UPDATE: Here’s Mike White’s reaction to his series Enlightened getting a second-season renewal by HBO: “I know HBO has had to make some hard decisions. I feel very lucky that they are letting us make more Enlightened. We will do our best to make something cool.”
PREVIOUS: Those two Golden Globe nominations sure helped. HBO has just picked up the Mike White-Laura Dern comedy Enlightened for a second season, while canceling three other comedy series: Hung, Bored To Death and How To Make It In America. Enlightened drew critical praise but struggled mightily in the ratings on Mondays. However, ratings have never been the deciding factor in HBO’s renewal decisions as evident by the longevity of David Simon’s New Orleans drama Treme. The network was already leaning towards picking up Enightened for Season 2 when the dark comedy earned two Golden Globe nominations last week, for best comedy series and best actress in a comedy series, Dern. Hung and Bored To Death are ending their runs after three seasons, How To Make It In America after two. Of the four comedies that learned their fate today, Hung has been the highest-rated, and star Thomas Jane recently landed his second Golden Globe nomination for his role. But in the end that wasn’t enough. Read More »
It’s stange that a former corporate cousin of HBO — Time Warner Cable — remains the biggest pay TV company that still doesn’t offer subscribers the opportunity to access the HBO Go digital streaming service. But that will change “soon,” Time Warner Cable COO Robert Marcus tells Bloomberg. Marcus declined to say what’s holding things up — and we’ve been hearing for months that a deal was just around the corner. Still, if Marcus’ prediction is correct, then it means the HBO customers among TWC’s 12.1M subscribers will be able to watch shows such as Boardwalk Empire, Hung, Bored To Death, and Real Time With Bill Maher on demand from Web-connected devices including tablets and mobile phones. It’s important to HBO because TWC serves two of its biggest markets, Manhattan and Los Angeles. TWC and Cablevision are the only major cable, satellite, and telco video providers that still don’t offer HBO Go.
EXCLUSIVE: She’s Out Of My League star Alice Eve has been tapped for a four-episode arc on the upcoming final season of the HBO comedy series Entourage. In a role created for her, she will play a journalist assigned to write a profile piece on Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) who subsequently becomes a possible love interest for the actor. Brit Eve, repped by UTA, U.K’s ARG and Untitled, recently wrapped Men in Black III and next stars in Rogue Pictures’ The Raven and Lionsgate’s ATM.
Ugly Betty alumna Ana Ortiz is set for a multi-episode arc on another HBO comedy series, Hung. She will play a woman with serious anger issues who becomes a client of part-time male prostitute Ray (Thomas Jane). He ends up helping her deal not only with her voracious sexual appetite but also supporting her strong emotional needs. Ortiz, repped by Gersh, manager Geordie Frey and attorney Brad Small, recently starred in the Fox comedy pilot Outnumbered. Read More »
Ray Drecker is getting new love and some competition. Stephen Amell (Vampire Diaries) has been cast in a recurring role on the upcoming third season of HBO’s comedy series Hung. He will play Jason, a rival gigolo of Ray Drecker (Thomas Jane) who is described as super sexy with a good physique and possessing a sweetness to him that makes him very charismatic. Amell, who just signed on to star as Joran van der Sloot in the Lifetime movie Justice for Natalee, is with SMS and Leverage. Leven Rambin (Grey’s Anatomy) also is joining Hung‘s upcoming season as a recurring, playing a new love interest for Ray. The actress, repped by the Schiff Co. is already recurring on 3 other series, CW’s One Tree Hill, CBS’ CSI: Miami and Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place.
Heather Lind has joined another HBO series as a recurring, period drama Boardwalk Empire. On the prohibition-era saga, she will play Katy, a maid. Lind, repped by ICM and Troy Nankin, just wrapped her run opposite Al Pacino in the Broadway production of The Merchant of Venice.
HBO has picked up dark comedy Hung for a third season with a 10-episode order to run in 2011.
Hung stars Thomas Jane as a down-on-his-luck Detroit high-school coach moonlighting as a male prostitute and Jane Adams as his rookie, poetry-loving pimp. The husband-and-wife duo of Dmitry Lipkin and Colette Burson created the show and are executive producing with the pilot’s director Alexander Payne, Michael Rosenberg, Scott Stephens, Noreen Halpern and John Morayniss for E1 Entertainment. Anne Heche, Eddie Jemison, Rebecca Creskoff, Gregg Henry, Sianoa Smit-McPhee and Charlie Saxton co-star. The penultimate episode of Hung‘s second season on Sunday averaged 2.5 million. Its season finale airs Sept. 12.
EXCLUSIVE: Thomas Jane and Jeremy Piven are set to star in I Melt With You, an ensemble thriller that will be directed by Mark Pellington. Production will begin in early August in Northern California. The thriller follows the interconnecting lives of four men. Glenn Porter wrote the script from a story he hatched with Pellington, who last directed Henry Poole Is Here and U2 3D. Rob Cowan and Norm Reiss are producing. Pellington and Porter will be exec producers with Neil Labute, Heidi Levitt, Aaron Gilbert and Jane. The pic, packaged by UTA, is privately financed and the budget is under a million bucks. Casting will begin so that the Hung and Entourage stars can return to their TV series.
“I am 48 and found a dearth of of films that speak to my life experience,” Pellington said. “Where is my generation’s version of Cassavetes’ Husbands? It is hard to get anything idiosyncratic made for a budget. I have been shooting music videos on small cameras at low cost and wanted to apply it to a film. This is about four guys and deals with mortality, aging and friendship. It is very dark and very low budget. I have nothing against the larger budget movies I have made. I just want to make movies and doing it this way improves my chances.”