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Someone Make This: 'The Wire' Creator David Simon Reveals Project About History Of The CIA He Can't Get Made

The Playlist By Ken Guidry | The Playlist April 28, 2014 at 12:01PM

The relationship between David Simon and HBO has been long and fruitful, but it hasn’t always been easy. Simon’s the man behind TV shows such as “The Wire” and “Treme,” and while your friends still cannot stop talking about how great “The Wire” is, it was never a big hit in the ratings department back in the day. His second show, “Treme,” aired its final episodes last December to little fanfare as well. You would think this would sour his relationship with television for good, but surprisingly, David Simon has yet another gem of an idea up his sleeve and it may prove to be his most challenging yet. Unfortunately, he's having trouble getting it to see the light of day.
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The House I Live In

The relationship between David Simon and HBO has been long and fruitful, but it hasn’t always been easy. Simon’s the man behind TV shows such as “The Wire” and “Treme,” and while your friends still cannot stop talking about how great “The Wire” is, it was never a big hit in the ratings department back in the day. His second show, “Treme,” aired its final episodes last December to little fanfare as well. You would think this would sour his relationship with television for good, but surprisingly, David Simon has yet another gem of an idea up his sleeve and it may prove to be his most challenging yet. Unfortunately, he's having trouble getting it to see the light of day.

Simon was part of a panel at the Tribeca Film Festival called “Stories By Numbers,” where he sat alongside “House of Cards” creator Beau Willimon, FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver, and film journalist Anne Thompson. It was here David Simon shared his unrealized project with everyone:

“I've got a story that I'd love to do, which I've been working on for eight or nine years, which is the history of the CIA, which would basically be America's foreign policy footprint. But it's 70 years of period piece filming, it's all over the world, there's a lot of CGI. Scene I, Act I is Berlin after the war, in total wreckage. And HBO goes, 'Listen, it was all fun when we were giving him $20 million and he was making 'The Wire' and no one was watching, but do you take us for fools?' They're looking at what the plausible revenue stream with all the downloads and BitTorrent. The window of this Golden Age of Television might have a point where it snaps shut on your fingers, because we're talking like a Hollywood studio. 'Can we get James Franco? If we get James Franco, you can make it.'”

It’s one hell of an idea, but it seems unlikely any network would be brave enough to produce it. Maybe if we all went out and bought every season of “Treme” on DVD, HBO would change their minds. Couldn’t hurt to try, right? Let’s not get our hopes up. [via Indiewire]

This article is related to: Television, TV News, David Simon


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