As Armando Iannucci’s Veep is airing its final season on HBO, the premium cable network has picked up a new series from the British creator. HBO has given a series order to Iannucci’s space comedy pilot Avenue 5, starring Hugh Laurie, Josh Gad, Zach Woods and Nikki Amuka-Bird.
Created, written and executive produced by Iannucci, who directed the pilot, Avenue 5 is space tourism comedy set 40 years in the future when the solar system is everyone’s oyster. With Hugh Laurie as the Captain, nothing can go wrong. Rebecca Front, Lenora Crichlow, Suzy Nakamura and Ethan Phillips co-star.
Kevin Loader, Simon Blackwell, Tony Roche and Will Smith executive produce.
Laurie is Ryan Clark, Captain of space cruise ship Avenue 5. Gad plays Herman Judd, the billionaire face and name behind Avenue 5 and the whole Judd brand, including hotels, fitness clubs and space tourism. Woods is Matt Spencer, Head of Customer Relations.
Amuka-Bird portrays Rav Mulcair, Head of Judd Mission Control on Earth. Front is Karen Kelly, a born leader who illicitly boarded Avenue 5 using her sister’s non-transferable ticket. Crichlow plays Billie McEvoy, the second engineer. Nakamura is Iris Kimura, Judd’s right-hand-woman. Phillips portrays Spike Martin, an elderly space enthusiast and former astronaut who is a grizzled womanizer and heavy drinker.
Iannucci created HBO’s Veep starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and executive produced/ran the show for its first four seasons. He stepped down in 2015, citing the toll that producing a series in the U.S. had taken on him and his London-based family, but he remained in business with HBO. Now in its seventh and final season, Veep won three consecutive Emmys for Outstanding Comedy Series, starting with Iannucci’s final season on the show.
Iannucci received an Oscar nomination for his screenplay for the film In The Loop. His BBC series The Thick of It was nominated for 13 BAFTA Awards, winning five during its four-season run. He’s currently in post-production on The Personal History of David Copperfield, his film adaptation of Charles’ Dickens’ David Copperfield.
With Avenue 5′s pickup to series, the only remaining HBO pilot is the Game of Thrones prequel starring Naomi Watts.