According the Hollywood Reporter, the two new pilot orders were for 'In Security' and 'Franklin and Bash.' The first concerns two sisters who run a private-security business for the high-and-mighty while trying to manage insecure family matters of their own. 'Franklin and Bash' pivots off the friendship of two gutsy, make-their-own-rules lawyers who beat a top-tier law firm on a case and are then invited to join the white-shoe firm.
Heading up the 'In Security' executive producing team are Ric Swartzlander ('Gary Unmarried'; 'Hidden Hills') and Peter Segal (the feature 'Get Smart') together with Starz CEO Chris Albrecht. Segal has been tapped to direct the pilot.
It's also nice to report that Robert Wuhl has agreed to remain with HBO. It's been his comic home for 12 years, including Arli$$ which ran for season seasons and poked fun at the world of professional sports. The show wasn't a water-cooler comedy like Entourage or Curb Your Enthusiasm, but it was consistently funny and I enjoyed it.
Of course, that's what Time Warner, HBO's (and our) parent company, said in a statement. But according to a statement from Albrecht, the resignation was tendered at the request of his TW bosses. Right after the incident happened, Albrecht was supposed to take a leave of absence so he can continue alcohol treatments and work with AA that he had discontinued, but other incidents involving assaults against women were revealed, prompting TW to ask for the executive's resignation.
The network's COO, Bill Nelson, will assume Albrecht's duties on an interim basis until a successor is found. Albrecht had been with the network since 1985.
And the convergence of television and the World Wide Web continues.
Chris Albrecht, chief executive officer over at HBO, is considering the creation of a new Internet broadband channel that would be available to customers who already subscribe to its pay cable television service. According to MSNBC, broadband users would click on a branded menu and download the network's programming. Mr. Albrecht says that the Internet offerings would be launched in partnership with cable operators, who provide the subscriber fees to the ad-free channel.
HBO is slightly behind the curve when it comes to broadband content, most likely due to the fact that it is a subscriber service. Over the last year the four major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX, The CW is really just an infant network) have begun offering free downloads of their programs, as well as web-only based content, through their own sites or through partners such as Yahoo and YouTube.
[Thanks to Chris Dinges for the tip]
Numerous sources are reporting that HBO has decided to give The Wire a fifth and final season. The fourth season, which premiered this past Sunday, was met with great reviews from critics everywhere. However, as most expected, the ratings for the opening episode weren't so hot. No dates have been set for when the fifth season will begin shooting but it is known that the running theme for the season will be how the mass media affects all aspects of the Baltimore streets. Personally, I think this is fantastic news. It's great that HBO recognizes what this show means to the fans and now we'll get a final season to wrap it up properly. Too bad HBO wasn't willing to extend the same courtesy to Deadwood.
From the "Look, We're Really Not Surprised" department ...
It turns out that the last eight episodes of HBO's The Sopranos will not be premiering in January as originally reported. Blame star James Gandolfini's knee surgery for mucking up the works. Since the surgery has set filming back, HBO Chairman Chris Albrecht decided to push the final episodes back to March of 2007. In its place the premium cable network will air the second season of Rome.
Television critic Tim Goodman of the San Francisco Chronicle speaks of this scheduling change in his blog. He talks about Deadwood, The Wire, and Curb Your Enthusiasm as well.
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