The end of 30 Rock did not spell the end of Alec Baldwin’s reign on TV – he just couldn’t stay away. The veteran movie star who won over TV audiences with his indelible turn as the ruthless, yet lovable wealthy businessman Jack Donaghy has already been tapped to star as a similarly powerful NYC socialite in a new HBO series, which he will also executive produce, reports Deadline.
In the yet-to-be-named show, Baldwin will play left-leaning billionaire Joe Byrne, who’s a divorced, womanizing real estate developer, philanthropist, and frequent tabloid victim. When the current NYC mayor is forced to leave office due to a tragedy, Byrne is somehow thrown into the position to replace him. Deadline calls the political drama dark, but not “pitch black” like Netflix’s House of Cards, hoping to strike a Sopranos vibe. While that’s much easier said than done, given the intriguing setup, and Baldwin’s considerable chops, there’s no telling where the script can take the story.
Not surprisingly following Baldwin’s Emmy-winning turn on 30 Rock (and the solid storyline), there were reportedly multiple bidders vying for the show. According to the report, the deal HBO struck requires that the first season runs in its entirety. So there’s no risk of a mid-season cancellation, but also far more pressure for the episodes to deliver the goods to secure a second season.
Cary Brokaw will serve as executive producer alongside Baldwin, and the script will be written by short story and non-fiction writer Wells Tower. The show will be shot on location in the Big Apple some time in the Fall, with a director still to be determined.
Television has been delving deep into politics with a number of shows – from ABC’s Scandal, to House of Cards, HBO’s VEEP, and CBS’s Madame Secretary, just to name a few. While Baldwin is best know for his comedic prowess, it seems this show will take him back to his roots, into much murkier territory.
It may also be a case of art imitating life, as Baldwin is no stranger to the world of politics, having considered dabbling in it himself in the past. He wouldn’t be the first celebrity to do so, of course. (Ah-nald, we’re looking at you.) Baldwin is sure to nail the portrayal, and offer a great mix of comedy with drama.