HBO News Blog

Development Slate: BANSHEE Returns to Cinemax; Hugh Laurie and More

By Jef Dinsmore on Nov 24, 2014 to HBO News

dev-logoOkay, we are short and sweet with the Slate news this time around. It is really all about cleaning out the cache of news I have sitting around. What you will see is a few tidbits about developments with existing shows plus some up and coming pilots. Here we go.


  • BANSHEE Season Three a Go on Cinemax

With Cinemax hitting one out of the park with THE KNICK people might be paying more attention to Cinemax as of late. But, it is not the only series on HBO’s sister network. How about BANSHEE? The dramatic series is about to embark on its third season in January. The 10-episode season launches on Friday, 01.09.15 at 10pm ET.

For those not quite familiar with the show, the action centers on Lucas Hood, a master thief and scoundrel who assumes the identity of a local sheriff in Banshee, PA in the heart of Amish country. He is a character above the law and holds fast to his own code of justice. Here are some details from an HBO Press Release:

CINEMAX has confirmed that BANSHEE will return for its ten-episode third season FRIDAY, January 9 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT). The Emmy-winning series is executive produced by Jonathan Tropper, Peter Macdissi, Alan Ball and Greg Yaitanes.


The show stars Antony Starr (Wish You Were Here) as Lucas Hood, an ex-con and master thief who assumes the identity of the sheriff of Banshee, Pa., where he continues his criminal pursuits while enforcing his own code of justice. Other returning cast regulars include: Ivana Milicevic (Psych, Vegas) as Carrie Hopewell, a notorious jewel thief who lives in Banshee under an assumed identity with her familBanshee_Starry, who all have recently learned of her criminal past; Ulrich Thomsen (The Celebration) as Kai Proctor, an intimidating, wealthy businessman who believes he is above the law; Frankie Faison (The Good Wife, HBO’s THE WIRE) as Sugar Bates, a powerful and wise former boxer and ex-con who is now the owner of the local watering hole; and Hoon Lee (The Blacklist) as Job, a dangerous transvestite computer hacker who assists Lucas and Carrie in their criminal enterprises.


 Returning cast regulars also include: Rus Blackwell (HBO Films RECOUNT), Matt Servitto (HBO’s THE SOPRANOS), Trieste Kelly Dunn (Brothers and Sisters), Ryann Shane (Blue Bloods), Lili Simmons (HBO’s TRUE DETECTIVE), Odette Annable (House MD) and Geno Segers (Teen Wolf). New cast regulars include Langley Kirkwood (Black Sails) and Afton Williamson (Nashville).


BANSHEE was created by Jonathan Tropper and David Schickler; executive producers, Alan Ball, Greg Yaitanes, Jonathan Tropper, Peter Macdissi; producer, Robert F. Phillips. Scripts were written by Jonathan Tropper, Halley Gross, Justin Britt-Gibson, Adam Targum, Christopher Kelley, Jennifer Ames and Steve Turner. Directors for the new season include Greg Yaitanes, Loni Peristere, Magnus Martens and OC Madsen.


  • OUTCAST Looks Promising for CinemaxCinemax_Outcast

Here is a scary thought – how about an exorcism drama? Actor Patrick Fugit (Gone Girl, HBO Films CINEMA VERITE) will take the lead character in OUTCAST, a supernatural horror saga. He plays Kyle Barnes, a young man haunted by his being possessed throughout his life. He sets out to seek answers but may not like what he uncovers. Well, hell yeah when you are talking demon possession. Okay, I shouldn’t say that because it is not determined from the reports so far exactly what kind of entity takes over this guy.

The show will be spearheaded by Robert Kirkman of Walking Dead fame based on a comics project of his. The pilot’s director is Adam Wingard (The Guest). Joining Fugit in the pilot are Philip Glenister (Life On Mars) as Reverend Anderson who sees himself as a soldier in God’s war against evil; eight-year-old Gabriel Bateman (Stalker) as Joshua Austin a boy across town also possessed; Reg E. Cathey (St Vincent) as Giles, the Chief of Police and friend to Kyle Anderson. Although he doesn’t believe in possession quite as strongly as Anderson, he’s seen enough to know there’s some truth to his friend’s assertions about demons. Julia Crockett (The Absence) portrays Sarah Barns, Kyle’s mother, who makes young Kyle’s life a living hell. At first, this might seem like the result of mental illness. But Kyle will come to understand that it’s something more. Wrenn Schmidt (BOARDWALK EMPIRE), is Megan Holter, Kyle’s adopted sister and a child psychologist, who is always on a mission to fix people, especially Kyle and Kip Pardue (Ray Donovan) plays Mark Holter, the husband of Kyle’s adopted sister, Megan, a small town cop whose temper sometimes gets him in trouble. Despite being mildly religious, Mark is a skeptic, who would never believe in something like demonic possession.

Do you believe in it? Will you watch OUTCAST on Cinemax?

(Source: two posts from Deadline)


  • Hugh Laurie Coming to VEEP

People_HughLaurie This is big news for those who love the political comedy (like I do), but actually very little to report. The witty Brit Hugh Laurie comes to HBO’s VEEP for at least one episode. He has been spotted on location in Towson Maryland, as this site atests, shooting scenes,

 It is not clear what role he plays in the comedic look at Selina Meyers term of office in Washington D. C. Nor is it clear at this time what plotlines Season Four of VEEP will take. If you follow the show you will recall that the POTUS is stepping down meaning Meyers is moving up to the Oval Office. Of course, if that really happens or happens for the long term is the show still called VEEP? Both ways hilarity will ensue and anyone who knows the work of Hugh Laurie, beyond just his famed House M. D., knows he has comedic chops (Black Adder, anyone?).  

The above mentioned site states he plays the campaign manager to Julia Louis Dreyfus’ character as she tries to hold onto the top position, but she already has one so that doesn’t seem right , but another site wonders if he might step in as Meyer’s Vice President. I guess we will have to wait and see. VEEP returns for its fourth season in 2015.


  • Riddle/Salahuddin Work Still Ahead

This is a project we haven’t heard much about but it seems it is still in development for HBO. We reported in a Slate piece back on 09.09.13 that Diallo Riddle and Basher Salahuddin were working on a concept about black men trying to make their mark in Atlanta, GA. We followed that up with a post on 02.20.14 that the project was still going forward after HBO asked if the reworked their concept. SNL’s Lorne Michaels was to be a executive producer, but has since fallen out of the project.People_RiddleSalahuddin

Now we have comment that the Riddle/Salahuddin piece is still in play and has a name now. BROTHERS IN ATLANTA is the working title and a released synopsis has been issued. It reads –

“After some time apart, 2 old college friends, Langston Rogers (Riddle) and Musa “Moose” Almuharib (Salahuddin), reunite in the black mecca of the New South, Atlanta. Both determined to make it big, their unique perspectives on the quirks of both Atlanta and the black community inevitably lead to personal and professional conflicts.”

Our source even states that production date for this retooled pilot is set for March 2015 with Tim Story linked as producer & director. We will continue to keep an eye out on further developments on this slow-moving comedy concept and see whether this information holds.  

(Source: indiewire)


  • MAMA DALLAS Clarified

We mentioned on 11.03.14 that Mike White had a project back at the network entitled MAMA DALLAS. At that time we were given no clue as to what the work was about, but the Austin Chronicle has helped us out.

It appears People_MikeWhite02that the creator of HBO’s ENLIGHTENED is looking for a drag queen. The Austin, TX newspaper had printed a casting call for the lead role in the potential series. Regarding the character we find this description:

Male, 30s, open ethnicity. Liberty appears to be an attractive, sexy woman with a flirty side – but she’s not, really. Born Albert De Lorio, Liberty is a drag queen with an ebullient, chatty, upbeat personality, but she leads an unpleasantly seedy life; a life that she plans to turn around with a little re-invention and identity theft.

Does that sound of interest to anyone? Can we rally behind Liberty like we did Laura Dern’s Amy Jellicoe? Or how about any of the other news mentioned here. I for one think Hugh Laurie on VEEP is a great match. Feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comments below and thanks for letting me clean up some dangling threads I had lying around.

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