Deborah Vance (Jean Smart) is making her own kind of music with a new stand-up set, and the world better watch out.
Emmy-winning HBO Max series “Hacks” returns May 12, with Smart reprising her Emmy-winning role as Las Vegas comedian Deborah Vance who, with the help of millennial writer Ava (Hanah Einbinder), tries to evolve her act. Ava and Deborah embark on a cross-country tour to workshop their new material.
Showrunners Paul W. Downs, Lucia Aniello, and Jen Statsky previously teased during SCAD TVFest that Deborah will “keep bombing” her stand-up set on the road.
“It might be something novel and might be something exciting in the beginning, but someone like her who has fans that come to see her, and sells out a 2,000-seat theater in Vegas and crushes, what is it like when you’re on the road in small venues and not doing well?” Downs said. “What does that do to your spirit, and what does that do to your relationship, and what does that do to your psyche?”
Per an official Season 2 synopsis, the series will also dive deeper into the “dark mentorship” between Ava and Deborah, especially since Ava shared defamatory information to producers at the end of Season 1.
Smart won an Emmy, SAG, and Critics Choice Award for her performance as Deborah, while co-stars Einbinder, Carl Clemons-Hopkins, and Jane Adams were all nominated for Emmys last year for their respective roles. “Hacks” additionally won two more Emmys for writing and directing in a Comedy Series.
Returning Season 2 cast members include Christopher McDonald, Kaitlin Olson, Paul W. Downs, Poppy Liu, Rose Abdoo, Mark Indelicato, Meg Stalter, Angela E. Gibbs, Luenell, Johnny Sibilly, Joe Mande, Ally Maki, and Lorenza Izzo.
New recurring guest stars are Laurie Metcalf, Martha Kelly, Ming-Na Wen, and Susie Essman, and guest stars Margaret Cho and Devon Sawa also join in the new season.
HBO Max and Universal Television announced that Season 2 will premiere with two episodes May 12, followed by two episodes per week, concluding June 2.
The eight-episode season is created and showrun by Emmy winners Downs, Aniello, and Statsky, who all executive produce. Emmy winners Michael Schur via Fremulon, David Miner for 3 Arts Entertainment, and Morgan Sackett also serve as executive producers.
“Hacks” Season 2 premieres May 12 on HBO Max.
Check out the trailer below.