Making a mockery: Andy Samberg riffs on cycling doping scandals

« Back to News

Andrew Warren / TV Media
Daveed Diggs, Orlando Bloom, Andy Samberg, John Cena and Freddie Highmore in "Tour de Pharmacy"

Daveed Diggs, Orlando Bloom, Andy Samberg, John Cena and Freddie Highmore in "Tour de Pharmacy"

Making a mockery: With the world's most recognized and most prestigious cycling event, the Tour de France, currently underway in Europe, it's a perfect time to look back at one of the sport's biggest scandals -- even if that scandal is entirely made up.

At least, that seems to be the thinking behind HBO's new mockumentary, "Tour de Pharmacy," premiering Saturday, July 8. In a sport that's had more than its fair share of doping scandals, it was only a matter of time before the quick wit of a comedian was brought to bear against it. 

The comedian in this case is "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" star Andy Samberg. The hilarious wise guy both stars in the special and serves as an executive producer for the not-at-all-serious look at a fictitious doping scandal that supposedly engulfed the cycling world in 1982.

This is the second sports mockumentary that Samberg has created for HBO, after 2015's tennis-focused "7 Days in Hell." For "Tour de Pharmacy," the former "SNL" star landed some serious talent.

Among those who join Samberg on screen are pro wrestler John Cena ("Trainwreck," 2015), Orlando Bloom ("Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales," 2017), Freddie Highmore ("Bates Motel"), Danny Glover ("Lethal Weapon," 1987), Jeff Goldblum ("Jurassic Park," 1993), Julia Ormond ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," 2008), James Marsden ("Westworld"), Kevin Bacon ("Mystic River," 2003), Maya Rudolph ("Bridesmaids," 2011), Daveed Diggs ("The Get Down") and many others.

The specific doping scandal examined in "Tour de Pharmacy" may be entirely made up, but in a sport that's had its share of controversy, even the silliest scenes don't seem far from the truth. The new mockumentary from the mind of Andy Samberg is off to the races Saturday, July 8, on HBO.


Get rich quick: Most of us could use a bit more money, but getting too much extra moolah can be life-altering, and not necessarily in good ways. AMC's new summer series "Loaded," premiering Monday, July 17, is a look at just how life-changing a huge windfall can be.

The comedy-drama is an import from the U.K.'s Channel 4 and is based on Israeli series "Mesudarim." The Daily Telegraph called "Loaded" a "brasher and more blokey version of [HBO's] 'Silicon Valley,'" and the similarities are definitely there -- both are comedies about a group of young techies trying to navigate the high-stakes world of business.

In "Loaded," four friends and business partners -- played by Jim Howick ("Hellboy," 2004), Samuel Anderson ("Doctor Who"), Nick Helm ("Uncle") and Jonny Sweet ("Babylon") -- sell their gaming company for an astounding amount of money. They become multimillionaires overnight and struggle to adapt their new lifestyles, with hilarious results. 

Of course, nothing is ever that easy. Their company, which they're still associated with, is soon targeted by a lawsuit, which alleges that their hit game was based on a concept stolen from their old drug dealer. 

Aimee-Ffion Edwards ("Peaky Blinders"), Mary McCormack ("K-PAX," 2001), Scarlett Alice Johnson ("EastEnders") and Lolly Adefope ("Rovers") help round out the cast in this story of ambition and gluttony, and play a part in the transformation of four "guys who play games" into "people who play THE game."

All the money, greed and guilt that any video game maker could ask for comes to AMC in "Loaded," premiering Monday, July 17.


America, celebrated: One day each year, Americans across the nation and around the world gather to celebrate the land of the free and the home of the brave. While every family and social group has its own Independence Day traditions, there's one that's been bringing all sorts of people together since 1979.

As it has for decades, PBS brings the magic of the nation's annual live patriotic concert into homes across the country with "A Capitol Fourth." The annual event attracts over half a million visitors to the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol every July 4, and millions more tune in around the globe.

While the greatest fireworks show in the United States provides a spectacular backdrop, attendees and viewers are treated to a glorious spectacle of music. As is tradition, the National Symphony Orchestra, the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, the Choral Arts Society of Washington and the U.S. Army Ceremonial Band all provide patriotic tunes, and, as usual, they're joined by a number of big-ticket musical acts.

Emmy-nominated actor John Stamos ("Fuller House") serves as this year's host, with iconic band the Beach Boys, "The Voice" winner Chris Blue, the Four Tops, the Blues Brothers, Nashville icon Trace Adkins, "Hamilton" star Phillipa Soo, singer and "Descendants" (2015) star Sofia Carson and conductor Jack Everly all performing during the Fourth of July celebration on Capitol Hill, broadcast live on PBS.