11:45am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Mike Judge Solidifies HBO Future With Rich Overall Deal, Pair of Series Orders
Mike Judge is staying put at HBO.
The Silicon Valley co-creator has inked a new, rich two-year overall deal extension with the premium cable network that includes production commitments for a pair of two new comedies: QualityLand and A5. Both series reunite Judge with writers he previously worked with on shows including King of the Hill, Silicon Valley and Beavis and Butt-Head.
The pact, which sources peg as in the eight-figure range, arrives as many — including Judge — have hinted that the upcoming sixth season of Silicon Valley could be its last. (HBO has declined comment on any endgame plans for the awards darling.) The overall deal includes all forms of TV, save for animation. Judge currently has Tales From the Tour Bus — an animated country western-themed documentary comedy airing on HBO sibling Cinemax and has been mulling a revival of former Fox hit King of the Hill.
QualityLand is described as the story of humanity's struggle against the tyranny of convenience. Judge will co-write and executive produce the pilot with Josh Lieb (Silicon Valley, The Tonight Show, The Daily Show). The series is based on the novel of the same name by Marc-Uwe Kling and is a co-production between HBO and Lionsgate.
A5, meanwhile, is described as a limited series centered on a bioengineer who discovers the gene that makes a person an asshole and attempts to answer the questions nagging at all of us: Why do assholes exist? Why have they come to dominate our culture? And can they be cured?
Judge will co-write and exec produce alongside Etan Cohen (King of the Hill, Beavis and Butt-Head). Rotenberg and 3 Arts Productions are also attached as exec producers.
The Judge pact and pair of series arrive as HBO is ramping up its originals as new corporate parent WarnerMedia looks for more from its new crown jewel. The deal helps keep Judge in the HBO fold as WarnerMedia ramps up its streaming service, which will also include content from all of its cable networks, including the premium outlet.
The Judge deal arrives as the market for top showrunners continues to explode as media behemoths including Disney and Comcast are entering the streaming space to compete with Netflix, Amazon and upstart Apple. Streamers like Netflix have driven up the price — and demand — for top showrunners like Judge.
Judge is repped by WME, 3 Arts and Morris Yorn. Cohen is with CAA and Mosaic.
QualityLand and A5 join a comedy roster at HBO that also includes Ballers, Barry, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Divorce, Insecure, Los Espookys and the recently ordered Run. A return date for Silicon Valley has not been determined.