Catherine Keener to Star in HBO Comedy Series Written and Directed by Charlie Kaufman

     May 21, 2012


HBO’s current comedy roster is stacked with some of the best writers in the business: Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Lena Dunham/Judd Apatow (Girls), Armando Iannucci (Veep), Mike White (Enlightened).  If you count the hourlong The Newsroom, Aaron Sorkin seemed like the apex in terms of pure writers.  Yet HBO has outdone themselves, entering into development on a half-hour comedy series with Charlie Kaufman.  Even better, frequent collaborator Catherine Keener is set to star and produce alongside Kaufman.  The untitled series is described as “an exploration of one day in a woman’s life and how the events leading up to it can affect, or not, the reality in which she lives.”  What?  More after the jump.

hbo catherine keenerDeadline proposes the entirely believable premise that the networks have chased Keener for years, but she’s declined television offers until now.  Keener starred in Kaufman’s breakout script Being John Malkovich and Kaufman’s directorial debut Synecdoche, New York.  The actress already has another role lined up in Kaufman’s next feature, Frank or Francis, so it’s clear their partnership sparks as well off-screen as it does on.  Keener will fit right in next to Laura Dern, Lena Dunham, and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss in the new female-led comedy lineup on HBO.

HBO is fast-tracking the series, so maybe it will be ready to pair with season two of Enlightened?  I hope.  I can’t wait to see this, even though I do not understand the logline at all.  Does the entire series really only revolve around one day?  One day per episode?  Per season?  Doesn’t matter, I’m so excited Kaufman has his own TV show.  The writer got his start in television, including a gig on the before-its-time Get a Life and a stint in the greatest writers’ room ever on The Dana Carvey Show.

It is unclear what the fast-track process means for Frank or Francis, especially since Kaufman was recently hired to adapt Chaos Walking.  Plus, HBO has been known to pass on series even when high profile talent is attached.  So I’ll try to manage my expectations… nope, failed.  I’ll just die if this doesn’t happen.