HBO is expanding its comedy offerings, ordering The Brink to series, The Hollywood Reporter said.
From executive producers Jerry Weintraub (Behind the Candelabra), Jay Roach (Game Change, Recount) and Roberto Benabib (Weeds), the comedy centers on a geopolitical crisis and its effect on three disparate and desperate men. Oscar winner Tim Robbins stars as the U.S. secretary of state, while Jack Black plays a lowly foreign service officer caught in the middle of everything. Benabib and his brother, Kim Benabib, will pen the script. Roberto Benabib, Weintraub and Roach will executive produce, with Kim Benabib garnering a co-EP credit. Roach is set to direct the pilot, and Black and Robbins will be producers as well. This marks Robbins and Black's latest collaboration. Robbins directed Black in Dead Man Walking and later turned up in Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny, which Black wrote.
The Brink pickup comes after HBO opted to cancel comedies Family Tree and Hello Ladies after one season each. (Hello Ladies will wrap up with a comedy special.)
The pickup gives the network a comedy with instant cache and comes as the premium cabler has been focusing on niche fare as it has struggled to find a broad comedy hit comparable to dramas True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones and, more recently, True Detective.
The Brink will join a roster of original comedies that includes Girls, Veep and Looking, with Mike Judge's Silicon Valley also due this year. The network also has six-episode Emily Mortimer entry Doll & Em due this year, and is in talks for a second season of Getting On. This leaves HBO with one comedy pilot in the works: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson retired athletes entry Ballers, which remains in contention. Family comedy People in New Jersey, starring Sarah Silverman, will not move forward as previously reported.
Production begins later this year on The Brink. A premiere date or episode count has not yet been determined.