HBO News Blog

Murphy’s OPEN is Closed and HAPPY VALLEY Postponed at HBO

By Jef Dinsmore on Sep 23, 2014 to HBO News

OpenMurphyRyan Murphy’s OPEN is closed to HBO. That’s right, even though Ryan Murphy had an award-winning event for HBO with HBO Films: THE NORMAL HEART that doesn’t mean it was a given that his other interest was going to materialize. HBOWatch first learned of this project back in 05.13 and reported on it again later that year, but after that the trail went cold as he was working on the THE NORMAL HEART adaptation.

Now that the film is behind him, however, the series no longer seems important. HBO programming president Michael Lombardo commented that –

After such a triumphant collaboration with The Normal Heart, everyone felt that Open was not the right next step for all involved. However, we fully expect to work together again in the near future.”

The show, about the diversity of human sexuality and relationships was to star Michelle Monaghan, Scott Speedman, Wes Bentley, Anna Torv and Jennifer Jason Leigh. We will wait for what Mr. Murphy may have in the offing instead.

Another project not going forward at HBO, or at least not at this time, is HAPPY VALLEY. Brian DePalma was to direct Al Pacino in the role of Joe Paterno in the TV-movie about the sex scandal that rocked the Penn State University and its football program. Al Pacino has already played Jack Kervorkian and Phil Spector for HBO and Paterno would have been another great role, but due to situations unclear at this time People_JoePaterno-300x168the movie is suspending production even after further casting had got underway. An HBO rep is quoted as saying –

“We have not killed the project, so to say so is inaccurate. We have suspended pre-production for a moment to deal with budget issues, but the project is still intact at HBO with the entire creative team as before.”

 HBOWatch will report when the production, which is being adapted from the bestselling book Paterno by Joe Posnanski, is back into full swing. Our information on OPEN and HAPPY VALLEY comes from


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