WHAT: Yesterday HBO announced it had greenlit Westworld, a new series that teams Jonathan Nolan (the brother of filmmaker Christopher Nolan) with Bad Robot (the production company of J.J. Abrams). Today, Hulu announced a straight-to-series order for Difficult People, a half-hour comedy produced by Amy Poehler. Both shows are set to debut some time in 2015.
Westworld is based on a 1973 novel by Michael Crichton about a robot theme park filled with “murder, violence, wild sexual abandon” and the one man who “stands alone against the berserk machines bent on total slaughter” (thanks for the description, Good Reads). The series will be written, directed, and executive produced by Jonathan Nolan. The show stars Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, and Jeffrey Wright, among others.
Difficult People, which is set in New York City, stars real-life comedians Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner as best friends and struggling comedians who “can’t figure out why they aren’t likeable” (thanks for the description, press release). Klausner wrote the pilot and will serve as an executive producer for the series along with Poehler and Dave Becky (Louie).
THE VERDICT: Cool. Both shows like something we’d watch. Poehler is already one of our favorite awards show hosts and carpool buddies. And anything J.J. Abrams has a hand in is worth checking out. We’re beyond curious about 11/22/63, Abrams’s adaptation of the Stephen King novel about a time traveler trying to stop the assassination of John F. Kennedy; Hulu greenlit that show back in September.