[07/25/13 - 03:35 PM]
HBO at TCA: "Treme" to Return December 1; Cinemax Exits "Transporter"
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- HBO has set a premiere date for the final season of "Treme": Sunday, December 1 at 9:00/8:00c.

Said development was among a handful of programming updates given by network toppers Michael Lombardo and Richard Plepler during their executive session at TCA Summer Press Tour:

--- There's no end date in mind for "Game of Thrones" or "True Blood." "Our line to George [R.R. Martin is] to keep writing," Plepler quipped. As for its vampire drama, Lombardo said, "We're talking to Brian [Buckner] about next year. No decision has been made at this point [about] how much longer it's going to be running."

--- "Criminal Justice" will recast the role played by the late James Gandolfini should it move forward. "We're having conversations with Steven Zaillian about how to proceed," Lombardo said, adding that Zaillian and Richard Price are currently working on the scripts. As for David Chase's mini-series "A Ribbon of Dreams," Plepler says Chase is still working on it and they'll "wait and see what he comes back with."

-- There's no plans right now to produce new episodes of Michael Mann's "Witness." Lombardo however says they're revisit the topic once Mann completes work on his current feature. "If he finds something interesting, exciting and fresh, we'll do it. If not we'll do something else with Michael."

--- Plepler says they have no interest in acquiring or syndicating any of Netflix's shows. "I think ['House of Cards' has] been branded on Netflix and that's where it will stay." As far as offering non-subscribers access to its popular HBO GO feature, Plepler says there's no current plans. "Right now, we have a very good model. It works for us."

--- As for David Milch's series of William Faulkner adaptations, Lombardo says they received a script for the first one however it's more likely they'll move forward with another project. It's a pilot that Milch is working with Art Linson ("Sons of Anarchy") on and they're already talking about casting. Plepler would later detail it is "a look at a dynastic New York media family, it's a look at power, it's a look at the complexity of power in modern urban life and it is in a classic Milch-ian voice."

-- They're talking about the future of "Family Tree" right now. "The BBC I think is interested in doing a second season," Lombardo said about its production partner on the series and their discussions have just started.

-- "They want to do something new for us," Lombardo said about Jody Hill and Danny McBride's decision to end "Eastbound & Down." As for specifics, the executive would only say "they're going to take a look at high school life... It's a really great, funny, quintessentially Danny and Jody idea."

-- "The odds are excellent," Lombardo says about the chances of "The Newsroom" getting a third season. "We are very happy with the show. Honestly, the conversation with Aaron [Sorkin] at this point are all about schedule. He has some other commitments he's trying to fit in."

-- "The Day the Laughter Stopped," its biopic of Fatty Arbuckle, is still in development with Eric Stonestreet attached to star.

--- And finally, Cinemax has parted ways with the Chris Vance-led small screen take on "Transporter." "We have elected not to proceed with our involvement with that project," Lombardo said. As far as rebooting "Hunted," the executive added that "we are developing something with Frank [Spotnitz] with that character in mind, possibly for another series" separately from the BBC.

  [july 2013]  


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