The Upfronts 2014: HBO

hboWhat’s Dead
HBO is pretty good about giving its shows a season’s notice of cancellation/retirement so several shows are both dead, but returning. True Blood’s upcoming 7th Season and Boardwalk Empire’s 5th Season will both be their last, both of which are pretty good showings. Less than impressive, The Newsroom’s 3rd season will be its final one having lurched between incredible and insulting.
Three other comedies of 2013 never made it out of their first season – Hello Ladies, Family Tree and Ja’mie: Private School Girl. No one seems to be mourning them.

What’s Returning
Game of ThronesGame of Thrones still has plenty of pages of books to trudge through and its ratings are still incredible, so I think it will be around for some time. True Detective got rave reviews from everyone except me and is expected to return for a second season, although it’s likely to be new character and actors.

Curb Your Enthusiasm is still listed as a current show even though there’ve been no new episodes since season 8 in 2011, apparently they’re “cautiously optimistic” of a 9th season, but I wouldn’t hold your breath. Veep and Girls have both finished up their 3rd seasons and been renewed for fourths, while Looking (which could be called Boys) will be back early next year for a second season. Getting On and Silicon Valley are also new comedies which will return for a second season late this year or early next.

What’s New
The Leftovers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Shn1mPejr_4, starts June): 2% of the world’s population just vanished, these are the people who are left behind. This looks impressive, not exactly cheery, but certainly worth a look.

Togetherness (later this year): Absolutely no details available beyond it being a comedy from the Duplass brothers, considered the founders of “mumblecore” (low budget, amateur actors, natural dialogue). Can’t say I’m overwhelmed with excitement.

Four other shows are apparently greenlit but with no dates and very few details available. The Brink is a “dark comedy” about the US Secretary of State, starring Tim Robbins and Jack Black. Hopefully it’s not just a variation on a theme of Veep. Bailers is a half hour comedy starring Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson ass a retired athlete. Masters of the Air will be the follow up to Band of Brothers and The Pacific, and they’re also remaking the Channel 4 show, Utopia

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