EXCLUSIVE: HBO is reteaming with Temple Grandin scribe W. Merritt Johnson, this time on the series side. The pay cable network has in the hopper a dark comedy project written by Merritt, which is being developed as a starring vehicle for Don Johnson. Johnson is executive producing the project with his manager Jason Weinberg and Merritt. The dark comedy, based on an idea from Merritt and Chris Carmona, who will serve as supervising producer, centers on a suicidal game show host, the role earmarked for Johnson, who is trying to avoid the downward spiral of his life while dealing with the headache of his family and work life. The project expands Don Johnson’s relationship with HBO where he has been recurring on the off-beat comedy series Eastbound & Down. The Gersh-repped actor did 2 episodes last year and will return in the upcoming third season to reprise his role as Eduardo Sanchez. In addition to the HBO comedy, Merritt Johnson has a drama in the works at Showtime about the Ball LGBT subculture, which he is writing as well as executive producing with Lee Daniels, who is attached to direct. Merritt Johnson, repped by CAA and Leverage, previously worked on the HBO half-hour drama In Treatment.
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