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It’s great news just to hear The Wire and Treme creator David Simon is working on a brand new project with HBO. Things get even more interesting once you realize the topic. David Simon recently announced he has a project in the works with HBO about the rise of the porn industry. It’s called The Deuce, and if it moves forward, it will be set in New York City in the early 1970s and into the 1980s. Interestingly, it almost didn’t happen, at all.
THR is reporting that when The Deuce came along, initially Simon didn’t want to touch the porn-based premise with a 10-foot pole. But one of the Treme location managers began researching the people who lived and worked in the industry during the era and convinced Simon and collaborator George Pelecanos that some of the stories were fascinating. Eventually, the two men signed on for the porn-based project.
Here’s what’s happening. This week, it was announced that Simon is working with Pelecanos to explore a brand new drama looking at the legalization of the porn industry in New York’s Times Square, to be specific. The Deuce is also set to look at other facets of life in New York during the period, including the rise of cocaine use and the advent of HIV. A period drama about the porn industry is a bit outside-the-box for Simon, who has mostly written and produced modern-day shows, like the aforementioned The Wire.
A pilot has not been ordered for The Deuce, yet, so it’s hard to tell when or if this one will move forward, but getting a Simon series back on the air is likely a high priority for HBO, considering the success the producer has had with the subscription cable network. Period dramas have also been popular at HBO, as the network seems to be looking to fill the niche left by Boardwalk Empire. Earlier this year, we learned that Boardwalk’s Terence Winter and Martin Scorsese were teaming up for a rock ‘n’ roll-based drama starring James Jagger, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, Bobby Cannavale, Andrew Dice Clay, Olivia Wilde, Ray Romano and a slew of other big names. Considering this huge project is also set in 1970s New York, it seems as if the two projects could be competing somewhat, but we’ll just have to wait and see if there’s room for two New York period shows about excess and drugs.
Even if The Deuce doesn’t end up moving forward, Simon does have the miniseries Show Me A Hero in the works with HBO. It's expected to hit the network in August of 2015 and is also a period drama about the Civil Rights movement in New York in the 1980s. Winona Ryder, Alfred Molina and new Punisher Jon Bernthal star in that one.