Development Slate: Judge & Pitt Deals; Roach’s next; Snowboarding and More

dev-logoIt is truly amazing to me how many deals get formed with HBO each year. Of course it comes as no surprise that talents want to work with the acclaimed cable network; what’s surprises me is the number of “irons in the fire” they have. If even half of the potential deals saw a positive outcome then there would be original programming every night of the week and all year round. Alas, we know that won’t happen. Here are a few ventures that might  just make to air.


  • King of the Hills” Mike Judge signs a deal.

HBO has picked up to pilot a single-camera dark comedy from show creator and executive producer Mike Judge. Along with fellow “King Of the Hill” talents John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky they wrote the live-action project called SILICON VALLEY. Scott Rudin will also produce.

MikeJudge_KingThe term “silicon valley,” of course, refers to the valley south of San Francisco where many high-tech businesses, including silicon chip production, have established themselves. SILICON VALLEY, the projected show, is said to be set in a modern business of that business sector. It is a place quote – “where the people most qualified to succeed are the least capable of handling success.” Judge will direct the pilot, which is slated to film in the spring.

Mike Judge is familiar with what can happen at a business as he created and directed the cult favorite Office Space movie and knows something about people struggling to succeed as he also created the movie Idiocracy and Bevis & Butthead. Heh-heh. Some of us at HBOWatch like the idea of Judge’s brand of humor making it to HBO and hope it happens. It all hinges on this upcoming pilot of SILICON VALLEY.


  • Brad Pitt hopes for an HBO project.

Plan B, Brad Pitt’s production company, is interested in developing a series entitled PAPER to the cable channel. What this premise offers us is a former Brad_Pittcocaine dealer and gangster named Jimmy who lives in Buffalo, NY and who’s sought to reform his life by getting into business as a professional debt collector. That doesn’t sound so tough but this job proves to be just as potentially dangerous as his previous life of crime.

New Yorker is the source material for this idea. Writer Jake Halpern wrote a piece about Jimmy and his struggles in October 2010 called “Pay Up.” Mr. Pitt and company will flesh out his exploits in PAPER. By the way, a definition is in order. PAPER sounds like a lame title but, to the debt collector, it is a slang term for debt that credit-card companies and loan agencies have tried, and failed, to collect. Now it is just a waiting game to see if HBO gets to collect and have this concept brought to the screen.


  •  Jay Roach is planning his next HBO venture.

On HBO we know Jay Roach Jay_Roachas the man who both produced and directed RECOUNT and GAME CHANGE two accounts of very real political events. Now he ventures forth in his HBO contract to present a drama series entitled OUR FATHER.

It is a work that centers on one of America’s most powerful pastors who fights to rediscover faith, reconnect with family and return to dominance. Though it is too soon to know particulars, especially like just which church denomination this pastor hales from, for now we can think of it as a variation of BIG LOVE without the sister-wives. Hopefully, there will be more news as this project develops. Also joining Roach as producers and writers are Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.

  • Snowboarding Documentary on the way.

Documentary film maker Lucy Walker has a work in progress that focuses on the sport of snowboarding and two athletes known in the field – Kevin Pearce and Sarah Burke. Lucy_Walker

This writer gave his gut reaction to one of her documentaries that has already aired on HBO this past summer called  THE TSUNAMI & THE CHERRY ORCHARD. She now is working on this current theme and hopes it becomes as significant for the sport as “Hoop Dreams” did for basketball. To focus on the sport of snowboarding she features X Games medal winners Pearce, who suffered a near fatal brain injury coming out of a half-pipe and Burke, a freestyle skier who sadly died while in training this past winter. Will this as of yet untitled documentary make it in time for this winter? I hope so as I like her work and this subject.


  • Cast growing for GETTING ON

GETTING ON should be foUK_Getting_Onund under our In Production: heading soon as this show gets one step closer to a finished product. Three actors are now signed on to project which is an Americanized version of a British hospital set comedy. To get the details on the production team and the theme check out this  previous post. To check out the actors check the next paragraph.

Laura Metcalf, Alex Borstein and Niecy Nash are on board as cast members who reflect characters seen in the original. The British cast is pictured at right. In HBO’s potential version Metcalf plays Dr. Jenna James, the stressed out temporary Director of Medicine and is described as “an odd duck.” Mr. Borstein is the head ward nurse, Dawn Forchette and Miss Nash plays a nurse who only recently returns to the profession. We will have to see if this show gets into production this coming Spring.


  • THE MISSONARY director talks to

Since we have been keeping track of THE MISSONARY here at HBOWatch I thought it good to link to an interview about it. But first, this writer links you to our reporting. The first post about this developing series is back from June of ’12 and the other is about Benjamin Walker being awarded the lead role.

The interview is with Baltasar Kormakur who is the director of the piece. One major note for us is that he hopes to film the pilot in April in the country of Hungary substituting as Cold War Berlin. Here is the interview.


With these projects and more in the pipeline as potential programming HBOWatch and this writer will have plenty to keep a track of in the New Year. We will do our best. Feel free to comment on which of these projects you hope to see on HBO.


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