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HBO’s ‘Obama: In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union’ to Debut in August (TV News Roundup)


HBO announced the three-part docuseries “Obama: In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union” will debut on Aug. 3 at 9 p.m. PT. with its first episode; the second and third will follow immediately on Aug. 4 and 5 at the same time.

The series will cover the former president’s personal and political journey with a focus on contemporary conversations about the United States’ racial history. Beginning with his upbringing in Hawaii after being born to a Kansan mother and Kenyan father and spanning through his time in office, “Obama: In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union” will discuss Barack Obama’s racial identity and struggles to appease demands about how to address racial issues in public. David Axelrod, Al Sharpton, the late John Lewis and other friends, colleagues and critics of Obama give interviews on the events and significance of his presidency. 

The series will also be available to stream on HBO Max. Watch a trailer below.

Also in today’s TV news roundup:


Showtime announced that J.J. Abrams’ “UFO” will premiere on Aug. 8. The four-episode docuseries explores humanity’s fascination with unidentified flying objects and the possible information hidden by the U.S. government, private companies and the military. Abrams executive produces alongside Glen Zipper, Mark Monroe, Sean Stuart, Ben Stephenson and Rachel Rusch Rich from Bad Robot. The series is co-executive produced by Kevin Lincoln and produced by Maren Domzalski and Paul McGuire. Watch the trailer below.

Peacock announced its unscripted dating show “Ex-Rated” will premiere on Aug. 12. Hosted and executive produced by Andy Cohen, the new series will feature single people and their exes, asking them to rate each other in categories like communication, passion, foreplay and oral sex. The show was developed by BBC Studios and Mighty Productions and is executive produced by Ryan O’Dowd, Lynn Sutcliffe, Hugh Rycroft and Eric Pankowski, who also serves as showrunner. Watch a trailer below. 

Netflix announced that Marie Kondo’s series “Sparking Joy” will premiere on Aug. 31. In the new three-episode show, Kondo takes her signature approach to tidying up a step further, showing how her method can affect both professional and personal life. The best-selling author and organization icon will take viewers through her own home, meeting her family and getting a glimpse into how she sparks joy in her daily life. Showrunner Rachelle Mendez, Jane Lipsitz, Dan Cutforth, Dan Volpe, Nan Strait, and Grace Lee-Toumanidis serve as executive producers for Alfred Street, while Kondo and Takumi Kawahara executive produce for KonMari Media Inc.


Netflix debuted a trailer for “The Chair,” a new comedy series premiering on Aug. 20. Sandra Oh stars as Dr. Ji-Yoon Kim, the first woman chair of the prestigious Pembroke University’s English department. Jay Duplass, Holland Taylor, Bob Balaban, Nana Mensah, David Morse and Everly Carganilla also star, with Amanda Peet serving as showrunner. Oh, David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Bernie Caulfield and Daniel Gray Longino also executive produce, while Peet, Annie Julia Wyman, Richard E. Robbins, Jennifer Kim and Andrea Troyer serve as writers. Daniel Gray Longino directs. Watch the trailer below.


Marlo Kelly will play Carole Baskin’s daughter Jamie Murdock in upcoming Peacock series “Joe Exotic.” She will join previously announced cast members Kate McKinnon as Carole and John Cameron Mitchell as Joe Exotic among others. Kelly, whose previous credits include USA Network series “Dare Me,” is represented by Echo Lake Entertainment and Sophie Jermyn Management. “Joe Exotic” is based on Robert Moor’s Wondery podcast of the same name and will follow Carole’s complicated past and her attempts to shut down Joe’s dramatic exotic animal breeding ventures. Etan Frankel writes and executive produces.


Rocking Horse Productions optioned the rights for Paula Sharp’s “Crows Over a Wheatfield” and Linda Barnes’ “A Carlotta Carlyle Mystery.” Sharp’s 1996 novel follows the daughter of an abusive lawyer in small town ‘60s Wisconsin seeking alternative forms of justice, while Barnes’ mystery series, with books published between 1987 and 2008, relates the adventures of a brash ex-cop from Boston. Rocking Horse Productions is now seeking filmmaking partners to adapt, produce, and distribute “Crows Over a Wheatfield” and “A Carlotta Carlyle Mystery,” which are executive produced by Gene Davis and Pam Slay.


Emilia Clarke, Mark Ronson and Brandi Carlile will appear on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” while Margot Robbie, John Cena, James Gunn and PnB Rock featuring Swae Lee and Pink Sweats will be on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” with guest host Anthony Anderson. “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” will have on Emily Blunt and Bob Costas, and Lorde and Taku Hirano will be on “Late Night With Seth Meyers.”