TV Briefing: Creator of 'The Wire' Eyes New Orleans

david.jpgThe New Yorker gives David Simon – creator of HBO’s The Wire – the 11,000 word treatment in a profile that offers up a history of the show, drops details on season five, and follows Simon through New Orleans as he plans his next series – it’s a must-read for serious fans. In the wide ranging piece, the natural-born cynic and former journalist for the Baltimore Sun blasts rival crime dramas, if not most everything else on TV for remaining unable to hold a candle to The Wire in terms of authenticity, saying, “So much of what comes out of Hollywood is horseshit…And what they increasingly know about the world is what they see on other TV shows about cops or crime or poverty. ”

Season five, according to Simon, is about “perception versus reality”–in particular, what kind of reality newspapers can capture and what they can’t.” Simon has taken some of the stories and dialogue from his beat at the Baltimore Sun and used them word for word, demonstrating the same level of realism that citizens of Baltimore have attested to about the show’s street vernacular. The New Yorker describes what will be the final season as “a tragicomic collision between homeless people, newspaper reporters, politicians, and the cops we’ve come to know.” The fifth season will begin airing in January.

As shooting of The Wire has concluded, Simon has been making trips to New Orleans as he maps out his next project. Noting that he was looking at the area as the backdrop even before Katrina, if greenlit, the new project will be “a smaller, more intimate story about musicians reconstituting their lives.” He’s using real musicians as character outlines for his cast – and just as The Wire was as much about the health of Baltimore as it was about intertwining relationships of the streets, the cops, and the politicos – his next series will champion New Orleans. From Simon: “This show will be a way of making a visual argument that cities matter. ‘The Wire’ has not really done that…we’ve been so angry about what’s been mangled in public policy, and what’s at stake, that we really didn’t have time to celebrate what the city can be.”

Also in the works for Simon and co-creator of The Wire, Ed Burns, is an HBO miniseries called Generation Kill, based on Evan Wright’s nonfiction book of the same name. Kill tells the story of the first month of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, told through the eyes of a Marine who was among the first wave of troops.

Stealing Life – The crusader behind “The Wire.” – The New Yorker

More in TV:

— Speculators have been waving red flags about The Return of Jezebel James, a multi-camera sitcom starring Parker Posey and Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under) for a few months, and now Fox has reduced the order for creator Amy Sherman-Palladino’s (Gilmore Girls) midseason series to 7 episodes, down from 13. Alternate source of income for Sherman-Palladino: The Late Bloomer’s Revolution, her film directing debut starring Sarah Jessica Parker.

— Facing the possibility of a writer’s strike (Slate), will NBC turn to episodes of the original UK version of The Office as well as Curb Your Enthusiasm to fill gaps in fresh programming? (TV Squad)

A.V. Club’s early assessment of the fall season.

Posted by Ted Zee on October 15th 2007 | Home Page | 9 Comments Subscribe to this site's feed

9 Responses

  1. William Says:

    Ted — thanks for bringing attention to this article. I really like what Simon is doing even though I own the first two seasons of The Wire but have only watched season one.

    I’m still emptying my DVR with Mad Men, another excellent show.

    Kudos to some solid posts too.

  2. Ted Z. Says:

    Thanks William,

    I need to get caught up on Mad Men when I have time. I was a bit underwhelmed by the pilot but people keep raving about it.

  3. Video Previews for ‘The Wire’ Season 5 and ‘Generation Kill’ » Says:

    […] that we’ve come to hate/love/fear/cheer. Oh, and McNulty is drinking again. Previously: profiling David Simon, his future projects, and a not-so-brief history of The Wire. Vintage Bonus: […]

  4. 2007 November 29 » Says:

    […] – Video Previews of The Wire Season 5 and Generation Kill – David Simon Profiled, Eyes New Orleans for New SeriesTags: the wire season 5, hbo, david simon, […]

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