimagining of the past, present, and future.
“The Chair” – Created by Amanda Peet and Annie Julia Wyman (Premieres August 20 on Netflix)
“The Chair” follows Dr. Ji-Yoon Kim (Sandra Oh) as she navigates her new role as the Chair of the English Department at prestigious Pembroke University. Ji-Yoon is faced with a unique set of challenges as the first woman to chair the department, and as one of the few staff members of color at the university.
“Post Mortem: No One Dies in Skarnes” (Premieres August 25 on Netflix)
She’s back from the dead and has a newfound thirst for blood. Meanwhile, her family’s funeral parlor desperately needs more business. Hmm, what if…
“Pen15: Jacuzzi” (Animated Special) – Written by Anna Konkle (Premieres August 27 on Hulu)
On vacation with Curtis (Taylor Nichols), Anna and Maya (Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine) are introduced to new crippling insecurities. The girls try to ignore them, but a mystical turn makes their self-doubt impossible to forget.
“Control Z” – Created by Adriana Pelusi, Miguel García Moreno, and Carlos Quintanilla (Netflix, August 4)
“The L Word: Generation Q” – Created by Ilene Chaiken, Kathy Greenberg, and Michele Abbott; Developed by Marja-Lewis Ryan (Showtime, August 8)
“Stargirl” (The CW, August 10)
“Valeria” (Netflix, August 13)
“Chesapeake Shores” – Created by Nancey Silvers and John Tinker (Hallmark, August 15)
“Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens” – Created by Awkwafina and Teresa Hsiao (Comedy Central, August 18)
“Diary of a Future President” – Created by Ilana Peña (Disney+, August 18)
“Coroner” – Created by Morwyn Brebner (The CW, August 19)
“Truth Be Told” – Created by Nichelle D. Tramble (Apple TV+, August 20)
“Work in Progress” – Created by Abby McEnany and Tim Mason (Showtime, August 22)
“Supergirl” – Created by Ali Adler, Greg Berlanti, and Andrew Kreisberg (The CW, August 24)
“The Other Two” – Created by Sarah Schneider and Chris Kelly (HBO Max, August 26)
“My Life Is Murder” (Acorn TV, August 30)