Development Slate: SWANGO; Mike White & HBONordic/Starz


Yet again HBOWatch is able to tap into its resources to find some of the latest deals that take place in the hallowed halls of corporate HBO. Okay, they could have happened over the phone or over lunch in L.A. but it is more interesting to think it happened in some upper floor board room over some highly polished table. Regardless of how they take place the important point is that they do and hopefully, they come to fruition. Here is the latest.


  •  SWANGO deal dead and then resurrected

 SWANGO, a deal long gestating but never going anywhere, was considered for HBO. It seemed a dead deal but now, it has new life. But first, the burning question is – what or who is SWANGO? He is Joseph Michael Swango, pictured at lSwangoeft. He is a serial killer sentenced to life in prison without parole in June of 1997. He was suspected of being associated with the mysterious deaths of over 50 patients while he continued working within the medical community. Eventually, he was indicted in 2000.

A new screenwriter is now on board to flesh out the story. John McLaughlin, credited for penning “Black Swan” and “Hitchcock”, will take on the task for Spring Creek Productions. His source material is based on James B. Stewart’s book, Blind Eye: How the Medical Establishment Let a Doctor Get Away With Murder. It sounds like an intense murder mystery and crime procedural as this murderer found creative way to poison his victims and went undetected for so long.. This work now has a second chance to come to life; we’ll see what develops.


  • Mike White signs a deal.Mike_White

  We know him as the character of Tyler from HBO’s ENLIGHTENED. He also serves as one of the show’s executive producers and even wrote and directed the pilot episode. His other writing credits include TV’s “Freaks and Geeks” and the film “Nacho Libre.” His acting efforts include the movie “Chuck and Buck” and two seasons on CBS’s “Amazing Race.”

Now there is a chance to see more of his work on our favorite pay cable network. His production company RipCord Prods., manned along with producing partner David Bernad, will create and develop new projects for HBO. A few ideas bandied about include an untitled comedy from writer Steve Conrad. Mr. Conrad earned his first screenwriting credit at 19 with the movie “Wrestling Ernest Hemingway” and is slated to write a Walter Mitty remake for Ben Stiller. Another project for RipCord is the digital series THE BORING LIFE OF JACQUELINE which can be seen on HBOGo now. And, of course, there is ENLIGHTENED Season Two coming Sunday, January 13 at 9:30pm.

  • HBO and STARZ

Technically it is HBONordic and HBOWatch has already commented about HBO’s deal with the Scandinavian countries with its multi-platform services of HBO product. That deal does us no good in the United States; this writer reports it solely out of jealousy. That emotion continues now with the deal HBO has made with STARZStarz1

What may be competition here at home is pay dirt for TV viewers in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark. Along with HBO content they will enjoy both the hit STARZ Original series, “Spartacus” and the most recent STARZ Original series, “Magic City.”  What, next we’ll be hearing that original SHOWTIME programming will be offered as well? Lucky Norseman, they will receive some of the best acclaimed programming on cable in one neat package. Are you as jealous as I am?

There are the latest deals that have come to our attention.  Check back often to see what else develops right here at HBOWatch.

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