By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist June 22, 2011 at 6:29AM
It seems HBO is desperate to find something, anything to stand in the place of "Entourage" after the final season airs this year. Last year, they launched "How To Make It In America," a show that copies the same basic format but swaps out Hollywood for the fashion industry (though, to be fair, it's pretty entertaining). And now, they are going to get in the ring with another on-the-rise style series, but instead of movies or clothing, it will center on boxing.
Deadline reports that HBO has gathered up a lot of talented people for a new series entitled "Da Brick." Set to be directed by Spike Lee, with "Entourage" creator Doug Ellin and Mike Tyson producing and John Ridley ("Red Tails," "U-Turn") writing, the show will be "set in current-day Newark, New Jersey" and will be "a contemporary exploration of what it means to be a young, black man in supposedly post-racial America and is loosely inspired by aspects of Tyson’s youth." The overall approach is said to be a cross between "Entourage" and "The Wire," so yes, you can sign us up for this.
This isn't Lee's first time over at the cable network. He directed the astounding documentary about Hurricane Katrina, "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts," and its followup, "If God Is Willing and da Creek Don't Rise." And while his last feature was 2008's "Miracle At St. Anna," he's been keeping very busy in the interim, knocking out the musical document "Passing Strange" and the ESPN short film "Kobe Doin' Work."
But if there is a bit of a grey cloud around this news, it's that Lee and Ridley have long been working on a movie about the riots that followed the Rodney King beating in Los Angeles which still hasn't had much movement. While we're always happy to see Lee taking on new projects, we really wish he could get a feature film rolling soon (though earlier this year, his Michael Jackson-centered film "Brooklyn Loves MJ" was scrapped).
No word on when this will get in front of cameras but we presume the network will want it to be part of their 2012 lineup.