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The Best In Streaming This Week: ‘Ted Lasso’ is Back, ‘For Ball and Country,’ and All Eyes Are On Tokyo

Michael King

This week, the best in streaming is all over the map, literally, as all eyes are turning toward Tokyo. And while the Opening Ceremonies of the one-year-delayed Summer Olympic Games don’t happen until Friday morning, the first competitive action actually gets underway on Tuesday.

The other big event in streaming this week is the return of the Emmy-and-Peabody Award-nominated Ted Lasso for its second season.

Giving Everything You’ve Got For Ball and Country

For Ball and Country takes a look at some of the nation’s best basketball players as they set aside their on-court rivalries to form Team USA: America’s national team — just ahead of the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games.

Narrated by Oscar, Grammy, and Emmy award-winning artist, actor, author, and activist Common, fans will get an inside look as the USA Basketball Men’s National Team arrives for training camp, coaches meetings, and practices with players and coaches mic’ed up. Head coach Gregg Popovich, Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, Jayson Tatum, Draymond Green, Devin Booker, Bradley Beal, and the rest of the USA Basketball team will appear in exclusive behind the scenes access and interviews.

Episodes 1 and 2 will stream on Monday, with episodes 3 and 4 on Tuesday, followed by episodes 5 and 6 on Wednesday — all just ahead of the Olympic Games on Peacock.

Peacock

Peacock is a subscription video streaming service from NBCUniversal that gives access to up to 15,000 hours of content including original shows, blockbuster movies, and classic television series.

It will include news, entertainment, sports, late-night, and reality from various NBCU properties including NBC, Bravo, and E!.

Just like other streaming services, Peacock will have their own original series including reboots of Save By The Bell, Punky Brewster, and Battlestar Galactica. They also have shows like Rutherford Falls (Ed Helms), Dr. Death (Alec Baldwin), and a behind-the-scenes docs-series about Saturday Night Live.

The company has acquired the rights to many classic shows like the entire Dick Wolf library including Law & Order and Chicago Fire, Parks and Recreation, and The Office.

The service will also feature blockbusters and critically-acclaimed films from Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation, Illumination and content acquired from Hollywood’s biggest studios.

Bringing An Epic Tyler Perry Nighttime Soap Opera To Its End

Tyler Perry's The Haves and the Have Nots was the first dramatic series to premiere on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) when it bowed in 2013. The primetime soap is based on the Tyler Perry stage play of the same name, and focused on the dysfunction of the relationships involving three families representing both the rich and poor sectors of society in Savannah, Ga.

The series has been one of the top-rated of all cable television shows among African American women, and the top-rated series on the OWN Network. John Schneider (Dukes of Hazzard, Smallville), Tika Sumpter (mixed-ish), and Crystal Fox (In the Heat of the Night, Big Little Lies) star in the series. Watch the Series Finale of The Haves and the Have Nots on Tuesday at 8 pm ET on OWN.

Milwaukee is Looking For The Sweep to Win The NBA Finals at Home

The NBA Finals started out looking like a rout by the Phoenix Suns as they initially took a two-game lead over the Milwaukee Bucks. It’s a different story now, after Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks took the next three games to come back to a 3-2 lead over the Suns. Game 6 is in Milwaukee on Tuesday night, with the championship on the line.

If necessary, Game 7 would land on Thursday night in Phoenix. Tip-off for both is 9 pm ET, on ABC.

Following This Week’s Olympic Action — Even Before The Opening Ceremonies

While the Opening Ceremonies for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games will get underway on Friday morning, competitive action actually gets underway on Tuesday night.

Sports fans can watch Olympic softball action first between Japan and Australia at 8 pm followed by Team USA against Italy at 11 pm, both on NBC Sports Network. On Wednesday, Soccer fans can catch the action as Team USA takes the pitch against Sweden at 4:30 am on USA Network, and on Thursday morning, Brazil takes on Germany at 7:30 am, also on USA Network.

It’s Finally Time! The Games of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games Get Underway

The big event gets underway on Friday morning as NBC broadcasts the Olympic Opening Ceremonies live from Tokyo, beginning at 6:55 am. For those of you who aren’t able to watch live, NBC will rebroadcast the Opening Ceremonies Friday evening in prime time, beginning at 7:30 pm ET/PT. Full Olympic Coverage will be found on the Networks of NBC Universal and on Peacock, starting Friday.

Time For The Return of Coach Ted Lasso

In the eyes of many, Ted Lasso is definitely the little comedy that could. The Apple TV+ series has already won a 2021 Peabody Award, and it has landed 13 nominations in the upcoming Primetime Emmy Awards.

Ted Lasso premieres its second season on Friday and picks right up where things left off last season, with Coach Ted Lasso (Jason Sudekis, SNL) working to bring AFC Richmond back into the Premier League. Ted Lasso streams on Fridays on Apple TV+.

Apple TV+

Apple TV+ is a subscription video streaming service for $4.99 a month that includes high-quality originals shows and movies including Best Picture winner “CODA,” popular sitcom “Ted Lasso,” and dramas like “The Morning Show” and “For All Mankind.” Apple TV+ is also home to MLB baseball games on Friday nights.

They have titles coming from Oprah, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Jason Momoa, J.J. Abrams, M. Night Shyamalan, Jennifer Garner, and Octavia Spencer.

If you purchase an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV, you can get a free year of Apple TV+.

And Just How Did They Make Luke Skywalker Young Again?

In the Season 2 finale of The Mandalorian, a surprise appearance by a young Luke Skywalker was one of the best-kept secrets and biggest reveals of the highly-acclaimed series so far. The story of the technology used to reveal young Luke is revealed in a special edition of Disney Gallery: Star Wars: The Mandalorian.

The episode looks at the entire production process, including working with Mark Hamill, to create an authentic and fitting recreation, and explores the immense pressure and responsibility the filmmakers had in bringing back one of the most important characters in film history.

Disney Gallery: Star Wars: The Mandalorian is streaming on Sunday, August 25, exclusively on Disney+.

Disney+

Disney+ is an ad-free video streaming service with over 13,000 series and films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, The Muppets, and more. It is available in 61 countries and 21 languages.

The Disney streaming service costs $7.99 / month, or $79.99 / year ($6.67 / month). You can bundle it with Hulu and ESPN+ for just $13.99 a month (cheaper than Netflix).

The app supports unlimited downloads, four simultaneous streamers, up to 7 profiles, 4K streaming, and includes hundreds of avatars.

The service includes 25+ new original series, 10+ original movies, 7,500 past episodes, 100 recent movies, and 400 library titles including the entire Disney Vault. You can stream original series like “The Mandalorian”, “Falcon and the Winter Soldier”, “Loki”, and “Monsters at Work.”

You can see the full list of available Disney, Disney Channel, Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, Nat Geo shows and movies, or all available Disney Plus content by checking out our Disney+ Streaming Movie List.

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Ted Lasso Season 2 Trailer

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