Amid the ongoing impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, which often evoke Watergate, HBO has greenlighted The White House Plumbers, a five-part limited series starring Woody Harrelson and Justin Theroux, which revisits one of the biggest political scandals in American history. The project hails from Veep executive producers Alex Gregory, Peter Huyck, David Mandel and Frank Rich, and Ruben Fleischer and David Bernad’s The District. The limited series is a co-production between HBO and wiip.
Written by Gregory and Huyck and directed by Mandel, The White House Plumbers is based part on public records and the book Integrity by Egil “Bud” Krogh and Matthew Krogh. The series tells the true story of how Nixon’s own political saboteurs and Watergate masterminds, E. Howard Hunt, played by Harrelson, and G. Gordon Liddy, played by Theroux, accidentally toppled the Presidency they were zealously trying to protect.
Harrelson and Theroux executive produce with Gregory, Huyck, and Mandel, alongside Fleischer and Bernad for The District, and Rich, who has a deal at HBO and exec produces the network’s buzzy drama Succession. Paul Lee and Nne Ebong executive produce for wiip.
“We’re excited to bring together such a talented team to take on this fascinating look at the internal machinations that brought down the Nixon White House,” said HBO programming president Casey Bloys. “We’re especially happy to welcome both Woody and Justin back to HBO and are looking forward to getting started.”
At HBO, Harrelson starred in the breakout first installment of True Detective, while Theroux headlined another praised series, The Leftovers.
The two recently worked together on ABC’s Emmy-winning special Live in Front of a Studio Audience, a recreation of classic episodes from the sitcoms All in the Family and The Jeffersons, on which Harrelson portrayed Archie Bunker and Theroux served as executive producer.
Harrelson also has a relationship with Fleischer after starring in his Zombieland movie franchise.
Fleischer and Bernad’s company was a main driver behind the project, thanks in part to a family connection Bernad has to Krough. The duo brought on board the writers and the two stars before taking The White House Plumbers to wiip.
Hunt and Liddy were CIA officers and members of the Nixon administration’s “plumbers”, a team of operatives charged with identifying government sources of national security information “leaks” to outside parties. Hunt and Liddy were the masterminds behind the Watergate burglaries and other clandestine operations for the Nixon administration. Hunt served 33 months in prison following convictions on burglary, conspiracy and wiretapping. Liddy was convicted of burglary, conspiracy and refusing to testify to the Senate committee investigating Watergate, and served nearly 52 months in federal prisons.
Harrelson can be seen in Fleischer’s Zombieland: Double Tap. He recently appeared in Lionsgate’s Midway, directed by Roland Emmerich, and started filming the sequel to Sony Picture’s Venom franchise this fall. Harrelson is also set to star alongside Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Netflix’s assassin thriller Kate, directed by Cedric Nicolas-Troyan. Additionally, he is set to executive produce and star in the limited series The Most Dangerous Man in America, an adaption of the book written by Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis.
Theroux stars in the Apple TV+ upcoming series adaptation of Mosquito Coast. He will also appear in the upcoming horror film, False Positive, with Ilana Glazer and Pierce Brosnan. Theroux won an Emmy as an executive producer on Live in Front of a Studio Audience. His recent work includes the Disney+ live-action remake of Lady and the Tramp. Theroux voices the lead Tramp.
Harrelson is repped by CAA and Steve Burkow at Ziffren Brittenham. Theroux is repped by Lighthouse Management & Media, CAA and Felker Toczek. Gregory and Huyck are repped by Ken Richman at Hansen Jacobson. Mandel is repped by WME for directing and Ken Richman. The District is repped by CAA and attorneys Warren Dern and Tom Collier. Egil “Bud” Krogh and Matthew Krogh are repped by Laura Dail Literary Agency and CAA.
Denise Petski contributed to this report.