HBO’s summer documentary series includes Prom Night in Mississippi, Boy Interrupted

Besides light, fun reality TV, summer has also become a time for incredible documentaries that tell stories about people both famous and unknown, thanks in large part to HBO’s summer documentary series, which also aired last summer.

This year, HBO’s summer documentary series again airs a new documentary Mondays at 9 p.m. ET, and most weeks, those will be preceded at 7 p.m. by a sports-focused documentary, including Barbaro (July 20) and Breaking the Huddle: The Integration of College Football (July 27). The summer series kicks off tonight with Teddy: in His Own Words, which “explores the life and 46-year Senate career of Ted Kennedy.”

Highlights of the rest of HBO’s slate include July 20’s debut of Prom Night in Mississippi, which follows actor Morgan Freeman’s offer to his high school that he’d pay for their prom if the segregated proms would be merged into one for both black and white students. Among the other great films are Aug. 3’s Boy Interrupted, the story of a 15-year-old who killed himself after suffering from biopolar disorder; Aug. 10’s The Nine Lives of Marion Barry, a profile of the former Washington, D.C. mayor; and The Last Truck: The Closing of a GM Plant, which “tells the inside story of the last days of a General Motors plant in moraine, Ohio, as lived by the people who worked the line.”

Also Monday night, The Documentary Channel debuts Immokalee USA, which it says is “a documentary chronicling the daily lives of migrant farm workers and their challenges and struggles to make a living in Immokalee, Fla.,” which is very close to the tiny, freakishly conservative and rich town of Naples, Fla. (where I grew up despite not being freakishly conservative or rich). The documentary airs at 9 p.m. ET but can also be viewed online, as it will be available on YouTube and on

Check out the schedule of televised documentaries for debut dates and, for HBO’s series, links to the repeat schedule.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.