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A few times a year, HBO releases dates for new and returning shows. For whatever reason, the release of premiere dates always feel a little like Christmas, even if the shows are programs I have a love/hate relationship with, like Girls. Maybe it’s because HBO strives for a platform that is higher quality than a lot of the network’s out there. Or maybe the network is just really good at marketing. Whatever the reason, HBO announced premiere dates for returning drama The Newsroom, as well as comedies The Comeback and Getting On this morning, and I got a little giddy inside.
Conveniently, all three shows will be returning to the schedule on the same night in November. The programming block will premiere on November 9 at 9 p.m. ET, kicking off with The Newsroom, starring Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, Sam Waterston and Olivia Munn. It’s clearly the most high profile show of the night, and thus lands the nicest timeslot. Comedies often air after dramas on HBO, and The Comeback will hit the schedule at 10:00 that evening followed by Getting On at 10:30.
The episode counts for each of the three shows are all over the board this year. After hemming and hawing over whether or not to produce a third season of The Newsroom, HBO and showrunner Aaron Sorkin finally agreed to produce one final season. Unfortunately for fans, it means The Newsroom will only get six episodes this time around. Like The Newsroom, Getting On will get six episodes for its second season, which follows doctors and nurses dealing with the “darkly comedic” world of healthcare in America.
The Comeback will hang out for a couple of extra weeks on the network. The Lisa Kudrow-led comedy is getting a second season and eight episodes to boot. The return of The Comeback is even more bizarre than the drama surrounding the final season of The Newsroom. HBO aired a 13-episode season of The Comeback all the way back in 2006. It followed Kudrow as Valerie Cherish, a TV star who sees reality TV as a way to refocus her career. Kudrow has spent the last few years starring in the Showtime series Web Therapy, but apparently she had a good enough idea for The Comeback to stage her own comeback at HBO.
I’m really rooting for The Comeback. I’ve always liked Kudrow, and with The Newsroom ending, HBO could really stand to have another hit—and especially a comedy hit—in the late fall. While HBO has a couple of compelling comedies (Veep, Silicon Valley), the network still falls a little short compared to its dramas in terms of lasting, quality comedies. Maybe The Comeback will be exactly what HBO needs to real push its comedy lineup forward. We’ll find out soon enough.