HBO is developing a half-hour comedy called “Tilda” about the life of a powerful female online entertainment journalist.
Sources close to the production confirm to HitFix that “Dreamgirls” and “Gods and Monsters” writer-director Bill Condon and “Tell Me You Love Me” creator Cynthia Mort are writing and executive producing the project, with Condon attached to direct if HBO orders a pilot.
Condon is coming off his first pilot-directing stint on Showtime’s “The C-Word,” a dark comedy starring Laura Linney. Showtime ordered “The C-Word” to series last month.
If “Tilda” remains a half-hour comedy (it was originally pitched with the possibility of being an hour-long), it would give HBO the opportunity to compete in a female-driven marketplace currently dominated by Showtime with “Weeds,” “Nurse Jackie” and “The United States of Tara,” was well as “The C-Word.”
Casting on “Tilda” would be key, with HBO having to compete with Linney, Mary-Louise Parker, Edie Falco and Toni Collette. The premium cable network already has Maria Bello and Zooey Deschanel attached to other development projects.
Any television depiction of a hard-nosed female entertainment blogger would inevitably cause a stir with people in the industry attempting guess which character aspects are coming from Sharon Waxman, which are coming from Anne Thompson and which smack of Nikki Finke. And audiences would likely be eagerly anticipating the revelation of the main character’s “Toldja!”-style catchphrase.
HBO has never shied from Inside Hollywood noodling. “Entourage” has been a long-running and Emmy-winning hit for the network, as was “The Larry Sanders Show.” The same cannot be said for the short-lived “Unscripted.”