HBO has a habit of renewing its original series very early, which makes The Newsroom a curious case. Though Aaron Sorkin’s cable-news set drama isn’t exactly a critical darling, the show’s second season showed a steady increase in viewership and Jeff Daniels pulled a surprise Emmy win for Best Actor in a Drama Series this past Sunday. Nevertheless, the show wrapped up its second season over a week ago and we have still yet to hear official word from HBO about season three—despite Daniels jumping the gun with a tweet “confirmation.”
What we have heard is that discussions are ongoing with Sorkin about a third season, and the ball very much appears to be in his court. Now the creator says he “needs time to think” about doing another season of the show. Hit the jump for more.
Three years after Lost ended with a polarizing and much buzzed-about series finale, creator Damon Lindelof is officially returning to television. Warner Bros. TV announced today that HBO has ordered Lindelof’s The Leftovers to series, with a 10-episode first season likely to premiere sometime next year. Based on the book of the same name by Tom Perrotta, the story takes place after the Rapture, centering on the people in a small town that didn’t make the cut. Justin Theroux leads a cast that includes Liv Tyler, Christopher Eccleston, Amy Brenneman, Carrie Coon, Ann Dowd, and Chris Zylka.
The pilot was directed by Friday Night Lights alum Peter Berg, and obviously HBO took a liking to the result. Lindelof will serve as showrunner on the series, which will likely decrease the amount of time he is able to devote to feature films. He most recently co-wrote the Disney pic Tomorrowland with Brad Bird, and that film is currently in production with George Clooney in the lead and a December 2014 release date set.
From the mind of Aaron Sorkin (creator of The West Wing and screenwriter of The Social Network and Moneyball), The Newsroom is a behind-the-scenes look at the people who make a nightly cable-news program. Focusing on network anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels), his executive producer and former girlfriend MacKenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer), the newsroom staff (John Gallagher, Jr., Olivia Munn, Dev Patel, Alison Pill and Thomas Sadoski) and their boss (Sam Waterston), the series tracks their idealistic and seemingly impossible mission to do the news well, in the face of corporate and commercial obstacles, as well as their own personal entanglements.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, actor Thomas Sadoski (who plays news producer Don Keefer) talked about how challenging The Newsroom is to make, how exhausting it can be to do such fast-paced dialogue for 16 hours a day, how passionate both the fans and haters of the show are, the growth of his character in Season 2, how much fun he has working with Olivia Munn, how much he enjoyed the physical comedy he got to do this season, whether he’d watch ACN, if it were a real news network, and the new appreciation the show has given him for journalists and what it takes for them to do their job well. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
A short teaser trailer for HBO drama Treme has let us know the show will be back for a mere five episodes to wrap up its post-Katrina story of New Orleans. The David Simon-penned drama will returnDecember 1st at 9 p.m. (instead of in September, as was originally discussed). Though Treme has never had the kind of audience that HBO’s other dramas have enjoyed (not by a long shot), it’s a testament to the premium network’s respect for Simon (who also brought them The Wire and Generation Kill) that he has been given time to close out the story in a satisfying way. Hit the jump for the promo.
For some, Fall is a reminder of the passing of life, but nothing brings that idea home so viscerally as Boardwalk Empire. Last season’s premiere was steeped in violence, and the same is true this year. Really, last season was a bloodbath back to front, with some lulling episodes in between. That’s become the show’s signature: luscious sets, a somber tone, an unhurried pace and lots and lots of violence. After Jimmy’s death the show needed to redefine itself, but what it has offered so far is a hodgepodge of things, some of which have been successful (Richard’s emotional journey, Eli’s redemption) and many which have not (Billie’s arc, the splintering of the narrative across several cities, a continued focus on Gillian). Hit the jump for what “New York Sour” set up, and why it might be the best-named Boardwalk episode yet.
The first full-length trailer for the upcoming HBO limited series True Detective aired earlier tonight on the pay cable network, and it is now available online for all to see. Directed by Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre, Jane Eyre), the series is described as an “elevated serial narrative” that uses multiple perspectives and time frames. Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey star as two detectives whose lives collide and entwine during a seventeen-year hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana. The investigation of a bizarre murder in 1995 is framed and interlaced with testimony from the detectives in 2012, when the case has been reopened. The show is envisioned as an anthology, and these first eight episodes will tell a complete story involving McConaughey and Harrelson’s characters.
This first trailer is excellent, teasing a strong character focus and an excellent visual style from Fukunaga. Really looking forward to this one. Hit the jump to take a look for yourself. True Detective will premiere on HBO in January.
HBO famously renews its original series incredibly quickly, but Aaron Sorkin’s drama show The Newsroom is barreling towards the final two episodes of its second season and we have yet to hear official word of a renewal. That appears to have changed, though, as star Jeff Daniels recently tweeted, “It’s Official. #Newsroom coming back for a Season 3.” Though we still haven’t heard official word from HBO regarding season three, we do know that HBO wants a third season. The holdup has actually been a matter of scheduling instead of concern over ratings or reviews. Hit the jump for more, including why The Newsroom just might return a little later than usual.
True Blood has had an interesting year. Before this last summer’s season (the show’s sixth), it shed creator and showrunner Alan Ball and took on a new direction with Brian Buckner at the helm. Though many fans found the season polarizing, the show made it clear that it was washing away many sins of the past, culling its overstocked cast, and making a commitment to grounding the story back where it all began — Bon Temps — and focusing on humans versus supernaturals. Whatever people thought of the season, the bottom line is that they still showed up. True Blood remains a big draw for HBO, yet they announced today that the series’ upcoming seventh season will be its last. Hit the jump for more.
HBO has given a pilot order for a remake of the 1973 cult classic sci-fi thriller Westworld, and it comes with some pretty impressive behind-the-scenes talent. J.J. Abrams will executive produce the pilot alongside his Bad Robot partner Bryan Burk, and The Dark Knight scribe Jonathan Nolan will co-write and direct the pilot. The original film was written and directed by author Michael Crichton and starred Yul Brynner as an android in a futuristic Western-themed amusement park. Per Variety, the HBO iteration of the story is described as “a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin.”
Nolan, who currently acts as showrunner on the CBS series Person of Interest, will mark his second time directing with Westworld, as he previously helmed an episode of the CBS series. He was previously rumored to be in contention to direct Warner Bros.’ Man of Steel, produced by his brother Christopher Nolan, but that job eventually went to Zack Snyder. Hit the jump for more on the potential Westworld series.
In between last night’s season finale of True Blood and new episode of The Newsroom, HBO premiered a couple of new teasers for the upcoming seasons of Girls and Eastbound and Down. The “in production” trailer for season three of Girls actually doesn’t contain any footage at all, but instead is a collection of stills that have been taken during the filming process of the show’s new season. Included are peeks at the return of Andrew Rannells’ Elijah (huzzah!) as well as a trip to the beach for the titular characters. Season three will premiere sometime in early 2014.
Additionally, a new teaser for the upcoming fourth and final season of Eastbound and Down cheekily equates Kenny Powers’ return with the rising of the phoenix. We don’t yet know how the new season will deal with the ramifications of the season three finale, but I can’t wait to see Danny McBride back in character. Season four of Eastbound and Down will premiere on September 29th. Hit the jump to watch the teasers for both HBO series.
Before Midnight co-writer/star Julie Delpy has landed a pretty high-profile writing gig. Deadline reports that Delpy is closing a deal with HBO Films to pen an adaptation of the Marisa Acocella Marchetto memoir Cancer Vixen: A True Story as a star vehicle for actress Cate Blanchett. The film will tell the story of a Manhattan cartoonist for magazines like The New Yorker and Glamour who was suddenly diagnosed with breast cancer just as she was about to get married. Delpy was previously nominated for an Academy Award for co-writing Before Sunset and she also penned the script for her 2012 directorial effort 2 Days in New York.
Blanchett is an executive producer on Cancer Vixen and the idea is for her to star in the film. The actress is currently fielding a great amount of Oscar talk for her stellar performance in Woody Allen’s latest film Blue Jasmine. She’ll be seen later this year in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and George Clooney’s The Monuments Men, and she’s next set to play the evil stepmother in Disney’s Cinderella.
HBO has released the first teaser trailer for director Stephen Frears’ (The Queen) new film Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight. The pic focuses on Muhammad Ali’s refusal to go to Vietnam and the court battle that ensued, centering on Justice Harlan (Christopher Plummer) and his clerk, played by Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter star Benjamin Walker. This teaser doesn’t show too much footage from the film, but it looks like Ali won’t actually be portrayed onscreen by an actor. Instead, we see archival footage of the legendary fighter while the narrative plays out in the courtroom and the judge’s chambers.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Frank Langella, Danny Glover, Bob Balaban, Ed Begley Jr., Barry Levinson, and Pablo Schreiber. Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight premieres on HBO on October 5th.
The fourth season of the HBO drama series Boardwalk Empire kicks off on the pay cable network in a little over a month, but in advance of the premiere, HBO has unveiled some images from the new season that give fans a tease of what’s to come. Regular cast members Steve Buscemi, Michael Shannon, Kelly Macdonald, Michael K. Williams, Jack Huston, and more are joined this year by a bevy of newcomers including Jeffrey Wright, Ron Livingston, and Patricia Arquette, all of which are seen in these new photos. For those worried of spoilers, these images give away next to nothing by way of plot, but they do serve as a nice appetizer for the 12-episode fourth season.
Hit the jump to take a look at the high-resolution images. Season four of Boardwalk Empire begins on HBO September 8th.
HBO has released new images for several upcoming projects:
- Clear History – Larry David stars as a marketing executive who sold his shares in an electric car startup and missed out on billions of dollars. Jon Hamm, Bill Hader, Danny McBride, Michael Keaton, and Kate Hudson also star. Greg Mottola (Superbad) directs.
- Hello Ladies – Stephen Merchant (Extras) stars as an Englishman looking for love in Los Angeles in the comedy series he co-writes with Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky (The Office).
- Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight – Christopher Plummer, Frank Langella, Benjamin Walker, and Danny Glover star in the Stephen Frears-directed political drama centered around Ali’s refusal to fight in the Vietnam War.
- Seduced and Abandoned – Director James Toback and Alec Baldwin comment on the absurdity of Hollywood with this documentary about their failed efforts to secure financing for an Iraq-set love story.
See the images after the jump.
Girls, Veep, Family Tree, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Eastbound & Down—that is a solid, eclectic comedy roster on HBO. Still, with Eastbound & Down and down entering its final season and Curb Your Enthusiasm waiting on Larry David‘s desire to a ninth season, HBO is looking to bring more comedies to the network. They ordered Mike Judge‘s Silicon Valley; a dramedy about a group of San Francisco gay men starring Jonathan Groff; Stephen Merchant‘s Hello Ladies, and British import Getting On to series.
Togetherness is the latest to receive a series order from HBO. The half-hour comedy developed by the Duplass Brothers follows two couples living under the same roof going through relationship difficulties as each individual pursues their own dreams. Mark Duplass, Melanie Lynskey, Amanda Peet, and Steve Zissis star. Hit the jump for more.