HBO Orders Tycoon Family Drama From Adam McKay, Jihadi Recruitment Project From Kathryn Bigelow

'Succession' is being directed by 'The Big Short's' McKay and exec produced by Will Ferrell; 'Mogadishu, Minnesota' grapples with what it means to be American as the premium cabler adds to its pilot orders.
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K’naan Warsame, Kathryn Bigelow

HBO is expanding its drama pilot offerings.

The premium cable network has ordered two family drama pilots: Succession, from Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, and Mogadishu, Minnesota, from Kathryn Bigelow, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Succession follows the saga of a fictional, American global-media family that is not only rich and powerful but also powerfully dysfunctional. The drama will explore family loyalty, international business and the perils of power in the 21st century.

Jesse Armstrong will pen the script and executive produce the project alongside The Big Short's McKay, who will direct the pilot. Ferrell, Kevin Messick and Frank Rich also will exec produce. Armstrong co-created and co-wrote nine seasons of BAFTA-winning U.K. comedy Peep Show. His credits also include Veep, Four Lions and episodes of Black Mirror. McKay is fresh off a best adapted screenplay Oscar win with co-writer Charles Randolph for The Big Short. Rich, meanwhile, is a creative consultant at HBO and exec produces Emmy darling Veep.

The pilot pickup comes as the Redstone family and Viacom continue to battle it out over Sumner Redstone's trust.

Mogadishu, Minnesota, meanwhile, is described as a family drama that grapples with what it means to be American among the Somalis of Minneapolis. The project was first announced in December, with the early logline of the original idea set to "draw open an iron curtain behind which viewers will see the highly impenetrable world of Jihadi recruitment."

The Hurt Locker's Bigelow will exec produce the drama alongside Somali Canadian rapper-singer-songwriter-poet K'naan Warsame, who will pen the script, exec produce and direct the pilot. Former HBO president Carolyn Strauss also will exec produce.

For HBO, the pilot pickups mark the first to come under new president of programming Casey Bloys. They join a roster of dramas in the works that also includes Jason Katims entry Us; an untitled Capitol Hill drama from David Simon; and the revived Big Dead Place. On the drama side, HBO next has Sharp Objects; David Simon's The Deuce; and its twice-delayed Westworld reboot, among others.

Warsame and Bigelow are repped by CAA and Sloane Offer; McKay is with WME; and Armstrong is handled by UTA and Independent Talent Group.

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