HBO will not be going forward with the Noah Baumbach/Scott Rudin pilot The Corrections. The drama project, based on Jonathan Franzen’s acclaimed book, boasted one of most star-studded casts ever assembled on television: Chris Cooper, Dianne Wiest, Ewan McGregor, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Rhys Ifans and Greta Gerwig. The Corrections revolved around the troubles of a Midwestern couple (Cooper, Wiest) and their adult children (McGregor, Gyllenhaal) as they trace their lives from the mid-20th century to “one last Christmas” together near the turn of the millennium. Attempting to bring Franzen’s book to the screen — something that had been tried unsuccessfully on the feature side for a decade — was considered a big swing. Word is HBO brass liked the performances but the decision came down to adapting the book’s challenging narrative, which moves through time and cuts forwards and back. While that works in the novel, it proved difficult to sustain in a series and challenging for viewers to follow, hampering the potential show’s accessibility. HBO’s decision to pass on The Corrections comes on the heels of the pay cable network’s eight-episode straight-to-series order for True Detective, a high-concept cop drama starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. Despite the timing, I hear the two decisions are not related as the recent cancellation of Luck freed up resources and HBO had the room and money do to both.
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