You can thank the premature death of Luck for the quick renewals — and returns of Girls and Enlightened. (Both will return in January 2013.) "When we made the decision to pull the plug on Luck while they were in production on the second season, we did not have a backup plan," Michael Lombardo, HBO's president of programming, told reporters at Television Critics Association fall TV previews on Wednesday. "We have new shows coming up next year, but we did not have anything ready for that period." Both series will air their 10-episode second seasons with originals running through March.
Larry David, film star: HBO Co-President Richard Plepler revealed Wednesday that the network is doing a movie starring Curb Your Enthusiasm star Larry David. Few details were provided: It will be directed by Greg Mottola, it's not a Curb movie and David won't be playing the Larry David from Curb in the film. Plepler said that David has "carte blanche" to do whatever he decides. Lombardo added that David has not closed the door on another season of Curb.
Rolling on HBO: Coinciding with the band's 50th anniversary, a new documentary from Brett Morgan will feature all four current members Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts, along with former members Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor.
Game of Thrones' future: While HBO's hit fantasy drama heads into its third season, author George R.R. Martin is working away on writing the sixth book. "As long as he keeps writing, we'll keep producing," Plepler said. Lombardo said he was proud of deciding to make the series because it sounded fearless and brave. "It was exceptional," he said.
Bye, bye Ball: In that same vein, True Blood will say farewell to showrunner Alan Ball at the end of the current fifth season. However, Lombardo noted that as long as it continues to perform with the consumer, "and more importantly, exciting the storytellers, I think we're there."
The Newsroom controversy: Though it's one of the most-discussed series this summer — mostly for its treatment of its female characters and an overreliance on speechifying — Plepler said they've very happy with how the season is going. "We're very proud of it," he said. "To the original voice point, there's nobody who writes as Aaron [Sorkin] writes and nobody who can resonate and create a conversation like Aaron can. There are 7 million viewers a week who are coming back to that show in a very competitive landscape who love it. There's only one Aaron Sorkin and we're very proud that he's working with us."
The return of Vincent Chase & Co.? The rumored Entourage film is still in the works, but don't hold your breath. "Doug [Ellin], as of this week, is on page 65. He's writing a film script," Lombardo said. "I've heard a very general pitch for it and I think after we take a look at the script, we'll see if there's any interest. We still have to make deals with the cast and figure out if this is something we want to do or not."
More Treme? A fourth season of the critically acclaimed series is in talks. "We'll hopefully have a decision one way or another, so we don't miss shooting around the hurricane season if we want to move forward," Lombardo said of the New Orleans-set drama.
Adaptations everywhere: Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections was "very difficult" to adapt to series, Plepler said. "Unfortunately, we can't do everything we want to do and there are constraints on the canvas." Meanwhile, Lisa Cholodenko's television adaptation of her Oscar-nominated film The Kids Are All Right is still being considered and a script has already been turned in.
Woody and Matthew are true detectives: The HBO bosses were quick to shy away from comparing new drama True Detective, starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, to series like The Wire and The Sopranos. "True Detective is light years away from each of those shows," Lombardo said, calling the network's pickup of the series a "no-brainer." Similar to American Horror Story, Detective is set up as an anthology, but Lombardo noted they haven't yet discussed what future seasons will look like.
Later Luck: Just because Luck has gone off the air, don't expect the long-rumored Deadwood movies to finally come to fruition. "David [Milch] is busy at work, and not only [on] a new pilot for us, but some movies and miniseries that have caught his interest," Lombardo said.
More docs: Additionally, HBO's lineup of upcoming documentaries include Ethel (Oct. 18), an in-depth portrait of Ethel Kennedy by her daughter; Don't Divorce Me! Kids' Rules for Parents on Divorce (Sept. 20) from Rosie O'Donnell; The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia (Oct. 29); The Latino List: Volume 2 (Sept. 24); and Witness, which follows a new generation of young combat photographers abroad, coming in November.
- Larry David