HBO Chief Talks “Detective” Failure, Nudity

The Television Critics Association winter tour has begun with the head executivess, showrunners and stars of the various networks and streaming services talking about both their 2015 performance and what lies ahead next year.

First off the block is HBO with President Of Programming Michael Lombardo who spoke about the poor reaction to the second season of its previously much acclaimed “True Detective” anthology series. Lombardo effectively takes the blame for that show’s dip in quality:

“Our biggest failures – and I don’t know if I would consider ‘True Detective 2’ – but when we tell somebody to hit an air date as opposed to allowing the writing to find its own natural resting place, when it’s ready, when it’s baked – we’ve failed.

I think in this particular case, the first season of ‘True Detective’ was something that Nic Pizzolatto had been thinking about, gestating, for a long period of time. He’s a soulful writer. I think what we did was go, ‘Great.’ And I take the blame. I became too much of a network executive at that point. We had huge success. ‘Gee, I’d love to repeat that next year.’

Well, you know what? I set him up. To deliver, in a very short time frame, something that became very challenging to deliver. That’s not what that show is. He had to reinvent the wheel, so to speak. Find his muse. And so I think that’s what I learned from it. Don’t do that anymore.”

Lombardo also addressed the issue of nudity which is one that has dogged HBO in times past and his response is one that shows maturity and a good sense of humor:

“I’m often told that relative to other premium services, we don’t have enough nudity. But here’s the truth. I’m a gay guy. I don’t particularly care about female nudity. We have never given a note to say, ‘More nudity.’ I think the truth is, when you’re in certain worlds – we’re very creative-friendly. If you’re going to sign on for certain shows, that’s part of the journey.

Look, we live in a puritanical society. I think the real issue is why actresses are saying [there’s excessive nudity] and not actors. And that is, by the way, a valid question, and I’ll tell you why that is. Because white men produce the shows and there is some kind of… I was screening recently a show we did. And the actress is running across the screen completely naked. And then the actor runs across the screen completely naked. And yet somehow it’s pixelated, his genitalia.

And I’m like, wait a second. Why is a man’s genitalia so much more ‘verboten?’ And if you ask guys, they’re gonna go, ‘Well, you know, guys are sensitive about size and blah blah.’ And that’s bulls–t. So hopefully, that’s an argument you just made for diversity. Put a female showrunner on, trust me. It’s gonna be equal opportunity.”

Also made official today is that HBO’s comedy “Girls” will come to an end with its sixth season which will air in early 2017. The show will premiere its fifth season on February 21st.

Source: SCPR