HBO News Blog

News Roundup: GIRLS Guide; Laura Dern; Cinemax and More

By Jef Dinsmore on Apr 5, 2013 to HBO News


This writer has not hit up the news feeds in a while to glean those small items that missed our attention during the search for the bigger stories. So, we throw out there now those morsels that might interest you but are not earth-shattering factoids about any of the shows we love. This edition, however does seem to focus mostly on Lena Dunham’s GIRLS and HBO’s sister channel Cinemax. Let’s get to it.


  •  See all the GIRLS hotspots with the GIRLS Guide

If you are a fan of HBO comedy GIRLS, which just wrapped up season 2 and is in production on Season 3, and happen to be going to New York City then you might want to check out the GIRLS Guide. What is it? Well,, a guide in itself, offers you details of many of the Big Apple sites where Lena Dunham’s GIRLS has filmed on location over the past two seasons. So, you can hit the urban trail and stop at each destination on the list.

Girls_edgelocaleHere is a sampling of some hot spots: In Brooklyn there is the Spoonbill & Sugartown bookstore where Hannah & boy toy Sandy (Donald Glover) make out in the bookshelves in Season 2, Episode 1 and the Williamstown Edge which is the apartment building where Jessa & Marnie tangled with Jessa’s future husband Thomas John. One of the Manhattan locales is Tom & Jerry’s, which is the bar Jenna kicks back at while the rest of the posse is at the women’s clinic in Season 1, episode 2 and in Queens you can hit the Foundry where Jessa and Thomas John wed.

There are a few more locales in the GIRLS Guide and I have provided the link to check them all out. There are, believe it or not, tourists who love to check out this kind of thing, so I’m sure it is successful enough as evidenced by the next entry.

  • Café Grumpy helped by GIRLS GIRLS_cafegrumpy

 Not a real news item here just a special interest story of a NYC business getting an uptick in business due to GIRLS filming at their location.  Coffee bar Café Grumpy has five different location in the city and have become famous not just for their coffee but for their onscreen appearances. The company has been seen on TV shows Blue Bloods and The Good Wife and also on GIRLS. The Greenpoint, Brooklyn location has appeared as a place of employment for both of the characters of Hannah (played by Lena Dunham) and Ray (played by Alex Karpovsky). The establishment has been rented by the production and caused a surge of coffee drinkers to frequent Café Grumpy. The chain has also been listed as the “top spot for coffee in the city” and surely the GIRLS publicity had something to do with that.

  •  GIRLS  and HBO Films: GAME CHANGE Win Peabody Awards

 Peabody_AwardEvery year the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication issues out Peabody Awards for excellence in journalism.  Recipients of the 72nd annual Peabody Awards were announced in late March and two productions housed at HBO were acknowledged.

Both the series GIRLS and the TV-movie GAME CHANGE, about Sarah Palin’s foray into presidential politics, were singled out with about twenty-five other notables for their excellence in writing this past year. Also awarded was the HBO Documentary Film: THE LOVING STORY,” a poignant film about a couple infamously arrested in 1958 for daring to marry across racial lines.

I wanted to draw this fact to the attention of fans of HBO so you can further appreciate the quality of writing that does appear on our favorite cable network.


  •  Laura Dern Talks ENLIGHTENEDlaura_dern

Switching shows now here are a few comments from actress Laura Dern about the surprise cancellation of ENLIGHTENED in which she portrayed the empowered Amy Jellicoe. Vanity Fair, who had an interview with her regarding the 20th anniversary of Jurassic Park, got the following quotes –

“I think we are trying to figure it out. I think we are all a little stunned to say goodbye. As much opportunity as there is to sort of close a door to anything you’ve made. . . . I kept the door open wide for Amy. Because I’ve had to live with her a few years now. And I’ve never felt more attached to a character, more protective, or more defensive of a character. You know, there’s grief in saying goodbye to someone like that.

But the great news is—and the difficult news, for all of the people that love us—is that we, those of us who relate to Amy, can keep her alive inside of us forever. Maybe not the most complicated parts, but hopefully the part that demands an honest voice whether people like it or not.”

Though she and creator/writer Mike White knew the series was ending they made sure it wrapped up with a stirring and fit conclusion. However, the interview does state that they had also fleshed out a third season with the characters moving on from Abaddon and moving upward. Something we will never get to see now.

 I know it is not HBO but it is considered the sister channel to HBO and some people can get a HBO/Cinemax package bundle so some quick entries regarding.

  •  Cinemax’s BANSHEE SolidCinemax_banshee

 The freshman drama BANSHEE, which has already been guaranteed a Season 2, has proved a solid hit for Cinemax. Its season finale drew 455,000 viewers and increased to 655,000 viewers after it repeated. That is the largest audience yet for a Cinemax original series finale. Keep in mind the recent post about ratings to understand that these are good numbers. So, it looks like executive producer Alan Ball will be back to Banshee, PA for more next season.

  •  Season Three of Cinemax’s STRIKE BACK

 STRIKE BACK comes back for another round. The Cinemax series is already in production of Season 3 and filming in South Africa and Hungary.  Philip Winchester and Sullivan Stapleton reprise their onscreen partnership as counter-terrorism operatives Sgt. Michael Stonebridge and Sgt. Damien Scott. Also returning are Rhona Mitra, as Maj. Rachel Dalton, Michelle Lukes as Sgt. Julia Richmond and Liam Garrigan as Sgt. Liam Baxter. STRIKE BACK comes back this summer to Cinemax.

  • Cinemax Orders a New Killer Drama

 Cinemax_logoNot finished with thrilling action on HBO’s sibling channel another series has gotten the greenlight.  Cinemax has given a pilot order to QUARRY a drama project based on the series of novels by Max Allan Collins. Written by Graham Gordy and Michael D. Fuller, QUARRY is set in the 1970s and centers on a Marine sniper who, upon his return home from Vietnam in 1973, finds himself shunned by those he loves and demonized by the public. Combat-hardened and disillusioned, he’s recruited into a network of contract killers and corruption spanning the length of the Mississippi River.

  • Comedy Writer comments on HBO contentPeter_mehlman

 Peter Mehlman, a comedy writer who worked as a freelance journalist before moving to Los Angeles has had a long career at writing comedy, especially for TV. His most noted work has been for writing for one of fandom’s favorite comedies called Seinfield. Evidently, “yada, yada, yada” and other bon mots were his.

Well recently, to The Hollywood Reporter, he stated that he didn’t like the current comedy landscape on TV. He did tell them that –

“None of them really speak to me in any way. I’ll watch Girls just because some of the dialogue is really witty and good. All the other stuff that everybody talks about, I don’t really care. But I think she [Lena Dunham] writes really good dialogue.”

It just once again validates that GIRLS is doing okay. Afterall, it has its blessings from a writer of one of the wittiest and best beloved comedies out there. I’m just sayin’.  

And I’m just adding that is it for the news from my perspective.

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