If you’re not a fan of the HBO series Veep – or a connoisseur of British comedy over the last twenty years or so – then it’s very possible that Iannucci’s name means very little to you, and the news that he is working on a new sitcom pilot for HBO set in Silicon Valley and looking at the tech industry something that may at best raise a quasi-interested “huh,” but little else. Nevertheless, this is very good news for those who would like to see smart commentary on the tech world, especially if “smart” comes with a side of “sarcastic, caustic comedy and a healthy sense of the absurd.”
For close to twenty years now, Iannucci has been responsible for some of the best comedy in the United Kingdom, working as a producer and writer on such projects as On The Hour and The Day Today – Chris Morris’ faux-news shows that predicted the rise of The Onion – as well as Steve Coogan’s various Alan Partridge spin-offs and the critically-acclaimed political sitcom The Thick of It (Not to mention its big-screen spin-off In The Loop), before launching a career in American television with the HBO series Veep. Now, it seems, he wants to give up on political writing and look at where the real power is these days.
Talking to Andrew Rawnsley in the Guardian to promote the fourth season of The Thick of It, Iannucci said, “Probably this will be the last series of The Thick of It. The door is left open at the end to come back and do specials, but I feel I have explored every crevice now and it’s time to take stock and move on. I’m thinking about the power of the internet.” What interests Iannucci, and will influence the new pilot is, he explained, the new power structure created by the Internet and the youth of those in charge of the largest companies in that particular area. “Microsoft, Google, Facebook; you have these twentysomethings who have a way into billions of households. Where’s the power gone? The power is gravitating towards these companies,” he told Rawnsley, adding, “I’m also interested in that personal thing of what it does to you when you’re 25 and you’re a multibillionaire and everyone in the world knows who you are.”
Iannucci has reportedly already finished the script, which has been handed in to HBO. Given the performance of Veep, it’s unsurprising that HBO would look to the writer and producer for another show; we can only hope that the channel is happy enough with the script to give the show the greenlight.