In the past decade, HBO has increasingly become known for its amazing original series. "Deadwood," "Oz," "The Wire," and "Entourage" are all past series that have received rave reviews. 2011 was an unusual year for HBO, due to the fact that only one major new series was released: "Game of Thrones." This may change in 2012. Already three new series have been announced for release. Read below for a quick look at the upcoming new original series on HBO.
"Veep" - This series was originally designed for ABC in 2007. Despite a stellar cast that included Michael McKean and Oliver Platt, the pilot bombed and ABC never picked up the series. Fast forward five years later and HBO has purchased a season of this new show with an entirely new cast and slightly modified premise. The only truly big name in the show is Julia Louis-Dreyfus of "Seinfeld" fame, though it also features Anna Chlumsky, the actress who basically hasn't done anything significant since her starring child role in "My Girl." The series is based on a successful British comedy, a formula which has about a 50% success rate in the states. Most likely the real chance for success for this series comes from the fact that it will air during the height of the 2012 election season, when political satire will be a nice reprieve from political rhetoric.
"Luck" - Just based on the actors involved in this, it should be an unparalleled success. The top names include Dustin Hoffman, Nick Nolte, Richard Kind, and Dennis Farina. This star-studded cast is taking on a nearly untouched concept in the world of television: horse racing. The fact that the show actually has a unique concept is nearly unbelievable in the current field of recycled and reused programming. The real question is whether horse racing will be interesting enough to support a series. Of course, this could prove academic. At present the show has no meaningful female lead. Without that, it likely won't last more than a season no matter how original it is.
"Life's Too Short" - If there is anything that HBO has taught Americans in the last few years it is that Ricky Gervais is a very funny man. Thus, this upcoming new series written by Ricky Gervais will probably be a riot. The series is yet another look at Hollywood from the inside, but promises a new perspective: the perspective of a dwarf actor. The star of "Life's Too Short" is Warwick Davis, the man most famous for playing the title character in the movie "Willow." Despite a modestly successful three decade long career, Davis has been overshadowed by other dwarf actors in the industry, despite his remarkable acting resume and ability. This series promises to allow him to truly command the stage and engage the camera and it is likely to be amazing just based on his personality alone.