And it’s not a moment too soon, since HBO has become a wasteland of anything worth watching. (Feel free to disagree with me…) Today’s announcement says The Sopranos creator will develop a miniseries “about the invention of cinema and subsequent growth of the Hollywood film industry” entitled A Ribbon Of Dreams (which takes its name from Orson Welles’ description, “A film is a ribbon of dreams.”) Beginning in 1913, it will follow two men, “one a college-educated mechanical engineer, the other a cowboy with a violent past, who form an unlikely producing partnership as employees of D.W. Griffith and together become pioneers and then powers for a time in motion pictures”. Crossing career paths with John Ford, John Wayne, Raoul Walsh, Bette Davis, Billy Wilder and others, the miniseries will cover the age of rough-hewn silent Westerns, to the golden era of talkies and the studio system, to the auteur movement, to television, and finally to the present day. Chase will write and executive produce the miniseries, as well as direct the initial episodes. But wait: also on board is Paramount Pictures chairman/CEO Brad Grey, who executive produced The Sopranos with Chase, and will also serve as an executive producer on the new miniseries, too. What, they don’t pay him enough at Viacom that Brad has to moonlight at HBO? What a slap in the face to Les Moonves, whose CBS Inc owns rival Showtime. Kary Antholis, president of HBO miniseries, will oversee the project. UPDATE: An insider emails me by way of explanation: “Brad is on the David Chase HBO project as an EP, but the deal is with Paramount — and it’s an HBO/Paramount/Chase Films production.”
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