HBO Developing Baptist Comedy From 'Hand to God' Playwright (Exclusive)

Rob Askins  - H 2015
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HBO is turning to the playwright of the Tony-nominated Broadway production of Hand to God for its next comedy.

The premium cable network is developing half-hour comedy Brotherhood from playwright Robert Askins, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The comedy takes place at the largest Baptist university in the world where a young man joins a secret organization that has two goals: party harder than anyone else and write the funniest, most incisive campus humor magazine in history.

Askins will pen the script and executive produce the comedy for HBO alongside Jon Krisel (Man Seeking Woman), Danica Radovanov (Portlandia), Good Universe's Joe Drake, Nathan Kahane and Spencer Wong (This Is the End, Neighbors). Krisel is attached to direct should the comedy script move to pilot.

The project, which landed at HBO in a competitive situation with four other networks bidding, stems from Askins' experience in a rebel secret society at Baylor University. Brotherhood was pitched as Animal House set at a conservative college and told from the perspective of the administration and the secret society.

Brotherhood caps a strong 2015 for Askins, who was nominated for a Tony for his play Hand to God on Broadway. His other play, Permission, premiered at the Lortel Theatre. He's also sold a pitch through Chernin that's being developed through Discretionary and penned New Regency and Plan B's Black Hole for David Fincher.

Askins is repped by WME, Grandview and Shreck Law.

For HBO, Brotherhood comes after the cabler recently reversed course on a second season of political satire The Brink.