‘Deadwood’ movie gets HBO greenlight
By Lynn Elber
AP Television Writer
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.
A roundup of news from the Television Critics Association summer meeting, at which TV networks and streaming services are presenting details on upcoming programs.
BACK TO THE BLACK HILLS
“Deadwood” fans can exhale.
HBO says it’s greenlighted a long-discussed movie based on the Western drama that ended a dozen years ago.
HBO programming chief Casey Bloys said that production is scheduled to begin in October. An air date has yet to be set but it could debut in spring 2019, he said.
Bloys told a TV critics’ meeting it was a logistical “nightmare” getting the ensemble cast’s schedules to align, but it finally worked out.
The critically acclaimed, award-winning “Deadwood” was set in the rough-and-tumble South Dakota mining town of the title.
The series aired from 2004-06 with stars including Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane and Molly Parker.
UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP
HBO’s programming chief pushed back against the possibility that the cable channel will suffer under new owner AT&T.
Casey Bloys, speaking to a meeting of TV critics, said there are no plans to choose volume over quality for its shows.
“No one is asking us to take pitches of a ‘Love Boat’ reboot or anything like that,” he said.
As support, Bloys cited comments made during an earnings call Tuesday by John Stankey, who manages the new AT&T division that includes HBO and other Time Warner media assets. AT&T acquired Time Warner in an $85 billion deal concluded earlier this month.
Stankey said that the aim was to invest more in premium content at HBO, home to “Game of Thrones,” ‘’Big Little Lies” and “Westworld.” In contrast, he reportedly told HBO staff recently to prepare for a difficult year.
Bloys called Tuesday’s remarks “music to our ears.”
FONDA STILL Has CRITICS
Jane Fonda says she’s still confronted by Vietnam War veterans over her 1970s anti-war activism and welcomes the encounters.
Such moments provide an opportunity to talk, she said, which needs to be done with what Fonda called “an open mind and a soft heart.”
The actress drew bitter criticism after being photographed atop an anti-aircraft gun during a controversial 1972 visit to North Vietnam.
Meeting with TV critics this week to discuss a new HBO documentary on her life, she expressed regret for that moment.
She said it was thoughtless to perch on the gun and called it “horrible” to think about the message her action sent to soldiers and their families, she said.