Following its premiere on HBO Max in May, Hacks became a runaway hit, generating awards buzz and swiftly landing a Season 2 renewal. While the comedic two-hander’s success hinged on chemistry between its stars Jean Smart and Hannah Einbinder, it also has a great deal to do with the sharp scripts penned by series creators Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky.
In the pilot script “There Is No Line” (which you can read below), we’re introduced to legendary Las Vegas comedian Deborah Vance (Smart) and entitled, 25-year-old comedy writer Ava (Einbinder), watching as a dark mentorship between the pair takes both of their lives and careers in unexpected directions.
Deadline brings you the pilot as part of It Starts On the Page, a series highlighting the scripts that will serve as the creative backbones of the now-underway TV awards season. These scripts are all being submitted for Emmy Awards consideration this year and have been selected for our series using criteria that includes critical acclaim, selecting from a wide range of networks and platforms, and a mix of established and lesser-known shows.
Hailing from Universal Television, Hacks also stars Downs, Carl Clemons-Hopkins, Kaitlin Olson, Christopher McDonald, Mark Indelicato, Poppy Liu, Johnny Sibilly, Meg Stalter, Rose Abdoo and more.
Downs, Aniello and Statsky serve as showrunners and executive produce — Downs and Aniello via their company Paulilu and Statsky via First Thought Productions. The show’s other executive producers are Fremulon’s Michael Schur, 3 Arts Entertainment’s David Miner and Morgan Sackett.
Check out the script that sets the stage for Hacks: