Beverly Hills, Calif.—HBO officials told TV critics Thursday that a second Sex and the City movie is being considered, and that they are open to the idea of making a Sopranos film.
At the premium service’s executive session at the Television Critics Association tour, HBO officials also conceded that the Writers Guild of America strike earlier this year set back production of key shows, such as Entourage and the new Alan Ball series, True Blood, which HBO had hoped to have ready for the summer.
“The strike impacted us significantly,” said Michael Lombardo (seated, right), president of HBO’s programming group and West Coast operations. “Yeah, we got pushed back literally four months on everything…We’re shooting pilots now.”
He also said there was “enormous interest” on the part of Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema in doing a second Sex and the City movie, because of the success of the first one this summer, and that HBO is trying to help put them put that together.
“When that happens, how long, can’t say,” Lombardo told the TV critics.
HBO co-president Plepler (seated, left) mentioned that he is still in contact with The Sopranos’ creator-writer David Chase, who is currently on vacation in France.
Asked whether HBO would be interested in a Sopranos’ theatrical, Plepler said, “If David wants to do it, we’d be delighted to explore that.”
At the session, one writer asked for clarification about a report that HBO didn’t even offer a response when it was approached about the show that’s gone on to become an award-winning critics’ darling, Mad Men, which wound up at AMC.
“Here’s the bottom line: It’s a wonderful show,” Plepler said. “I wish it were on HBO, but it’s not. Sometimes that happens, but you move forward.”
The two HBO executives said they strive for excellence and great storytelling when choosing projects for HBO, rather than trying to tailor their programming to please an audienceor to specifically try to create a big hit.
“It would be a mistake for us to be swinging for home runs,” Lombardo said.
HBO has just green-lit three pilots, one from The Wire’s David Simon that deals with post-Katrina New Orleans; a comedy about women in Washington that Sarah Jessica Parker is executive producing; and an hour-hour drama about Atlantic City in the 1920s, according to Lombardo.
Plepler and Lombardo were followed by Ricky Gervais, who is doing a stand-up comedy special for HBO that will air in November. It will tape before a live audience at Madison Square Garden this month.
Gervais, who won an Emmy for HBO’s Extras, told writers that he really didn’t see a difference between American and British humor.
“I don’t really do gags,” he said. “It’s quite anecdotal and flights of fancy.”
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