munchman: Stephen Merchant Goes into Comedy Biz with HBO

It’s official: TV writers are stars, and can even be superstars if they treat the media right. Damn, why can’t I get a gig?

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HBO Orders Comedy Pilot From Stephen Merchant And ‘Bad Teacher’ Writers – by Nellie Andreeva

HBO has picked up to pilot Hello Ladies, a comedy co-written, directed by and starring Stephen Merchant. The project, which The Office co-creator co-wrote with former Office writer-producers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, stars the 6ft 7in Merchant as a gawky Englishman searching for the woman of his dreams in Los Angeles. Half as charming as he thinks he is — and twice as desperate — he’s obsessed with infiltrating the glamorous world of beautiful people. Unfortunately the beautiful people won’t let him in.

Merchant, who also explored the theme in his Hello Ladies standup show last year, Eisenberg and Stupnitsky are executive producing the pilot, which is slated to shoot before the end of the year. On the feature side, Eisenberg and Stupnitsky, repped by WME and Mosaic, co-wrote box-office hit Bad Teacher. Writer/actor/standup comedian Merchant is best known for his collaborations with Ricky Gervais. The duo co-created The Office, Extras and Life’s Too Short. Additionally, WME-repped Merchant co-starred opposite Gervais on Extras. read article

BOARDWALK EMPIRE and TREME Returning to HBO for 3rd Seasons

HBO Sets Return Dates for ‘Boardwalk Empire,’ ‘Treme’
by Lesley Goldberg

You can tell it’s BOARDWALK EMPIRE by the costumes

Boardwalk’s third season — its first without co-starMichael Pitt, whose character was whacked in the Season 2 finale — will bow its 12-episode run at 9 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16.

You can tell it’s TREME by the props

The 10-episode third year of Treme, from The Wirecreator David Simon, will launch the following week, at 10 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23.

Read it all read article

HBO Orders more of THE NEWSROOM and TRUE BLOOD

This Just In: HBO Orders New Seasons of The Newsroom and True Blood
by Kimberly Roots

HBO renewed two of its popular hour-long dramas Monday.

The cable net announced that it would bring back The Newsroom for a second season after airing only two episodes of the first season. read article

THE NEWSROOM: A Minority Report

by Larry Brody

Once upon a time there was a new series called THE NEWSROOM. Its reviews were so terrible that even I had trouble making myself watch it.

All the BigMedia critics panned it. read article