Recently we sat down with Sue Naegle, the president of entertainment for HBO, to talk about the state of scripted series at the premium cable network.
At one point, we asked Ms. Naegle about Frank Rich and Tina Brown’s role at the network.
Last time we checked in with HBO, in the first half of 2008, both Ms. Brown, the founder and editor of the Daily Beast, and Mr. Rich, the New York Times columnist, had signed on as creative consultants for the network.
All these months later, were Ms. Brown and Mr. Rich, we wondered, still sifting through the tides of culture in search of potential development ideas?
As it turns out … yes!
Ms. Naegle said that she still talks with Mr. Rich and Ms. Brown on a recurring basis.
“They’re working with material just like producers work with material,” said Ms. Naegle. “We talk with them fairly often.”
So far, Ms. Brown has already teamed up with the producer Bill Haber on one project for HBO, optioning Tom Wolfe’s I am Charlotte Simmons for an hour-long series.
And last week, shortly after arriving in town from L.A., Ms. Naegle headed off to the Union Square Cafe for a dinner with Mr. Rich.
“Frank has got such a ravenous interest in so many things,” said Ms. Naegle.
The Observer has learned that Mr. Rich is currently working on a project for HBO with the actor James Gandolfini (of The Sopranos fame) and Roberto Benabib, the co-executive producer of Showtime’s Weeds. The project is apparently still in its embryonic stages.
In the meantime, Ms. Naegle continues to discuss ideas with Ms. Brown and Mr. Rich on a semi-regular basis.
“They do have day jobs,” said Ms. Naegle. “But when they have something they are passionate about and want to say creatively, we talk.”