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Your Complete Guide to Pilots and Straight-to-Series orders

2020-21 HBO Pilots & Series Orders

2020-21 HBO Pilots & Series Orders

2 Pilots
16 Series Orders


DEMIMONDE (Ordered straight to series)

Epic and intimate sci-fi fantasy drama previously have described as revolving around a world’s battle against a monstrous, oppressive force.

Studio Warner Bros. TV/Monkeypaw Productions/Bad Robot Productions

Cast J.J. Abrams (w, ep), Ben Stephenson (ep), Kira Snyder (ep, sr), Rand Ravich (ep, sr), Far Shariat (ep, sr)


An apparently amnesiac young girl's alarmingly inhuman needs and abilities lead her to a startling conclusion: She is in fact a genetically modified, 53-year-old vampire. Forced to discover what she can about her stolen former life, she must at the same time learn who wanted – and still wants – to destroy her and those she cares for and how she can save herself. Based on Octavia Butler’s novel.

Studio Warner Bros. Television

Team Sonya Winton-Odamtten (w, ep), Jonathan I. Kidd (w, ep), Issa Rae (ep), J.J. Abrams (ep), Montrel McKay (ep), Ben Stephenson (ep), Rachel Rusch Rich (co-ep), Sara Rastogi (co-ep), Ray Ricord (co-ep)

Cast TBA

GET MILLIE BLACK (Ordered straight to series; six episodes)

Follows former Scotland Yard detective Millie-Jean Black, who returns to Kingston, Jamaica, to work missing persons and soon finds herself on a quest to save a sister who won’t be saved, to find a boy who can’t be found, to solve a case that will blow her world apart and prove almost as tough to crack as Millie Black.

Studio Motive Pictures

Team Marlon James (w, ep), Simon Maxwell (ep), Leopoldo Gout (ep), Tanya Hamilton (d, ep)

Cast Tamara Lawrence, Joe Dempsie

THE GILDED AGE (Ordered straight to series)

The American Gilded Age in 1885 was a period of immense economic change, of huge fortunes made and lost, and the rise of disparity between old money and new money, which is being reflected again today. Against this backdrop comes young Marian Brook, the orphaned daughter of a Southern general, who moves into the home of her rigidly conventional aunts in New York City. Accompanied by the mysterious Peggy Scott, an African-American woman masquerading as her maid, Marian gets caught up in the dazzling lives of her stupendously rich neighbors, led by a ruthless railroad tycoon and his ambitious wife struggling for acceptance by the Astor and Vanderbilt set. Will Marian follow the established rules of society, or forge her own path in this exciting new world that is on the brink of transformation into the modern age? (Moved from NBC.)

Studio HBO/Universal Television

Team Julian Fellowes (w, ep), Gareth Neame (ep), Michael Engler (d, ep), David Crockett (ep), Michael Engler (d, ep), Salli Richardson-Whitfield (d, ep), Sonja Warfield (w, co-ep)

Cast Christine Baranski, Carrie Coon, Cynthia Nixon, Morgan Spector, Denée Benton, Louisa Jacobson, Taissa Farmiga, Blake Ritson, Simon Jones, Harry Richardson, Thomas Cocquerel, Jack Gilpin, Jeanne Tripplehorn (guest), Audra McDonald, Kelli O’Hara (recurring), Donna Murphy (recurring), Michael Cerveris (recurring), Debra Monk (recurring), Katie Finneran (recurring), Celia Keenan-Bolger (recurring), Kristine Nielsen (recurring), John Douglas Thompson (recurring), Patrick Page (recurring), Douglas Sills (recurring), Amy Forsyth (recurring), Taylor Richardson (recurring), Kelley Curran (recurring), Ben Ahlers (recurring), Nathan Lane (recurring)

HOUSE OF THE DRAGON (Ordered straight to series)

'Game of Thrones' prequel set 300 years before the events of the Emmy-winning series tells the story of House Targaryen. Based on George R.R. Martin’s novel 'Fire & Blood.'

Studio HBO

Team Ryan Condal (w, ep, sr), Miguel Sapochnik (d, ep, sr), George R.R. Martin (ep), Vince Gerardis (ep), Sara Lee Hess (w, ep), Ron Schmidt (ep), Clare Kilner (d), Geeta V. Patel (d), Greg Yaitanes (d, co-ep)

Cast Paddy Considine, Olivia Cooke, Matt Smith, Emma D’Arcy, Fabien Frankel, Ryan Corr, Jefferson Hall, David Horovitch, Graham McTavish, Matthew Needham, Bill Patterson, Gavin Spokes, Milly Alcock (recurring), Emily Carey (recurring)

THE IDOL (Ordered straight to series)

Set against the backdrop of the music industry, it centers on a self-help guru and leader of a modern-day cult who develops a complicated relationship with an up-and-coming pop idol.

Studio A24/Bron Studios

Team Joseph Epstein (ep, sr), Sam Levinson (w, ep), Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye (w, ep), Reza Fahim (w, ep), Ashley Levinson (ep), Kevin Turen (ep), Nick Hall (ep), Sara E. White (ep), Aaron Gilbert (ep)

Cast Lily-Rose Depp, Abel "The Weeknd" Tesfaye, Steve Zissis, Troye Sivan, Anne Heche (recurring), Melanie Liburd (recurring), Tunde Adebimpe (recurring), Elizabeth Berkley Lauren (recurring), Nico Hiraga (recurring)

IRMA VEP (Ordered straight to limited series)

Mira is an American movie star disillusioned by her career and a recent breakup who comes to France to star in a remake of the French silent film classic, 'Les Vampires.' She struggles as the distinctions between herself and the character she plays begin to blur and merge, revealing the uncertain ground that lies at the border of fiction and reality, artifice and authenticity, art and life. Based on the 1996 movie.

Studio A24

Team Olivier Assayas (w, d, ep), Alicia Vikander (ep), Sylvie Barthet (ep), Sam Levinson (ep), Ashley Levinson (ep), Kevin Turen (ep), Stuart Manashil (ep)

Cast Alicia Vikander, Adria Arjona, Carrie Brownstein, Jerrod Carmichael, Fala Chen, Devon Ross, Byron Bowers, Tom Sturridge

LANDSCAPERS (Ordered straight to limited series; four episodes)

Susan and Christopher Edwards. a mild-mannered couple from Mansfield in the UK, killed Susan’s parents and buried them in their back garden in 1998. The crime remained undiscovered for over a decade, and they always protested their innocence of murder. As the investigation moves forward, inspired by Susan’s obsession with old Westerns and classic cinema, the fantasists cast themselves as Hollywood heroes in narratives of their own invention.

Studio Sister/Sky Studios

Team Ed Sinclair (w, ep), Will Sharpe (d, ep), Serena Thompson (ep), Jane Featherstone (ep), Chris Fry (ep), Ed Sinclair (ep), Olivia Colman (ep), Katie Carpenter (p)

Cast Olivia Colman, Davbid Thewlis, Kate O’Flynn, Dipo Ola, Samuel Anderson, Karl Johnson, Felicity Montagu, Daniel Rigby

THE LAST OF US (Ordered straight to series)

Twenty years after modern civilization has been destroyed, hardened survivor Joel is hired to smuggle 14-year-old Ellie out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal, heartbreaking journey as they both must traverse across the U.S. and depend on each other for survival. Based on the video game from Naughty Dog.

Studio Sony Pictures Television/Word Games/Naughty Dog/PlayStation Productions

Team Craig Mazin (w, ep), Neil Druckmann (w, ep), Carolyn Strauss (ep), Evan Wells (ep), Asad Qizilbash (ep), Carter Swan (ep), Kantemir Balagov (d), Jasmila Žbanić (d), Ali Abbasi (d)

Cast Pedro Pascal, Bella Ramsey, Gabriel Luna, Nico Parker, Nick Offerman, Jeffrey Pierce (recurring), Anna Torv (recurring), Murray Bartlett (guest)

THE NEVERS (Ordered straight to series)

A gang of Victorian women finds themselves with unusual abilities, relentless enemies and a mission that might change the world.

Studio HBO

Team Philippa Goslett (ep, sr), Jane Espenson (w, ep), Doug Petrie (w, ep), Bernie Caulfield (ep), Andrew Bernstein (d, ep)

Cast Laura Donnelly, Olivia Williams, James Norton, Tom Riley, Ann Skelly, Ben Chaplin, Pip Torrens, Zackary Momoh, Amy Manson, Nick Frost, Rochelle Neil, Eleanor Tomlinson, Denis O’Hare, Kiran Sonia Sawar, Elizabeth Berrington, Ella Smith, Viola Prettejohn, Anna Devlin, Martyn Ford


Ruby lives a humdrum existence until one day she gets a text inviting her to fulfill a youthful pact, promising true love and self-reinvention, by stepping out of her life to take a journey with her oldest flame.

Studio Entertainment One/DryWrite/Wigwam Films

Team Phoebe Waller-Bridge (ep), Vicky Jones (w, ep), Emily Leo (ep), Kate Dennis (d, ep)

Cast Merritt Wever, Domhnall Gleeson, Tamara Podemski, Phoebe Waller-Bridge (recurring)

SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE (Ordered straight to limited series)

Based on the 1970s Ingmar Bergman miniseries, it re-examines the original program's iconic depiction of love, hatred, desire, monogamy, marriage and divorce through the lens of a contemporary American couple.

Studio Media Res/Endeavor Content

Team Hagai Levi (w, d, ep), Michael Ellenberg (ep), Lars Blomgren (ep), Oscar Isaac (ep), Daniel Bergman (ep), Blair Breard (ep), Amy Herzog (ep)

Cast Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, Sunita Mani, Nicole Beharie, Corey Stoll, Tovah Feldshuh

THE SYMPATHIZER (Ordered straight to series)

Follows the struggles of a half-French, half-Vietnamese communist spy during the final days of the Vietnam War and his resulting exile in the United States. Based on Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer-winning novel.

Studio HBO/A24/Rhombus Media/Cinetic Media/Moho Film

Team Park Chan-wook (d, ep, co-sr), Don McKellar (ep, co-sr), Robert Downey Jr. (ep), Susan Downey (ep), Amanda Burrell (ep), Niv Fichman (ep), Kim Ly (ep)

Cast Robert Downey Jr.

WE OWN THIS CITY (Ordered straight to series)

Set in 2015 Baltimore 2015, riots are erupting across the city and violent crime including murder is surging. Facing pressure from the mayor’s office and a federal investigation of the department over Freddie Gray’s death, police commanders turn to rank-and-file hero Sgt. Wayne Jenkins and his elite plainclothes Gun Trace Task Force,to help get guns and drugs off the street. Instead, they stole from Baltimore’s citizens — skimming from drug busts, pocketing thousands in cash found in private homes, and planting fake evidence to throw Internal Affairs off their scent. Their brazen crime spree would go unchecked for years.

Studio Crime Story Media

Team David Simon (w, ep), George Pelecanos (e, wp), Kary Antholis (ep)

Cast Jon Bernthal, Josh Charles, Jamie Hector, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Rob Brown, McKinley Belcher III, Larry Mitchell, Wunmi Mosaku, Dagmara Domińczyk, Don Harvey. Recurrings: Delaney Williams, David Corenswet, Ian Duff, Lucas Van Engen, Thaddeus Street, Tray Chaney, Chris Clanton

THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE (Ordered straight to series)

Follows the intricate love story of Clare and Henry and a marriage with a problem: time travel. Based on the novel by Audrey Niffenegger.

Studio Warner Bros. Television/Hartswood Films

Team Steven Moffat (w, ep), Sue Vertue (ep), Brian Minchin (ep)

Cast Rose Leslie, Theo James

THE WHITE HOUSE PLUMBERS (Ordered straight to limited series)

The true story of how Richard Nixon’s own political saboteurs and Watergate masterminds E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy accidentally toppled the presidency they were zealously trying to protect. Based in part on public records and the book 'Integrity' by Egil “Bud” Krogh and Matthew Krogh.

Studio HBO/wiip

Team Alex Gregory (w, ep), Peter Huyck (w. ep), David Mandel (d, ep), Frank Rich, Ruben Fleischer (ep), David Bernad (ep), Paul Lee (ep), Nne Ebong (ep)

Cast Woody Harrelson, Justin Theroux, Domhnall Gleeson, Lena Headey, Kiernan Shipka, Ike Barinholtz, Kim Coates, Liam James, Rich Sommer, Kim Coates, Liam James, Judy Greer, Corbin Bernsen, Alexis Valdés


FKA Untitled Lakers Project

A fast-break series chronicling the professional and personal lives of the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers, one of sports’ most revered and dominant dynasties—a team that defined its era, both on and off the court.

Studio Hyperobject Industries

Team Max Borenstein (w, ep), Adam McKay (d, ep), Kevin Messick (ep), Jim Hecht (ep), Jason Shuman (ep), Scott Stephens (ep), Rodney Barnes (ep)

Cast John C. Reilly, Jason Clarke, Quincy Isaiah, Adrien Brody, Solomon Hughes, Gaby Hoffmann, Hadley Robinson, DeVaughn Nixon, Molly Gordon, Rob Morgan, Spencer Garrett, Kirk Bovill, Delante Desouza, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Tamera Tomakili, Joey Brooks, Sally Field, Michael Chiklis, Sean Patrick Small, Jason Segel, Darone Okolie, Gillian Jacobs, Wood Harris, Mike Epps, Max E. Williams, Carina Conti, Mariama Diallo, Rachel Hilson, Olli Haaskivi


THE BABY (Ordered straight to series; eight episodes)

When 38-year-old Natasha is unexpectedly landed with a baby, her life of doing what she wants, when she wants, dramatically implodes. Controlling, manipulative and with violent powers, the baby twists Natasha’s life into a horror show. Where does it come from? What does it want? And what lengths will Natasha have to go to in order to get her life back? She doesn’t want a baby. The baby wants her.

Studio Sister/Proverbial Pictures

Team Siân Robins-Grace (w, ep), Lucy Gaymer (w, p), Nicole Kassell (d, ep), Jane Featherstone (ep), Carolyn Strauss (ep), Naomi de Pear (ep), Katie Carpenter (ep), Sophie Goodhart (w), Kara Smith (w), Anchuli Felicia King (w), Susan Stanton (w)

Cast TBA

SOMEBODY SOMEWHERE (Ordered straight to series)

Sam is a true Kansan on the surface but beneath it all struggles to fit the hometown mold. As she grapples with loss and acceptance, singing is Sam’s saving grace, and it leads her on a journey to discover herself and a community of outsiders that don’t fit in but don’t give up. Inspired by the life of comedian and singer Everett.

Studio The Mighty Mint/Duplass Brothers Productions

Team Hannah Bos (ep), Paul Thureen (ep), Carolyn Strauss (ep), Patricia Breen (ep), Jay Duplass (d, ep), Mark Duplass (ep), Mel Eslyn (ep), Tyler Romary (ep)

Cast Bridget Everett, Jeff Hiller, Mary Catherine Garrison, Danny McCarthy, Mike Hagerty

THE REHEARSAL (Ordered straight to series)

In a world where nothing seems to ever work out as you had hoped, Nathan Fielder gives people the opportunity to rehearse for their own lives.


Team Nathan Fielder (w, d, ep), Christie Smith (ep), Dan McManus (ep)

Cast Nathan Fielder



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