Jean Smart is a four-time Emmy nominee thanks to “24,” “Fargo,” “Watchmen,” and “Samantha Who?,” the latter of which won her the Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy. All of Smart’s Emmy nominations so far have been in supporting categories (“Watchmen” and “Fargo” for limited series, “24” for drama series), which means the beloved actress is long overdue to break into one of the lead acting races. Well, here comes “Hacks.” The upcoming HBO Max comedy series gives Smart a juicy comedic lead and is debuting in May during the Emmys eligibility window.
Per HBO Max’s official synopsis, “Hacks” explores “a dark mentorship that forms between Deborah Vance (Smart), a legendary Las Vegas comedian, and an entitled outcast, 25-year-old (Hannah Einbinder).” The 10-episode debut season of “Hacks” will premiere with two episodes on Thursday, May 12, followed by two episodes each Thursday for the following four weeks. The two-episode finale is set to air June 10.
In addition to Smart and Einbinder, “Hacks” stars series regular Carl Clemons-Hopkins and recurring guest stars Kaitlin Olson, Christopher McDonald, Paul W. Downs, Mark Indelicato, Poppy Liu, Johnny Sibilly, Meg Stalter and Rose Abdoo.
“Hacks” is created and showrun by Paul W. Downs, Lucia Aniello and Jen Statsky. It is executive produced by Downs and Aniello via their Paulilu banner, Statsky via First Thought Productions, as well as Emmy winners Michael Schur via Fremulon, David Miner for 3 Arts Entertainment and Morgan Sackett. The studio is Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group.
HBO Max launched in May 2020, which means the upcoming Emmys season will be the streamer’s first chance to bring home some hardware for its original series. Perhaps the biggest HBO Max Emmys contender at the moment is “The Flight Attendant,” the Kaley Cuoco-led series that became a buzzy word-of-mouth hit last holiday season. The show earned Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Comedy Series and Best Actress in a Comedy Series, plus Screen Actors Guild noms for Best Actress in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Cast in a Comedy Series. “Hacks” could give HBO Max a second heavyweight comedy contender.
Watch the official trailer for “Hacks” in the video below.