Don’t Expect HBO’s Treme To Devote a Season To Drama at The New Orleans Times-Picayune

This afternoon, David Simon, the creator of HBO’s The Wire, had lunch with a crowd of journalists at Aureole on West 42nd Street to answer questions about his new series Treme, which is set in post-Katrina New Orleans and which debuts on HBO on April 11.

Mr. Simon spent a good chunk of his career as a crime reporter at The Baltimore Sun. He set much of the fifth season of The Wire in the post-Tribune newsroom of The Sun.

At one point during the lunch, Rebecca Dana of The Daily Beast asked Mr. Simon how much of a role, if any, The New Orleans Times-Picayune would play in the new series.

Mr. Simon said that while shooting the first season of Treme, he spent one day at the Times-Picayune offices where the bosses struck him as a touch nervous about his presence (the portrayal of The Baltimore Sun executives in The Wire was something less than sunny).

But it sounds like the Times-Picayune brass have little to worry about. From what he said today, Mr. Simon didn‘t sound like a man interested in devoting another season of TV to plumbing the sad dramatic depths of today’s daily newspaper culture.

“Never tell the same story twice,” said Mr. Simon.

That said, Mr. Simon did put one group of media types on notice–namely, the judges of the Emmy awards.

Mr. Simon said that if Wendell Piece, who stars in Treme, doesn’t win an Emmy for his work in the series that Mr. Simon would travel to L.A. personally to slash the tires of the no-good judges.