[08/01/12 - 03:15 PM]
HBO at TCA: Rolling Stones Documentary, Larry David Movie on Tap
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- HBO co-presidents Michael Lombardo and Richard Plepler kicked off their executive session at the TCA Summer Press Tour with a pair of announcements, including a Rolling Stones 50th anniversary documentary from Brett Morgen and a Larry David movie to be directed by Greg Mottola.

As for specifics, the latter won't feature David playing himself but rather "title and further details TBD" according to Plepler. Said duo were quick to affirm the movie won't prohibit a future season of "Curb Your Enthusiasm." "We always say he has essentially carte blanche with us. Don't quote us on that... but he does," Plepler said. "And if he wants to come back and do 'Curb' we'd be thrilled and now he wants to do the movie." Lombardo added, "I think he wants to do another season of 'Curb.' He has a great idea for another season of 'Curb.'"

Among the other topics:

-- "As long as he sees fit to keep creating, so will we," Plepler said about its future with "Game of Thrones" and author George R. R. Martin. Lombardo added that the same goes for "True Blood." "I think as long as it continues to be performing with the consumer, but more importantly, exciting the storytellers. I think we're there."

-- Lombardo on a proposed "Entourage" movie: "[Doug Ellin's] writing a film script and he's excited about it. I've heard a very general pitch for it and I think after we take a look at the script we will see if there's any interest... He's in the process of writing as we speak."

-- Lombardo also gave a status check on a few other of its projects: "The Day the Laughter Stopped" ("We have a writer. It's in development... I just don't know where we are in terms of the script."), "Da Brick" ("We piloted a show last year... with John Ridley and Spike Lee, it didn't work.") and "The Kids Are All Right" ("We just got [a draft] in a couple of weeks ago and we're continuing to develop with her.").

-- "It was very difficult material and I thought they did a beautiful job with it but [it] didn't warrant going forward," Plepler said about their small screen take on "The Corrections." Lombardo added, "It was a very challenging decision for us. But ultimately we decided we felt as if we shouldn't go forward to series on that pilot."

-- Lombardo revealed that, as a result of canceling "Luck," its comedies "Girls" and "Enlightened" won't be joined by a drama in January. "We did not have a backup plan so we did have a hole in January."

-- "They're sitting down right now to pitch an idea that they have for the season, but Danny [McBride] and Jody [Hill] are just sitting down now," Lombardo said about the new season of "Eastbound & Down." As for "Treme," Lombardo indicated, "We're absolutely having conversations with David [Simon] now about should there be a fourth season and what that season might look like because there are certain exigencies of producing a show like that in New Orleans."

-- Plepler on how he feels about "The Newsroom": "There's only one Aaron Sorkin and we're very proud that he's working with us, very proud that he's going to do another season." He would later note that Scott Rudin, despite no longer having an overall deal with the network, will remain an executive producer. "I think the question was just capacity," Plepler said. "He wanted to move on some things that perhaps we weren't ready to move on so we felt that it was right to give him that flexibility."

-- Lombardo on how its Matthew McConaughey/Woody Harrelson-drama "True Detective" compares to "The Wire" and "The Sopranos": "This is light years away from each of those shows... [it's] set in the South, it's very much a character piece." Adding, "The idea right now is that this particular narrative ends after the [eight] episodes are completed."

-- Plepler and Lombardo both affirmed "The Life & Times of Tim" is done for good. Lombardo said that as far as animation goes, "We never really had a strategy, we respond to individual shows that came in. I think it's hard to figure out how an animated show would fit on [our] Sunday night lineup but I think we're always open to it on Friday, Friday nights." Lombardo likewise addressed the annual "Deadwood" movie question, saying, "David [Milch] is busy at work on not only a new pilot for us but he's got movies and mini-series that have caught his interest right now."

-- And in other odds and ends, Plepler said he's thrilled about the success of HBO Go however "remember the streaming audience is still very small, it's probably about a little over 5%. But the streaming audience combined with our on-demand audience creeps closer to 25%." Lombardo also indicated they won't be expanding beyond Sunday nights for the foreseeable future. "At this point we're Sunday night... I think what we've discovered was that our viewers, we've spent years directing them to Sunday night."

-- Lombardo on the broadcast networks being shut out of the Best Drama category at the Emmys this year: "I think it's anomalous to this year... It's hard to argue why 'The Good Wife' wouldn't fit in that group of shows." As for the broadcast networks' upcoming crop, Lombardo said, "I thought 'The Following' was a well-executed show."

  [august 2012]  


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