HBOWatch has been speculating for a long while on what David Simon might do next for HBO and we now know it is a six-hour miniseries entitled SHOW ME A HERO. It has officially gotten the greenlight from the network. What is it about, you ask? Information from Deadline states the following:
It tells the story of Nick Wasicsko, the youngest big-city mayor in the nation who finds himself thrust into the center of a racial controversy when a federal court orders him to build a small number of low-income housing units in the white neighborhoods of his town, Yonkers, N.Y. His attempt to do so tears the city apart, paralyzes the municipal government and, ultimately, destroys his political future.
A couple of cast members have been announced with this news as we learn Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: Episode VII) plays Mr. Wasicsko and Catherine Keener (Captain Phillips) plays Mary Dorman, an East Yonkers homeowner who comes to a remarkable realization during the battle over where to build low-income housing. Paul Haggis is said to direct.
It is a work that sort of came out of the blue. Though it is listed on Simon’s website it was not the work we were expecting, though we’re not complaining. As stated previously, we have been speculating on what was next for Mr. Simon after TREME concluded. We bluntly asked the question of “what’s next” Part I post and a followup Part II two months later where it looked like he was going to do a musical featuring The Pogues. Then two months after that it look like he was teaming with Oprah Winfrey with PARTING THE WATERS which is about MLK. Then it surfaced two months after that his CIA idea was killed at HBO. Now two months after that news we finally find out that the SHOW ME A HERO project is on the fast track. Note however that the musical and the MLK works can still happen, but they just are not next. Did you follow all that?
This will be David Simon’s third miniseries for HBO. His first was 2000’s THE CORNER which won an Emmy for best Miniseries that year and the second one was GENERATION KILL from 2008 which as a best Miniseries nominee. Now we add SHOW ME A HERO which is based on a nonfiction book by Lisa Belkin. You can find additional information about it here where it is available for purchase. Publishers Weekly had this to say about the source material:
In the late 1980s, the city of Yonkers, N.Y., made national headlines because of a bitter battle waged by many of its residents and political leaders against a federal court-ordered public housing plan. The plan compelled Yonkers to build public housing in the predominantly white east-side districts of the city. The heated opposition to the plan convulsed the city, which complied with the court order only when court-imposed fines threatened to consume the entire city budget. Belkin, who covered the story for the New York Times, follows the housing battle through the eyes of its participants: fearful white residents of the east side; black public housing tenants anxious to escape the misery of the west-side projects; Oscar Newman, the housing consultant and architect who designed the new town houses; and Nick Wasicsko, the young mayor of Yonkers who courageously confronted his own core constituency and tried to get the city to accept the plan (and who, five years later, out of office and out of prospects, shot himself). In her effort to interweave so many personal perspectives, Belkin sometimes loses her focus on the key public policies at stake. She does, however, enable readers to feel the hopes and fears of both the homeowners, who felt that their neighborhoods and property values were threatened by the housing plan, and the disadvantaged public housing tenants, who were seeking redress for years of discrimination and simply wanted a safe place to call home. Belkin’s gritty book is a vivid slice of urban politics, racial tension and the difficulties inherent in realizing the American dream.
That is all we know for now. Can anyone ‘show me’ some interest in this entertainment in the comments below? I just think it is good to know that Mr. Simon has not given up on HBO.