NEW YORK — At a lunch hosted by HBO at
Aureole in Midtown for its new series Treme,
executive producers David Simon and Eric
Overmyer briefly eulogized their friend and
fellow writer David Mills, who died suddenly,
at age 48, of a brain aneurysm on the
Treme set two days earlier.
Simon began by explaining how Treme
was not his alone, and how collaborative
television writing is compared to most
other writing pursuits, “with people shooting
down the worst ideas and making the
best ideas great.”
“It’s more than one guy,” said Simon,
who in 2004 lost another close collaborator,
The Wire executive producer Robert F.
Colesberry, from complications after heart
surgery at age 57, shortly before production
began on season three. “I’m sort of like the
front guy in a very good band.”
Both Simon and Overmyer had fallen in
love with the Crescent City and knew the
story they wanted to tell.
“What we needed was someone from the
outside, to ground the story,” Simon said.
“Where are you going? What’s the theme here?
How does this resonate with anybody who’s
not from New Orleans? And that’s what
David and George [Pelecanos] did.”
Simon described Mills, who wrote for Simon’s
earlier HBO series The Corner and The
Wire, as a light-skinned African-American with
a “special voice” who had “an amused intolerance
“I’ve loved this guy since I’ve been at the
University of Maryland paper,” he said.
Overmyer said he believed Mills might
have preferred to die on set, or maybe “in
the middle of an argument with David
Simon and the writers.”
Simon said, “David was a huge influence.
It’s just heartbreaking that he’s not going
to be there at the premiere to gauge the