Pasadena, Calif.— Home Box Office will feature projects from The Sopranos and Entourage stars James Gandolfini and Adrian Grenier as part of its 2007 lineup of documentaries.
Gandolfini will serve as executive producer of Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq, which chronicles the physical and emotional cost of war through the eyes of soldiers who were wounded in the war.
“Jim has been to Iraq and is very supportive of men and women who have fought in the war there,” HBO chairman and CEO Chris Albrecht told pundits on Jan. 12 at the Television Critics Association tour here. “He spent a lot of time with our men and women in the armed forces.”
Grenier, who plays Vincent Chase on the Hollywood buddy comedy Entourage, will take the reins of Shot In the Dark, a “personal documentary” about his struggles growing up fatherless and his attempts to find his biological father.
Other HBO projects in development include: Bastards of the Party, which explores the world of contemporary black gangs in Los Angeles; Ghosts of Abu Ghraib, which looks at the abuses that occurred in the notorious Iraqi prison in fall 2003; The Trials of Darryl Hunt, which documents the 20-year aftermath of a harrowing rape-murder and wrongful conviction in the modern American South; Friends of God: A Road Trip With Alexandra Pelosi, which provides an inside look at the Evangelical Christian movement; and Wide Awake, focusing on the debilitating effects of insomnia.
In March, the network will launch Addiction, which seeks to dispel the myths about addiction and its causes, as well as show how addictions can be treated.
“One in four Americans has a family member who’s struggling with addiction,” said Albrecht.
The 14-part documentary series, a partnership between HBO, the National Institute on Drug Addiction, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, will also be available on the premium network’s on-demand service, as well as via podcasts, Web streams and DVD.
“All of the films will be offered during a free HBO preview in the participating cable systems,” added Albrecht.
Sister service Cinemax is also ramping up its documentary lineup with What Remains: The Life and Work of Sally Mann, which shines a spotlight on the acclaimed photographer; Black Sun, about a man who traveled the world after being blinded during a New York City street mugging; Iraq in Fragments, which takes a look at the lives of ordinary Iraqis; and Have You Seen Andy?, about a community’s anguish over the disappearance of a young boy in 1976.