12:30pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Armando Iannucci's Space Comedy 'Avenue 5' Ordered to Series at HBO
As Veep is hurtling toward its series finale, HBO is officially getting back in business with series creator Armando Iannucci.
The premium cable network has handed out a series order to Avenue 5, a futuristic space comedy from the Veep creator. The pickup comes as little surprise as HBO had already commissioned backup scripts along with the pilot order. A formal episode count and premiere date have not been determined.
Avenue 5 is described as a space tourism comedy set 40 years in the future when the solar system is everyone's oyster. Hugh Laurie (House) stars as the captain. Josh Gad, Zach Woods, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Rebecca Front, Lenora Crichlow, Suzy Nakamura and Ethan Phillips round out the cast.
Avenue 5 marks a reunion for Laurie and Iannucci after the actor had a recurring guest role in the fourth season of the Julia Louis-Dreyfus-led comedy Veep and completed production in the writer-producer's feature film The Personal History of David Copperfield.
Avenue 5 was picked up to pilot last September and filmed in London, where Iannucci lives. The project marks his return to HBO after he stepped down as showrunner on Veep at the end of season four.
Iannucci created the series, directed the pilot and executive produces alongside Kevin Loader, Simon Blackwell, Tony Roche and Will Smith.
Avenue 5 joins a rapidly growing roster of scripted comedies at HBO that includes this year's Los Espookys, The Righteous Gemstones, Ballers, Divorce, Room 104, A Black Lady Sketch Show, Mrs. Fletcher, Silicon Valley and, in 2020, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Insecure, Run, season three of Barry and High Maintenance.
HBO is under a larger mandate from new corporate parent AT&T (now WarnerMedia) to grow its scripted originals. This year, the pay cabler is opening up a second night of originals on Mondays.