Two HBO series have their season premieres tonight. First, at 10 PM, "Eastbound & Down" returns for a third (and reportedly final) season. In this season, Kenny Powers has settled down in “the redneck Riviera” of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and is successfully pitching for the Myrtle Beach Mermen while completely shirking his responsibilities as a parent. Things are going well until a Russian pitching phenomenon, Ivan (“MAD TV” vet Ike Barinholtz), is brought on for Kenny to train with, and their relationship sours when Kenny realizes that this new pitcher may pose a threat to his livelihood. Conflicts also arise between Kenny’s former best friend Stevie and his new best friend Shane (Jason Sudeikis), a catcher for the Mermen. At home, Kenny tries to rekindle his romance with April while avoiding raising his child, a responsibility he’s neither suited for nor is ready to take any effort to undertake. Despite a season-long detour away from its principal cast, the show has amassed quite a large ensemble, many of whom are back for season 3. Kenny’s baby mama April (Katy Mixon), ex-Principal Cutler (Andy Daly), brother Dustin (John Hawkes) and sister-in-law Cassie (Jennifer Irwin) are all back as well as bit players like the eccentric car dealership owner Ashley Schaeffer (Will Ferrell) and a disreputable baseball scout (Matthew McConaughey).
Then at 10:30 is the U.S. premiere of "Life's Too Short", a mockumentary-style sitcom created and written by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, similar to their previous series "The Office" and "Extras". The show is about the life of a showbiz dwarf, with character actor Warwick Davis ("Return of the Jedi", "Willow") playing a fictionalized version of himself. Gervais and Merchant appear in cameos as themselves, with many other "Extras"-style celebrity cameos occuring in the 7 episodes. Although the show was not a big success when it aired in the UK late last year, Gervais confirmed via Twitter that a second season has already been commissioned for spring 2013.