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September 1, 2015


How Did a Showtime 'Comedy' End Up on HBO? Thoughts on Laura Dern's 'Enlightened'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Oct 10th 2011 4:00PM
I'm confused. The DVD mailing came from a different premium cable network, but 'Enlightened' (9:30PM ET Monday, HBO), which debuts alongside the return of 'Bored to Death,' sure looks like it came from Showtime's "comedy" factory.

Consider the evidence:

1. It's a star vehicle for an actress of a certain age (in this case, Laura Dern, who came up the show with Mike White, who co-stars).

2. The lead character is a middle-class woman in crisis (Dern's character, corporate executive Amy, wigged out after an affair with a co-worker and had to go to a counseling/addiction retreat, where she became committed to "growth" and "change").

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HBO Says Yes to Laura Dern TV Show

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 8th 2010 11:50AM
Laura Dern and Mike WhiteHBO has another new comedy to add to its unstoppable onslaught of original programming. Laura Dern is set to star in 'Enlightened,' which is about a "self-destructive woman who has a revelatory experience at a treatment center." The pilot was co-written by Dern and Mike White, who is best known for his work on 'Freaks and Geeks' and the movie 'School of Rock.' The two have previously worked together on the movie 'Year of the Dog.'

While the premise sounds good, it's also fairly vague. This is a good thing because it allows for the creators to take the concept in whatever direction they prefer. Still, it sounds suspiciously a lot like an HBO series called 'My Name is Earl,' but with a female lead. Of course that depends on one's definition of "self-destructive."

Production of the series is set to begin this summer. The pilot has already been filmed but HBO has ordered nine additional episodes. They'll probably be broadcast either late 2010 or early 2011.

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Laura Dern and William H. Macy Heading to Cable

by Scott Harris, posted Apr 8th 2010 10:45AM
For thousands of years, mankind has been engaged in an unending search for spiritual and intellectual enlightenment. A search that has finally reached its inevitable destination: HBO.

Yes, according to the Hollywood Reporter, the cable giant has given the green light to 'Enlightenment,' a new comedy starring Laura Dern as "a self-destructive woman who has a revelatory experience at a treatment center and becomes determined to live an enlightened life, creating unexpected havoc at home and work."

The series, which has been expanded to 10 episodes following a successful pilot, is being co-produced and written by Mike White ('School of Rock,' 'Amazing Race 14') and co-stars Luke Wilson and Dern's real-life mother, Diane Ladd. White, for one, couldn't be happier.

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Laura Dern's Enlightened green-lit by HBO

by Jane Boursaw, posted Sep 3rd 2009 1:08PM
Laura Dern in HBO's EnlightenedWe can add Laura Dern to the long list of big-time movie actresses who've moved into TV roles. Her comedy project with Mike White is moving forward with a pilot order from HBO.

Tentatively titled Enlightened, the single-camera comedy stars Dern as a self-destructive woman who has a spiritual awakening and decides to live an enlightened life. Of course, this creates all sorts of turmoil at home and work.

Dern's knock-out performance as Katherine Harris in 2008's Recount got the attention of HBO. White, her director on the 2007 feature film Year of the Dog, says he's "stoked," noting, "The only thing I can think of cooler than making a show at HBO is doing it with Laura Dern."

HBO continues to be a favorite of mine, and I'm looking forward to seeing how this show fares. I've been a fan of Dern's dating back to her roles in Rambling Rose and Wild at Heart, and with her involvement in this project, I can't imagine it will be anything less than fantastic.

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