NEW YORK, NEW YORK–The end of HBO’s summer line-up left fans of True Blood and Hung disappointed enough to trigger an onslaught of facebook status updates blasting the shows. An inter-office message at the HBO headquarters indicates that the poor response to the shows this season also led to serious criticism among executives within HBO. An executive assistant (working as a temp) leaked an email that proves that the man in charge of HBO’s original dramas has taken flack from HBO brass, and sent a message to keep his job.
It has become clear that I have abused my position as Head of Original Programming, Drama Division. I thought that I could trust the people in my charge to execute the day-to-day business of upholding the high standards that have made HBO the award-winning network that it is.
But after watching the finales of our summer line-up this Sunday, I see that my team has lost sight of what it means to deliver top-notch programming. The people responsible for supervising production of these shows never reported any concerns during the filming of True Blood or Hung, but my viewing experience was proof positive that we dropped the ball big time this season.
I don’t want you to think that I’m throwing my team under the bus here. This message is simply to inform you that I am well aware of the issues that have befallen the network recently. We at the Drama Division were well aware of how important True Blood and Hung were to the line-up after the disappointment of Treme. Now that that dud is over, we can stop treating it like a singer who badly performs a gospel song at Amateur Night at the Apollo; no one felt comfortable booing it while it was on the air because no one wanted to go to hell, but we all know that it was terrible. Terrible.
Rest assured that I am committed to being more instrumental in the supervision of the Drama Division. The revolving-door style writing that plagued True Blood this season will definitely be monitored closely for season 4. This nonsense with fairies may have already hit the point of no return, but we can at least find a way to make Sookie and Bill less annoying. And I will make it a personal priority to make sure that the makers of Hung realize that the Ray Drecker character needs to have at least a modicum of relatability. And you won’t here any more complaints out of me about how Hung should really fall under the Comedy Division, either.
On a positive note, I think you’ll be very pleased with Boardwalk Empire. Part of the reason I delegated so many of my day-to-day duties was to oversee the production of this show personally. Although I admit it was for selfish reasons, I learned firsthand that we have a show with the period-piece mystique of Carnivale and the crime-drama grit of The Sopranos. Ring the bell because we have a winner.
Luckily for this executive, he will have an original comedy alongside Boardwalk Empire to share the load for the next several Sunday nights. With the second season of Eastbound and Down, the head of the Comedy Division is looking to rebound from a diminishing return on the second season of The Life & Times of Tim and a bewildering season of Funny or Die Presents, which has been nicknamed ‘Die Pretty Much’ by viewers.
Since leaking the email, there are rumors that Showtime has purchased the rights to the administrative assistant’s story and may be developing Tempin’ Ain’t Easy, a dramedy about a temp worker who lives a lavish lifestyle by blackmailing powerful people in New York City.