hbo max jean smart comedy

After establishing herself as a scene-stealing supporting player in prestige genre shows in recent years, Jean Smart is taking the lead in a new HBO Max dark comedy from Mike Schur and Broad City alums Paul W. DownsLucia Aniello and Jen Statsky. HBO Max has ordered 10 episodes of the yet-untitled dark comedy, which will explore the “dark mentorship” between a Las Vegas diva (Smart) and an entitled 25-year-old outcast.

HBO Max has ordered 10 episodes of an untitled single-camera dark comedy series created by Broad City alums Paul W. Downs, Lucia Aniello, and Jen Statsky, and executive produced by The Good Place creator Mike Schur. Emmy-winning star Jean Smart will make a return to comedy in the lead role of the series, after giving a string of incredible performances in prestige genre shows like FX’s Fargo and Legion, and HBO’s Watchmen.

But from the sound of it, it won’t be a straightforward comedic performance like those she’s delivered in Designing Women or Frasier, the latter of which won her two Emmys. The dark comedy stars Smart as a Las Vegas diva who strikes up a twisted relationship with a younger woman — the kind of meaty, complex role that will likely give Smart plenty to chew on.

“I am so thrilled to be making this show with our incredible partners at HBO Max and Universal TV, and it is a dream to write for the incomparable Jean Smart,” said Paul W. Downs. “It is an honor and a privilege to craft and portray complex, female characters. For far too long, male voices dominated the space, both on-and-off screen, and thankfully that has finally changed. I’m sure Lucia and Jen agree, but unfortunately, they only gave us this much room for a quote. Sorry girls!”

“When this dream team came to us, we jumped at the chance to develop this project, which features two complex female characters working in comedy and facing the professional and personal challenges that come along with it. When Jean Smart came aboard, we were even more delighted to move forward,” added Sarah Aubrey, Head of Original Content, HBO Max.

A dark comedy about complex female relationships starring Jean Smart and developed by three Broad City alums and Mike Schur? It sounds like an intriguing sell already. Downs, Aniello, and Statsky, who all executive produced, wrote and directed Broad City, are the ones steering this series, which Schur executive produces. Downs and Aniello previously collaborated on the Scarlett Johansson comedy Rough Night, while Statsky also produced and wrote for The Good Place, for which she was nominated for an Emmy. The still-untitled series is produced under Universal TV, a division of NBCUniversal Content Studios.

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