HBO News Blog

News Roundup: THE WIRE spin-off that wasn’t; a BOARDWALK Spoof & More Rock-n-Roll on HBO

By Jef Dinsmore on Oct 11, 2012 to HBO News

Catching up with a few news items about our favorite premium cable channel from time to time is our business. HBOWatch searches far and wide for any factoid that we think you might find of interest. Some may just be trivial pop culture pieces & others might be big news that excites the industry. Here is what we got for you this time around.


  •   HBO Killed a THE WIRE spin-off

THE WIRE is often on many lists as one of the best shows on HBO and on TV in general. It ran for five seasons for a total of 60 episodes yet only held modest numbers. In fact, it was nearly cancelled at one point and never won major awards. Only in hindsight did it generate great acclaim. It was created and chiefly written by David Simon who recently stated to Salon that despite the THE WIRE’s record he was interested in a spin-off series after Season Three.

As fans know each season of the Baltimore, Maryland set show had a different theme. The third season’s focus was on the city’s governance. One plot thread was about Councilman Thomas Carcetti, played by Aiden Gillen pictured at right, and his run for the mayoral race. It is that plot that David Simon felt would make a new series for the channel. What follows is what he told Salon:


“It’s a very funny story, but at some point after Season 3 of “The Wire,” and we introduced the political in Season 3, we wrote a spin-off show for city hall. We actually went to [then HBO head]Chris Albrecht and said, ‘Here’s a pilot of a show called ‘The Hall’ that follows the Carcetti character and his political career. And we want to run them in tandem.’ So after Season 3 of “The Wire” you would get Season 1 of “The Hall,” then you’d get Season 4 of “The Wire,” then Season 2 of “The Hall.” This poor guy must have been listening to this and saying, ‘Yeah that’s what I need, I need two shows that nobody’s watching in Baltimore, Maryland. What the …’ He had to be laughing his ass off inside. If you ask me that would have been an incredible political show, watching Carcetti even more intimately than we were able to portray him within the show, watching that guy maneuver toward the governorship and maybe beyond.”

HBO’s decision at the time was that one convoluted struggling show out of Baltimore was enough killing the spin-off before it even got very far. Of course David Simon went on to present the mini-series GENERATION KILL and four seasons of TREME for HBO and Aiden Gillen went on to portray Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish in GAME OF THRONES.


  •   BOARDWALK EMIPRE spoofed as ‘Birdwalk Empire”

Here is homage to HBO’s BOARDWALK EMPIRE that you may not expect. It is a spoof from the minds behind Sesame Street. It features Nucky Ducky Thompson and Clucky Luciano. It is nothing abnormal for the long running PBS children’s show. It often pokes fun at pop culture and slips in a lesson along the way. Oh, heck let’s not over analyze this just enjoy BIRDWALK EMPIRE.

In case you are not aware there are other segments of HBO content spoofed by Sesame Street. You can also check out parodies of SIX FEET UNDER, TRUE BLOOD and GAME OF THRONES. You got to love your Muppets!


Just the other day The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced the nominees for which the next inductees to the Hall will be announced in 2013. It was also announced that HBO will air the event once again. The 28th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held in Los Angeles California on April 18 2013. The ceremony and following concert will be filmed for HBO and air later in the year. More on the event next year but for now here are the fifteen nominees:

The Paul Buttersfield Blues Band; Chic; Deep Purple; Heart; Joan Jett and the Blackhearts; Albert King; Kraftwerk; The Marvelettes; The Meters; Randy Newman; N.W.A.; Procol Harum; Public Enemy; Rush & Donna Summer.

That’s the best news we got to offer this time around. Feel free to comment on these tidbits and stay tuned for more of the same as it develops from HBO.

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