Alan Ball goes to the well once again, Judd Apatow makes a return to TV and Professor Dumbledore bets the ponies. Just another day on the cable powerhouse that is HBO.

Ball, the Oscar-winning show runner of Six Feet Under and True Blood just shot a pilot called All Signs of Death, based on Charlie Huston‘s book The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death, which follows a trauma cleaning unit, much like Sunshine Cleaning, but less cute. Apatow, who made his name with TV shows Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared, is executive producing a pilot called Girls, which was created by Lena Dunham, currently riding the wave off her indie film Tiny Furniture. It’s a more realistic take on the Sex and the City formula. Both shows are only in the pilot stage and neither has been picked up for series yet. It they do, Ball and Apatow will executive produce. (UPDATE: HBO passed on All Signs of Death.)

Finally, Michael Gambon has been cast as a recurring regular on the Michael Mann-produced series Luck, starring Dustin Hoffman, which is about the seedy underworld of horse racing. Read more about all three HBO nuggets of news after the jump. Read More »

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Lost Epilogue

Entertainment Weekly has out first (or last?) glimpse of the 12-minute Lost epilogue “The New Man in Charge” that will be included on the Series Finale DVD/Blu-ray set. Actor Michael Emerson reveals that “Ben is going around to Dharma installations and closing some down. There are some good surprises.” And yes, ”it does answer questions.’”

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Briefly: Well, if I wasn’t already excited about Luck, the show set in the world of California horse racing that is being assembled by David Milch and Michael Mann, I would be now. We already knew that Dustin Hoffman and Dennis Farina were in the cast, but now there is word that Nick Nolte will join them. Seriously: Nick Nolte on a show created by Milch and Mann? Yes, and thank you.

Deadline Hollywood has the news, and while Mike Fleming there says the deal isn’t done, he spins it as if there isn’t any chance of a breakdown at this point. He also idly mentions that Michael Mann will direct the pilot for the HBO show.

Nolte has done television before, but not in some time, and I think that working with these two probably stands in a different category from anything he’s done for the tube in the past.

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Is HBO back? The answer seems to be “oh, my, yes!” In the past few months the once-dominant dramatic voice of cable has put new shows in development with the likes of Martin Scorsese, Todd Haynes, Jonathan Demme, David Fincher and more. (Like that Spielberg guy, whose Band of Brothers follow-up The Pacific looks insane.) If there was ever going to be a secondĀ  coming for HBO, this looks like it.

And now Michael Mann and David Milch are moving forward with Luck, a show about the world of horse racing. Dustin Hoffman is now toplining the cast. Can you imagine what Mann and Milch might coax (or bully, more like) out of Hoffman? I can, and I can’t wait to see it. Read More »

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Oh how coincidental. I recently purchased the soundtrack for Michael Mann’s The Insider, and not long after we learned about his upcoming HBO series with Deadwood and John from Cincinatti creator David Milch. The series is entitled Luck, and THR describes it as “a provocative look at the world of horse racing and gambling told through a diverse group of characters surrounding a racetrack.” Both are exec-producing the project — with Milch writing and Mann directing the pilot.

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