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Tomlin, Byrne get new HBO shows

Lily Tomlin will star in an hour-long comedy series for HBO, created by husband-and-wife producers Harry Thomason and Linda Bloodworth-Thomason of “Designing Women” and “Evening Shade” sitcom fame.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Lily Tomlin will star in an hour-long comedy series for HBO, created by husband-and-wife producers Harry Thomason and Linda Bloodworth-Thomason of “Designing Women” and “Evening Shade” sitcom fame.

HBO also said Monday it has ordered a new half-hour drama from “Entourage” executive producer Mark Wahlberg and starring Gabriel Byrne.

The comedy, “12 miles of Bad Road,” features Tomlin as Amelia Shakespeare, head of a real estate company and matriarch of a wealthy Dallas family, HBO said Monday.

In the pilot, Mary Kay Place plays Amelia’s sister and Leslie Jordan plays a cousin. An air date has yet to be set, and HBO didn’t indicate how many episodes of the show it had ordered.

Tomlin co-starred in 2006’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” the last film released by director Robert Altman before his death. The actress-comedian has appeared in TV series including “The West Wing” and “Will & Grace.”

Thomason and Bloodworth-Thomason gained attention for more than their sitcom successes: They’re longtime friends of former President Bill Clinton and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and produced Democratic convention films for Bill Clinton, including 1992’s “The Man from Hope.”

The drama in the works for HBO is “In Treatment,” based on an Israeli series titled “In Therapy.” HBO has ordered 40 half-hour episodes, starring Byrne (“The Usual Suspects,” “Vanity Fair”) as a therapist. The pilot included Embeth Davidtz, Dianne Wiest and Blair Underwood.

In Israel, the series aired five nights a week, with each episode focusing on a counseling session with one or two of the therapist’s regular patients. HBO did not indicate whether its series would air the same way.

An air date for “In Treatment” has yet to be set, HBO said.