Cable Network Goes Green with Recycled Talent


“It’s not TV. It’s HBO.” – HBO

It’s hard to argue with a statement like that when you’ve had the sort of run that HBO has. With notches on their belt that include The Sopranos, viagra 60mg The Wire, ampoule Deadwood, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Mr. Show with Bob and David the cable channel could feasibly retire, and ride off into the salt-and-pepper-static sundown of our televised world. They’d be legends.

We could discuss the merit of Taxicab Confessions and G-String Divas some other time.

Some would argue that there has been a quality drop-off in the past couple of years (me and six other people accounted for the scant John From Cincinatti fanbase). Entourage has been their mainstay. True Blood is popular (if not as critically blow-jobbed as The Sopranos and The Wire) and so was Flight of the Conchords. The former will return while the latter will not. Big Love has a rabid following, but none of their shows have broken through with the ferocity of earlier works.

As a whole, they’ve yet to recapture that all-important zeitgeist since The Sopranos, Sex and the City and The Wire finished their runs. People have migrated to Showtime (Dexter, Weeds) and AMC (Mad Men, Breaking Bad) for their “respectable” television.

Well, HBO has gone back to the well. And that’s a good thing. Starting with Allen Ball, who has found success with True Blood (after dominating tear-ducts for six years with Six Feet Under), HBO has rewarded the talent from years prior with more shots at glory.

David Simon, the mad-genius who led a pack of lesser-geniuses in creating The Wire, will return with Treme – a show that adopts New Orleans as it’s principal character.

David Milch, the sailor’s mouth behind Deadwood will voice his current profanity with Luck – the first television role for Dustin Hoffman in a handful of decades. The acid-tongued soliloquies will use a horse-track as principal location.

In addition to the old boys, there is Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones to solidify their line-up. Empire has Martin Scorsese’s name attached and Game of Thrones is an ambitious project wherein they’ll adapt one epic fantasy book per-season for as long as the the HBO executives will allow.

HBO appears to be using a strategy of blending reliance on proven talent and the sort of ambitious risks that helped elevate their name. Fingers crossed for all.

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