HBO's 'Hung' up on Payne


Oscar winner Alexander Payne is set to make his TV debut with HBO's dark comedy project "Hung."

With Payne on board, the project has been greenlighted to pilot, marking the first pilot pickup for HBO's new entertainment president Sue Naegle.

Naegle bought the spec script by "The Riches" creator Dmitry Lipkin and Colette Burson days after she took the reins of HBO's series development last month and put it on a fast track.

"Hung" centers on an well-endowed struggling middle-aged high school basketball coach who figures out a way to use his best asset.

Payne also will serve as an exec producer on the pilot along with Lipkin, Burson and Blueprint Entertainment's Michael Rosenberg, John Morayniss and Noreen Halpern.

A search will begin shortly for an actor to play the lead.

Payne, who won an Oscar in 2005 for writing "Sideways," is repped by WMA and attorney John Diemer. (partialdiff)