Tuesday was a good day to be an HBO fan: The cable network picked up Larry David’s long-running comedy series “Curb Your Enthusiasm” for Season 11 and ordered “Unruly,” a Mahershala Ali-led limited series about boxer Jack Johnson.
“Curb Your Enthusiasm” originally debuted in 2001 and has endured as one of the network’s most popular and critically acclaimed comedies. The series follows a fictionalized version of David and boasts an unconventional production where cast members improvise many of their lines. The show’s 10th season wrapped up in March with its 100th episode.
“This past season tapped into the zeitgeist in such an uncomfortably delightful way,” Amy Gravitt, executive vice president of HBO programming, said in a statement. “Larry is already busy writing, and we can’t wait to see what he has in store.”
“Curb Your Enthusiasm” Season 10 brought back series veterans such as Susie Essman, Jeff Garlin, Cheryl Hines, Richard Lewis, J.B. Smoove, and Ted Danson. There’s no word on cast details or guest stars for Season 11 — the show is also known for its numerous celebrity cameos — or a release date, but David appeared suitably enthused about the renewal.
“Believe me, I’m as upset about this as you are. One day I can only hope that HBO will come to their senses and grant me the cancellation I so richly deserve,” David said in a statement.
As for “Unruly,” Variety reported that Ali is set to portray boxer Jack Johnson in the upcoming limited series. The publication reported that “Unruly” will be “unapologetically Black” and will be a no-holds-barred telling of Johnson’s life as history’s first Black heavyweight boxing champion. The show will reportedly follow Johnson’s rise to greatness and the costs he paid for his skin color and defiance.
“Unruly” will be based on the PBS documentary “Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson.” That documentary was produced and directed by genre veteran Ken Burns. “Unruly” will be written and executive produced by Dominique Morisseau, whose credits include “Shameless,” “Step,” and Broadway musical “Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations.” Ali will also executive produce “Unruly” alongside Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman, Burns, Mimi Mimi Valdés, and Amatus Kari. Beau Willimon, who initiated the project at HBO back in 2013, will co-executive produce alongside Steven Shareshian.