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Joel & Ethan Coen Team With 'Cedar Rapids' Writer Phil Johnston For Fox TV Show 'HarveKarbo'

by Oliver Lyttelton
October 5, 2011 1:26 AM
2 Comments
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No, We Don't Understand What's Going On Either



The Coen Brothers have always delighted in evading expectations. Enjoy our dark film noir debut "Blood Simple?" Why not try our live-action Looney Tunes follow-up "Raising Arizona." Impressed by our multi-Oscar-nominated "Fargo?" Here's a stoner detective movie about bowling and German porn stars! We've finally reached mainstream success after the Best Picture-winning "No Country For Old Men" and the star-studded "Burn After Reading?" Let's make a dense, oblique Jewish period piece without a single recognizable face, and follow that with a curiously old-fashioned Western that turns out to be a massive box office hit!

After four films in four years, the Coens have taken 2011 easy, but they'll be back in 2012 with "Inside Llewlyn Davis," a picture set in the New York folk scene of the 1960s. But true to form, they've just thrown in another curveball, with Deadline breaking the news that the pair have another project coming next year, and it's almost the least likely one you could think of: a TV comedy on the Fox network.

The site report that Imagine TV, the small-screen wing of Brian Grazer and Ron Howard's company, who were behind "Arrested Development," are producing "HarveKarbo," a show co-created by the Coens and Phil Johnston, the writer of this year's indie comedy "Cedar Rapids." Johnston will write the pilot, which will be an hour-long show about a bad-tempered private eye in Hollywood, and the Coens will executive produce. Could they direct a pilot? We imagine it's unlikely with 'Llewyn Davis' gearing up, but it could happen.

It's a firmly Coenesque premise, so it's disappointing to learn that they're not writing it themselves, at this point at least, but it seems to be in good hands with Johnston, who's also penning Disney's 2012 animated flick "Wreck-It Ralph." Perhaps the most curious thing about the whole thing is its home: FX would have made more sense, but Fox, the home of "American Idol" and "Glee," haven't always been the most-risk taking network, although they are the top-rated. There are penalties to be paid if the pilot isn't shot, so we certainly hope it makes it far enough through the process that we're able to see how it turns out.

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2 Comments

  • Greg | October 5, 2011 2:16 AMReply

    "American Idol" and "Glee" were pretty big risks, once upon a time.

  • Glass | October 5, 2011 1:41 AMReply

    Makes me think of a homogenized-for-television Chinatown. I do love that movie, so I'm sorta filing this project away upstairs.

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