HBO, once the king in the realm of prestige television, has a lot of work to do to keep its crown now that Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, and every other premium network has started producing award-winning stuff. The network has made moves to secure that place at the top, though, as it’s just been announced that they’ve ordered pilots from Oscar-winning directors Adam McKay and Kathryn Bigelow.
First, the McKay project. Called Succession, it’s about a global-media family that is extremely wealthy but also has extreme dysfunction. McKay will executive produce and direct the pilot for this series, which was written by Jesse Armstrong, who was nominated for an Oscar for his writing on In the Loop. (He also worked on Veep, which is only a good thing.) Will Ferrell, McKay’s longtime buddy, will also exec produce.
Bigelow’s project is titled Mogadishu, Minnesota. Written by K’naan Warsame, Bigelow is only signed on as an executive producer. Previously titled The Recruiters, Mogadishu will examine the lives of Somalis living in Minnesota, and, according to Deadline, might “touch upon the subject of Jihadi recruitment in the U.S.”
Succession and Mogadishu, Minnesota join HBO’s growing stable of new shows, including Barry , the Bill Hader-as-hitman show, and the upcoming Divorce , High Maintenance, Westworld, and Insecure. McKay most recently directed The Big Short, which won the 2016 Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. He has no other announced directing projects. Bigelow, who directed the Oscar-winning Zero Dark Thirty and Hurt Locker, is rumored to be directing a film about a police event and subsequent citizen uprising in 1960s-era Detroit.