Episodic Breakdown of HBO’s 6-Part Low-Income Housing Debate Drama (LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Natalie Paul, Clarke Peters)

Episodic Breakdown of HBO's 6-Part Low-Income Housing Debate Drama (LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Natalie Paul, Clarke Peters)

LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Natalie Paul, and Clarke Peters are all part of the cast of HBO’s miniseries “Show Me a Hero,” which hails from “The Wire” creator David Simon, and is based on the nonfiction book by Lisa Belkin of the same name.

The 6-hour miniseries will tackle the prejudices, myths, and heated emotions stirred by the public housing debate, with a landmark case at its core.

The short story goes… in 1988, when a federal judge ordered the city of Yonkers, New York, to integrate more thoroughly its low-income housing throughout the city, it set off a bitter dispute that would consume the town for the next five years. Among those caught in the controversy was the city’s 28-year-old mayor, Nicholas Wasicsko, who had used the issue to his advantage during his campaign and found that he would never be able to escape it, either during or after his administration.

Oscar Isaac stars in the miniseries as Wasicsko, which also counts Catherine Keener, James Belushi, Terry Kinney, Michael Stahl-David, Winona Ryder, Alfred Molina, and Jon Bernthal amongst its key cast.

LaTanya Richardson Jackson plays Norma O’Neal, described as the stoic, hardworking home health aide who has struggled to raise a family in Yonkers’ worst projects, even as her own health fails her. Natalie Paul plays Doreen Henderson, a young woman born in Yonkers public housing but raised in the suburbs, is drawn back to the projects, where her life spirals out of control. And Clarke Peters plays Robert Mayhawk, the consultant hired to help educate tenants bound for the townhouses about life in their new neighborhood.

Paul Haggis (“Crash”) is director of the miniseries, based on a script by William F. Zorzi, a writer on “The Wire.”

“Show Me a Hero” premieres Sunday, August 16 at 8/7c on HBO. In a press released today, the premium cable TV network announces that the miniseries will unfold over 6 hour-long episodes, with its first two parts back-to-back on Sunday August 16 (8-10pm ET/PT), followed by two parts on both of the subsequent Sundays – August 23 and 30 – at the same time.

Following is a breakdown of every episode:

Part 1

Debut for Parts 1 and 2: SUNDAY, AUG. 16 (8:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT)

Other HBO playdates for Parts 1 and 2: Aug. 16 (1:05 a.m.), 17 (12:10 a.m.), 18 (5:00 p.m.), 19 (9:00 p.m.) and 22 (11:30 p.m.)

HBO2 playdates for Parts 1 and 2: Aug. 17 (9:30 p.m.), 20 (3:30 a.m.), 22 (3:30 p.m.) and 30 (4:00 p.m.)

Nick Wasicsko becomes the youngest big-city mayor in America, but at what cost? Even before he is inaugurated, the obligation to build public housing in the white neighborhoods of Yonkers looms over his new administration.

Written by William F. Zorzi & David Simon; directed by Paul Haggis.

Part 2

Debut for Parts 1 and 2: SUNDAY, AUG. 16 (8:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT)

Other HBO playdates for Parts 1 and 2: Aug. 16 (1:05 a.m.), 17 (12:10 a.m.), 18 (5:00 p.m.), 19 (9:00 p.m.) and 22 (11:30 p.m.)

HBO2 playdates for Parts 1 and 2: Aug. 17 (9:30 p.m.), 20 (3:30 a.m.), 22 (3:30 p.m.) and 30 (4:00 p.m.)

All hell breaks loose as the Yonkers mayor and city council are given an ultimatum by a federal judge weary of further delay. Meanwhile, public housing residents trapped in the deteriorating projects of West Yonkers watch and wait as the white residents of East Yonkers make clear just how opposed they are.

Written by William F. Zorzi & David Simon; directed by Paul Haggis.

Part 3

Debut for Parts 3 and 4: SUNDAY, AUG. 23 (8:00-10:00 p.m.)

Other HBO playdates for Parts 3 and 4: Aug. 23 (1:10 a.m.), 24 (10:30 p.m.), 25 (6:15 p.m.), 26 (9:00 p.m.) and 29 (12:40 a.m.)

HBO2 playdates for Parts 3 and 4: Aug. 24 (8:00 p.m.), 27 (3:30 a.m.), 29 (4:30 p.m.) and 30 (6:00 p.m.)

Mayor Wasicsko finally achieves some consensus and rams through a housing plan with a tough vote, and housing officials begin to plan to build the new townhomes. But even as they do, the political cost to Wasicsko becomes apparent.

Teleplay by William F. Zorzi; story by William F. Zorzi & David Simon; directed by Paul Haggis.

Part 4

Debut for Parts 3 and 4: SUNDAY, AUG. 23 (8:00-10:00 p.m.)

Other HBO playdates for Parts 3 and 4: Aug. 23 (1:10 a.m.), 24 (10:30 p.m.), 25 (6:15 p.m.), 26 (9:00 p.m.) and 29 (12:40 a.m.)

HBO2 playdates for Parts 3 and 4: Aug. 24 (8:00 p.m.), 27 (3:30 a.m.), 29 (4:30 p.m.) and 30 (6:00 p.m.)

A new mayor pledges to oppose the housing, even though it is never quite clear what he might be able to do in that regard. Meanwhile, Nick Wasicsko tries to reconcile himself to life out of power as construction of the townhomes begin.

Teleplay by William F. Zorzi; story by William F. Zorzi & David Simon; directed by Paul Haggis.

Part 5

Debut for Parts 5 and 6: SUNDAY, AUG. 30 (8:00-10:00 p.m.)

Other HBO playdates for Parts 5 and 6: Aug. 30 (11:45 p.m.) and 31 (12:30 a.m.), and Sept. 1 (5:45 p.m.), 2 (8:45 p.m.) and 5 (11:15 p.m.)

HBO2 playdate for Parts 5 and 6: Aug. 31 (9:00 p.m.)

Armed with a growing recognition that he had fought on the side of angels in the battle over the housing, Nick Wasicsko plans his political comeback, while the residents for the new townhouses are screened and chosen.

Written by William F. Zorzi & David Simon; directed by Paul Haggis.

Part #6

Debut for Parts 5 and 6: SUNDAY, AUG. 30 (8:00-10:00 p.m.)

Other HBO playdates for Parts 5 and 6: Aug. 30 (11:45 p.m.) and 31 (12:30 a.m.), and Sept. 1 (5:45 p.m.), 2 (8:45 p.m.) and 5 (11:15 p.m.)

HBO2 playdate for Parts 5 and 6: Aug. 31 (9:00 p.m.)

A comprehensive orientation process awaits the incoming residents, and many have second thoughts about moving into neighborhoods that don’t welcome them. At the same time, Mary Dorman, long a vocal opponent of the housing, is recruited to serve the incoming residents in a way that even she finds startling. Meanwhile, Nick Wasicsko begins the long road back to political viability, even as the residents take possession of their new townhomes. But in the end, a second act for the wounded young politician proves elusive.

Written by William F. Zorzi & David Simon; directed by Paul Haggis.

The miniseries will also be available on HBO NOW and HBO GO.

David Simon and William F. Zorzi, Jr. wrote “Show Me a Hero,” based on Lisa Belkin’s book of the same name; Paul Haggis directed all six parts; David Simon, Nina K. Noble, Paul Haggis, Gail Mutrux and William F. Zorzi, Jr. executive produced.

Here’s a first trailer:

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