HBO has opted not to go to series on Mamma Dallas, its comedy pilot by Enlightened creator Mike White, which followed a conservative Texan family who unwittingly hire a hard-living drag queen as their live-in nanny.
With its concept, the project was considered a big swing and, while it is not going forward, HBO remains committed to its creator, as reiterated by the network’s programming chief Michael Lombardo. “Mike White is one of the most talented filmmakers working today and we feel honored to have worked with him on Enlightened and the Mama Dallas pilot,” he said in a statement to Deadline. “The latter only reinforced our views of Mike’s prodigious talents. Unfortunately, after much discussion we have decided not to proceed to series on this work. We truly hope that we will find another opportunity to work together.”
Written, directed and executive produced by White, Mamma Dallas centered on Liberty (Augustus Prew) who appears to be an attractive woman with a flirty side — but she’s really a drag queen with an upbeat personality. On a path that leads to jail or prostitution or both, Liberty (also known as Albert) sees a future that will destroy his basically optimistic spirit and re-invents himself to get a job as a nanny to three children of a conservative Texan family. Paul Fitzgerald, Mary Catherine Garrison and Nico Tortorella co-starred. White executive produced the pilot with Dede Gardner.
HBO recently picked up two other comedy pilots to series, Divorce starring Sarah Jessica Parker, and Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin’s Brothers In Atlanta.