“The only way to move forward is to throw it back,” a teaser for the season previews. From there a cover of Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It” kicks into gear.
The teaser also shows the students getting ready to dance, with snapping of hands and getting into formation to perform Jordan’s 1995 hit. There is an Afro-futuristic and 1990s-inspired dance floor, as the students of the fictional Winchester University look back on their time on campus amid their final year.
“Dear White People,” an extension of the film of the same name by Justin Simien, deals with issues of race, class and sexuality on that college campus. Logan Browning’s Sam White hosts a radio show within the series that is also titled “Dear White People” and is where a lot of the more direct conversation comes from. However, previous seasons also dealt with police brutality and abuse of power by famous figures head-on through storylines for characters including Reggie (Marque Richardson) and Muffy (Caitlin Carver).
Identity politics are at the forefront of the series, with the focus on the experiences of Black students and how they navigate the culture at Winchester. Topics that can be uncomfortable, especially on a campus that is known for its prestige and tradition, is woven through in a smart and necessary way that brings levity to the institutionalized oppression that the students endure.
The series also stars Antoinette Robertson, Brandon P. Bell, DeRon Horton, John Patrick Amedori and Ashley Blaine Featherson. Simien, who just signed a new overall deal with Paramount Television Studios, and executive producer Jaclyn Moore serve as co-showrunners of “Dear White People: Volume 4.”
Also in today’s TV news roundup:
“Howie Mandel: But Enough About Me” will debut on Peacock on Aug. 10. The documentary will examine the life and work of the long-famous television personality, drawing from his own words and access to behind-the-scenes footage of his career. It will also reveal details of Mandel’s experiences with mental illness. “For those who have enjoyed me throughout the years. Here’s more me,” Mandel said. Executive producers on the doc are Randy Lennox, Jeffrey Latimer, Rich Thurber and Barry Avrich, who also directs. Mark Selby produces. Mandel is represented by 3 Arts, WME and Laird & Sobel.
CNN Films and HBO Max announced that CNN will air “LFG” on Sept. 6 at 9 p.m. ET. The documentary will give a one-night-only look at the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team’s ongoing fight against the U.S. Soccer Federation for equal pay. Directed by Andrea Nix Fine and Sean Fine, “LFG” will feature the voices of USWNT players Jessica McDonald, Samantha Mewis, Kelley O’Hara, Christen Press, Megan Rapinoe and Becky Sauerbrunn; former player Julie Foudy; co-lead counsels Jeffrey Kessler and Cardelle Spangler, and more. The Fines and Abby Greensfelder produce. Howard T. Owens, Ben Silverman, CNN’s Amy Entelis and Courtney Sexton, and HBO Max’s Jennifer O’Connell and Lizzie Fox serve as executive producers. The documentary is an Everywoman Studios and Change Content production, in association with Propagate Content in collaboration with CNN Films and HBO Max.
Hulu announced that “Dopesick” will premiere on Oct. 13. The eight-episode limited series, based on Beth Macy’s bestselling book of the same name, examines all sides of the American opioid epidemic, from pharmaceutical company boardrooms to vulnerable working-class communities. Michael Keaton, Peter Sarsgaard, Michael Stuhlbarg, Will Poulter, John Hoogenakker, Kaitlyn Dever and Rosario Dawson star, with Phillipa Soo and Jake McDorman as guest stars. Danny Strong writes and Barry Levinson directs. Executive producers are Strong, John Goldwyn, Keaton, Levinson, Warren Littlefield, Macy and Karen Rosenfelt. Watch a teaser below.
Hulu also announced that Season 2 of “The Great” will premiere on Nov. 19. The “anti-historical” dramedy stars Elle Fanning, Nicholas Hoult, Phoebe Fox, Adam Godley, Gwilym Lee, Charity Wakefield, Douglas Hodge, Sacha Dhawan, Bayo Gbadamosi and Belinda Bromilow. “The Great” is created, written and executive produced by Tony McNamara and executive produced by Marian Macgowan, Mark Winemaker, Fanning, Hoult, Echo Lake’s Brittany Kahan Ward, Doug Mankoff and Andrew Spaulding, Thruline’s Josh Kesselman and Ron West, and Matt Shakman. The project is produced by Civic Center Media in association with MRC Television. Watch a teaser below.
Hulu, Amblin Television and Warner Bros. Animation announced that Season 2 of “Animaniacs” will premiere on Nov. 5. With 13 new episodes, the season will include more pop culture parodies and musical adventures of Yakko, Wakko and Dot, as well as other iconic characters and some characters that were initially left on the cutting room floor. Steven Spielberg executive produces along with Sam Register, president, Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network Studios; Amblin Television co-presidents Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey; and Wellesley Wild, who serves as showrunner. Gabe Swarr serves as co-executive producer. Watch a teaser below.
“Baker’s Dozen” will premiere on Oct. 7 on Hulu. The reality baking series hosted by Tamera Mowry-Housley and Bill Yosses will see 13 amateur bakers compete to create the next viral baking sensation and win the golden rolling pin and a cash prize. “Baker’s Dozen” is executive produced by Sandy Varo Jarrell, Suzanne Rauscher, Justin Rae Barnes, Tara Seiner and Scott Mlodzinski for Bright Spot Content, an All3Media America company.
“The Next Thing You Eat,” Hulu’s docuseries from David Chang and Morgan Neville, will premiere on Oct. 21. In the six-episode season, the show will explore contemporary societal changes and how they’ll affect food culture in the future, spanning from robots to lab-grown fish to insect farms to artificial intelligence. “The Next Thing You Eat” is executive produced by the creators of “Ugly Delicious.” Dominic Musacchio showruns.
Additionally, Hulu announced that Padma Lakshmi’s “Taste the Nation: Holiday Edition” will premiere on Nov. 4. In it, Lakshmi will explore the diverse food culture of various immigrant groups in the U.S. and how they’ve shaped what American food is today. This edition of “Taste the Nation” will be four parts long, with each episode highlighting a different unique tradition, including Korean New Year in Los Angeles and Cuban Christmas in Miami. Lakshmi executive produces with David Shadrack Smith of Part2 Pictures.
Hulu announced a series order for “This Fool,” a scripted comedy partially based on comedian Chris Estrada’s life. In the show, Julio Lopez is a self-described “punk-ass bitch” who still lives at home and goes out of his way to help everyone but himself. It will explore Julio’s work at a gang-rehabilitation non-profit and his quest to overcome his codependency issues with his working-class family in South Central L.A. Chris Estrada, Pat Bishop, Jake Weisman and Matt Ingebretson executive produce and write. Jonathan Groff and Fred Armisen also serve as executive producers. The series is produced by ABC Signature.
Hulu will also launch “Dead Asleep,” a true crime documentary about Randy Herman, Jr. and whether he was truly sleepwalking when he committed the murder of Brooke Preston. Pulse Films produces, having secured exclusive access to Herman and his family, the defense and prosecution attorneys, journalists who covered the case, forensic psychiatrists and world experts in violent parasomnia. “Dead Asleep” is directed by Skye Borgman. Marisa Clifford, Nelesh Dhand and Sunshine Jackson executive produce on behalf of Pulse. Jack Oliver and Poppy Dixon executive produce on behalf of Sky U.K.
Additionally, Hulu ordered “Captive Audience,” another true crime documentary expanding the story of the 1972 disappearance of 7-year-old Steven Stayner. Even after Stayner’s return to his family sparked nationwide attention as well as legal reforms, the family’s lives did not return to normal. “Captive Audience” follows the evolution of true-crime storytelling by focusing on the long-term effects endured by the Stayners, especially as one brother was deemed a villain and the other a hero. Jessica Dimmock directs, and Wonderburst and High Five Content produce. Executive producers include Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, Jen Casey, Andrew Jacobs, Mike Larocca, Todd Makurath, Nick Gilhool and Peter Rieveschl.
The CW is launching a new, nonpartisan initiative called “Freedom to Vote,” to help promote eligible voter protection and remove barriers to voting. This initiative comes on the heels of the 56th anniversary of the monumental Voting Rights Act of 1965. “Freedom To Vote” is being developed in partnership with nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations including the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under The Law, with the goal of securing equal justice for all through the rule of law; and Vote.org, the largest voting registration and get-out-the-vote technology platform in America. The new “Freedom To Vote” PSAs will be given by The CW stars themselves, will encourage viewers to get involved at Vote.org/TheCW and will be broadcast during the network’s primetime lineup, across its digital platforms and apps, as well as its social media outlets.