HBO has given a second-season order to freshman comedy The Brink starring Jack Black and Tim Robbins. The renewal comes a day before the options on the cast were set to expire after the pay cable network had secured a weeklong extension last week. It follows a small ratings uptick for the Sunday episode, which drew 1.06 million viewers in Live+Same Day viewing. The pickup also comes two weeks after the death of the series’ executive producer Jerry Weintraub at age 77.
The Brink, whose road to HBO’s schedule started with an email to Weintraub containing the script by former Weeds executive producer Roberto Benabib and his brother Kim Benabib, took only four to five months from that day until the project received a series greenlight in February 2014 — an unusually quick turnaround. “They don’t know how long I’m going to live, that’s why they picked it up so quickly,” Weintraub quipped at the time. Last month, he attended the show’s premiere (photo above).
Written by the Benabibs, The Brink is described as an epic dark comedy focusing on a geopolitical crisis and its effect on three disparate and desperate men: U.S. Secretary of State Walter Larson (Robbins); Alex Talbot (Black), a lowly Foreign Service officer; and Zeke Tilson (Pablo Schreiber), an ace Navy fighter pilot. These three compromised souls must pull through the chaos around them to save the planet from World War III.
Aasif Mandvi, Maribeth Monroe, Geoff Pierson, Esai Morales and Eric Ladin co-star on the series, executive produced by Roberto Benabib, Weintraub and Jay Roach, who directed the pilot. Kim Benabib and Susie Ekins co-executive produce; Robert Lloyd Lewis, Dave Holstein, Black and Robbins serve as producers; Mandvi as co-producer.
With the renewal, The Brink joins its companion, fellow new HBO comedy Ballers, which also recently was picked up for a second season.