With little news coming out regarding the Game of Thrones pilot, it seems like a good time to evaluate the progress of the other pilots over at HBO. When the Thrones pilot was first greenlit, it was revealed by James Hibberd of The Hollywood Reporter that Thrones would be competing with about 10 other pilots, all vying for a full series pick up. At the time I posted a list of the pilots that had already been ordered by HBO, which was compiled by Ran over at the Westeros forums. Let’s go through that list again and see what the status of each project is and how it may affect Game of Thrones.
The Washingtonienne – Pilot has already been filmed. Awaiting decision from HBO. I’d say this one has a good chance at getting picked up. Should find an audience with Sex and the City fans due to similar subject matter and the fact that Sarah Jessica Parker is producing it.
Treme – Casing for the pilot is continuing with shooting scheduled to begin on March 9. Another series with an excellent chance at getting picked up. Fans of The Wire will certainly be interested to see what David Simon has in store as a follow up to his critically acclaimed series.
Boardwalk Empire – Casting seems to be winding down for this one. No word on shooting date, but I expect it to start soon. With an impressive cast, a script from one of The Sopranos‘ head writers and a film legend behind the lens, I would be shocked if this isn’t picked up.
Hung – Series has been picked up by HBO. The order is for ten episodes.
Last of the Ninth – This project has already been passed on by HBO.
Suburban Shootout – Pilot is filmed. Awaiting decision from HBO. HBO has been sitting on this one for a while so it might already be dead. Probably is not in contention with Thrones either way.
Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl – Pilot was ordered by HBO last March, but there seems to have been no casting news since then. Could be the project is dead. Possibly due to a very similar series already airing over at Showtime.
Untitled Kanye West Project – Pilot has been filmed. Awaiting decision from HBO. According to series creator Larry Charles, the show may be “too hardcore” for HBO. No official word from HBO but apparently the new management that took over a few months back aren’t very enthusiastic about the project.
Bored to Death – Series has been picked up by HBO. The order is for eight episodes.
Gentlemen of Leisure – Pilot was greenlit back in the summer. No word of casting or filming yet. Seems they may have met some opposition about filming in Oakland from the mayor who doesn’t want to portray the city in a bad light. No word if this has killed the project.
How to Make it in America – Picked up by HBO for an eight episode order.
In addition to these projects there were a few that were announced after the Thrones pilot was greenlit.
Untitled Maria Bello Project – An hour-long drama showing a woman who’s forced into a life of crime to support her three teenage sons after her husband is killed. Maria Bello is set to star and exec produce, no other casting news yet. Script is being handled by Gary Lennon (The Shield).
The Wonderful Maladys – Series revolving around the dysfunctional lives of three adult siblings who lost their parents at a young age, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. Pilot was ordered in Sept. and was expected to shoot early 2009. No word on any other casting or a specific filming date.
The Review – A comedy set around the stock market crash of 1987, written by Andy Bellin. Pilot was ordered a couple days after Thrones. No other news since then.
Scar Tissue – Series based on Red Hot Chili Peppers’ frontman Anthony Kiedis’ childhood, produced by Marc Abrams and Michael Benson. Pilot was ordered, but as of right now the producers are still trying to get a writer to pen the pilot script.
Untitled Ellen Barkin Project – Starring and produced by Ellen Barkin, show centers on her character reentering the dating scene following her husband’s death and developing a platonic friendship with her 20-something stepson. Script is still in the works, no casting (outside of Barkin obviously) yet.
Untitled Oprah Winfrey Project(s) – HBO signed a three-year development deal with Winfrey’s production company, Harpo Films. The deal allows for documentaries, movies and TV series. No specific projects have been announced however.
Winter Is Coming: A lot of stuff in the pipeline for HBO. It looks like they may be set with comedies for now. Thrones wasn’t really in contention with any of them anyway. The hour-long dramas are going to be their direct competition. Empire, Treme, Leisure and the Maria Bello project all fit into that category. Leisure seems to be in limbo and the Maria Bello project is still in the process of getting a script. That leaves Empire and Treme, both of which are close to filming. Does HBO want to pick up all three of these shows? If not, which will be the odd one (or two) out?