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Milch, Mann and HBO?

By Seth Freilich | Industry | January 6, 2010 |

By Seth Freilich | Industry | January 6, 2010 |

It’s just been announced that HBO has ordered up a pilot called “Luck.” Written by David Milch (“Deadwood” and, damn it, “John From Cincinnati”). Directed by Michael Mann. Focusing on the world of horse racing. Not much known beyond that, but do you really need to know much more? I don’t. The plotline will presumably be less muddled and Jesus-y than “John,” which means Milch’s dialogue will hopefully get to shine. And horse racing scenes directed by Mann? NBC should fucking hire him to direct the Kentucky Derby! This pilot will have to be complete and utter shite not to get a series order.

Meanwhile, that’s just the tip of the fucking iceberg. Do you realize what a fantastic fucking year HBO has in store for us? I mean seriously. It starts this weekend, with the return of “Big Love.” And then in March, the miniseries “The Pacific,” the sequel-in-spirit to “Band of Brothers,” starts its 10 episode run. Dig on this trailer:

If this is even just one-third as good as “Band of Brothers,” it’ll be amazing.

Meanwhile, the ten episode season of “Treme” is slated to start sometime in April, meaning it’ll overlap with “The Pacific” for a spell. “Treme,” you’ll recall, is the post-Katrina New Orleans show from David Simon (“The Wire”). Early buzz has been strong and Simon has earned the right to garner high expectations.

And then there’s “Boardwalk Empire,” airing sometime this year and focusing on Prohibition-era Atlantic City, with all the grit and gangsters that come with it. Martin Scorsese directed the pilot, one of the main “Sopranos” producers is also behind it, and it stars, among others, Steve Buscemi, Dabney Coleman, Kelly Macdonald and Michael K. Williams (“yo, Omar’s coming, man!”). I’m over the moon in anticipation for this.

Not to mention the third season of “In Treatment” and the second seasons of “Hung” and “Eastbound and Down.” And another season of the campy and it’s-so-bahd-and-the-acks’nts-so-atrocious-but-I-can’t-help-but-watch-it “True Blood.” And “Bored to Death,” for those of you who stuck with it. The only true turd is the return of “Entourage.”

Maybe I’m nuts and expecting too much from too many unseen things. But I don’t feel like I’m going out on a crazy limb to suggest that when the year is all over and put to bed, there may be a legitimate case to be made that HBO’s 2010 will turn out to be one of the most rewarding years of programming a network has ever had. And if Vince dies on this season of “Entourage,” I think it’s case closed!

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Seth is a Senior Editor and sometime critic. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.