HBO News Blog

Development Slate: GETTING ON

By Jef Dinsmore on Aug 16, 2012 to HBO News

The creators of HBO’s BIG LOVE have got their next project for the pay cable channel. Mark V. Olson and Bill Scheffer are set to remake a British comedy called GETTING ON. The comedy takes place in a women’s geriatric extended care wing of a somewhat rundown hospital and follows a few nurses, some anxious doctors and hospital administrators as they deal with the harsh realities of caring for the elderly in an overwhelmed healthcare system. At least, that is what the BBC4 comedy, heading into its third season is about. Of course, head writers Olson & Scheffer will tweak the show for an American audience.

You know, by now HBO fans should be getting used to BBC shows on the channel. Ricky Gervais has brought over a few concepts from across the pond to air on HBO and don’t forget that ROME was a HBO/BBC co-production. Also, just recently, Brit Arnando Iannucci brought the inaugural season of VEEP to us and PARADE’S END is another collaborative work. The two networks seem to work together quite well and quality work is quite evident. Hopefully, this upcoming production will do just as well. The Americanized version will have the original’s creators, Jo Brand, Joanne Scanlan and Vicki Pepperdine as executive producers; they also star in the British version.

In the British piece the three women hold different jobs at the hospital but they all deal with the issues that occur within their ward. One episode deals solely with finding out who had a scatological accident and who was going to clean it up and there are running gags like constantly waking up a sleeping patient in order for her to take her sleeping pill. Exactly what style and tone the American version will take is still a guess. Despite the original GETTING ON’s dark comedic tone, Olsen and Scheffer point out that the material hit close to home and established a personal connection between them and the project because they, like many a Baby Boomer, have family in such care and ensured that humor can be found in the situation. Well, they found it from time to time in a polygamous family I am sure they can find plenty in the world of elder care.

I guess since this adaptation has a go for a pilot that the last project Olsen & Scheffer and their Anima Sola Productions were said to be developing fell through. In October of 2011 they were working on a concept entitled CHINA DOLL. It involved an American/Chinese family and their robotic domestic. Oh well, HBOWatch is here hoping for anything from the BIG LOVE team. We’ll keep you posted.

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