August is another all Aussie TV month, with the US premieres of a dramedy and a drama, the linear TV debut of a thriller, and the addition of a political drama to a streaming service.

Upright
Upright: Milly Alcock as Meg, Tim Minchin as Lucky Flynn — Photo by Matt Nettheim, courtesy of Sundance Now

For updates about shows from Australia and New Zealand added to US linear TV and streaming channels throughout the month, see the Down Under TV Viewing Guide.

Programs and dates are subject to change without prior notice.

Videos below may contain content that is not suitable for everyone.

NATIONAL PREMIERES

Upright (AU)

Co-written, composed by, and starring Tim Minchin (Californication, Jesus Christ Superstar), this dramedy follows his character, Lucky Flynn, who decides to drive to the other side of Australia to see his dying mother, packing nothing but an upright piano for the journey.

But his plans are soon turned upside down when the shabby Flynn family outcast meets runaway teenager Meg (Milly Alcock, Reckoning, Pine Gap), who’s dealing with some family demons of her own.

Lucky and Meg forge an unlikely friendship as they embark on a road trip adventure across the Nullarbor Plains in a race against time. Along the way, they encounter feral camels, a magical pink lake, highway thieves, clifftop parties, a speed-loving truckie, an underworld fight ring, suspicious cops, and the world’s most musically-appreciative motorcycle gang.

Over eight hot days, the pair drive, hitch, and scam their way across the scorching desert continent — with the upright piano never leaving their side — on a journey that will ultimately make them both feel more at peace with everything in life that they’ve been kicking against.

The eight-part series costars Heather Mitchell (A Place to Call Home), Ella Scott Lynch (Janet King), and Daniel Lapaine (Catastrophe).

Upright premieres in the US with its first two episodes on Thursday, August 6, exclusively on Sundance Now and its digital channels, including Sundance Now on Amazon Channels. New episodes will debut in pairs on Thursdays.

Five Bedrooms (AU)

This eight-episode ensemble-cast drama stars Kat Stewart (Offspring, Tangle), Stephen Peacocke (Wanted, Home and Away), Doris Younane (Frayed, McLeod’s Daughters), Katie Robertson (Rosehaven, Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries), Roy Joseph (Back in Very Small Business, Halim), Kate Jenkinson (Wentworth, The Heart Guy), and Hugh Sheridan (Back to the Rafters, Packed to the Rafters).

The story follows five singles — Liz (Stewart), Ben (Peacocke), Ainsley (Robertson), Harry (Joseph), and Lachlan (Sheridan) — who meet at the singles’ table at a wedding. After bemoaning their seeming inability to land a mate and a piece of property of their own while downing several bottles of champagne, they decide to pitch in and buy a house together. What could go right?

It’s a grand social experiment with one glaring problem: They’ll have to actually live with each other — all while journeying together through personal disasters, life-turning crises, and moments of love, joy, and heartbreak.

Five Bedrooms, a Peacock Original series, premieres in the US on Thursday, August 13, exclusively on Peacock.

NON-PREMIERE PROGRAMS BEING ADDED TO LINEAR TV

The Code: Season 1

Stretching from the spectacular red desert of Australia’s outback to the cool corridors of power in Canberra, this thriller tells the story of two very different brothers who unearth information that those at the highest levels of political power will kill to keep secret.

Ned Banks (Dan Spielman, Stateless) has spent the last ten years juggling a stalling career as an online journalist with caring for his talented but troubled brother, Jesse (Ashley Zukerman, Succession). Ned thinks his big break has finally come after coming in contact with local schoolteacher Alex Wisham (Lucy Lawless, My Life Is Murder). Two of her students were involved in a car accident, and she has phone footage of the crash. With Jesse’s help, Ned is able to clean up the video. Its contents are shocking, and the decision to publish it will light the wick on a story too explosive to be contained.

Featuring David Wenham (Romper Stomper), Dan Wyllie (SeaChange: Paradise Reclaimed), and Aden Young (Rectify), The Code: Season 1 begins airing on Ovation TV on Saturday, August 1, at 7 PM ET / 4 PM PT.

NON-PREMIERE PROGRAMS BEING ADDED TO STREAMING SERVICES

Party Tricks (AU)

Asher Keddie (Offspring, Stateless) and Rodger Corser (The Heart Guy, Rush) lead the cast of this six-part drama as Kate Ballard and David McLeod. Kate is facing her first election for State Premier, and her victory seems assured until the opposition announces a shock new candidate: none other than David, a media darling and a man Kate had a secret, tumultuous affair with several years ago.

To the world at large, David and Kate come across as compelling, evenly-matched adversaries. But a paranoid Kate fears that their complicated history is a trump card waiting to be played.

Party Tricks begins streaming Monday, August 3, on Acorn TV and its digital channels, including Acorn TV on Amazon Channels.

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Did you miss any of the new shows from previous days, weeks, or months? Check the Down Under TV Viewing Guide and Archives to find out.

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For details about the August premieres of shows from the UK, Canada, and Ireland, visit The British TV Place. For those about the debuts of original-language, English-subtitled programs from Europe, visit The Euro TV Place.

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Aussie & Kiwi TV: US Premieres in August 2020
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