British director-writer-producer James Bobin, co-creator/director of Flight of the Conchords and series director of Sacha Baron Cohen’s Da Ali G Show, has signed a first-look deal with HBO to develop and produce comedy projects through his shingle, The Honourable Company of Gentleman Film-Makers. Bobin’s longtime collaborator Paul Roemen has joined the company as VP development. Honourable Company already has two half-hour projects in development at HBO: Marbury vs. Madison, a comedy set in the world of academic rivalry written by Bobin, and Permanently Temporary, a female inter-generational comedy written by Bobin’s sister, actress Joanna Bobin.
The deal formalizes Bobin’s longtime relationship with HBO that dates back to 2003, when he brought over Baron Cohen’s British series Da Ali G Show to the network, which produced its own version of the mocumentary comedy featuring Baron Cohen’s iconic characters Ali G, Borat Sagdiyev and Bruno. Bobin served as series director on both the British and U.S. incarnation of the show. Through HBO, Bobin also co-created and executive produced with Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie the pay cable network’s comedy series Flight of the Conchords, which earned seven Emmy nominations including best comedy series. “I’m delighted to continue working with HBO,” said Bobin. “They understand and appreciate new comedy, and they’re not scared of taking risks and are adventurous in their outlook.” CAA-repped Bobin makes his feature directorial debut with the Walt Disney Pictures’ The Muppets, which is being released at Thanksgiving.