HBO Announces Duplass Brothers’ 1970s Auto-Scam Docuseries, Sets ‘Coastal Elites’ Premiere Date

The creators of "Room 104" are gearing up for a new docuseries about an entrepreneur behind an infamous 1970s auto scam.
Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass
Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

The Duplass Brothers and HBO Documentary Films are producing “The Lady and the Dale,” a docuseries that will explore an audacious 1970s auto scam centered around a mysterious entrepreneur.

Per HBO’s synopsis, said mysterious entrepreneur is Elizabeth Carmichael, who rose to prominence when she released a fuel-efficient three-wheeled vehicle during the 1970s gas crisis. As she wins over major carmakers and investors, a web of mystery unfolds regarding the car’s technology and Carmichael’s surprising past. A portrait of an extraordinary entrepreneur’s rise and eventual fall, the series explores a one-of-a-kind story of fraud, family and identity.

“The Lady and the Dale” is expected to air in 2021. The Duplass Brothers will executive-produce alongside Mel Eslyn, Andre Gaines, Allen Bain, Nick Cammilleri, Alana Carithers, and Zackary Drucker.

In other nonfiction news, HBO also announced “Seen & Heard,” a two-part documentary that will explore the history of Black television as seen through the eyes of trailblazers who wrote, produced, created, and starred in groundbreaking series of the past and present. The documentary will offer cultural commentary about representation in Black storytelling and feature interviews with actors, showrunners, writers, and celebrities, among others.

“Seen & Heard” will be produced and directed by Phil Bertelsen and executive-produced by Issa Rae and Montrel McKay. 3 Arts Entertainment and Ark Media will also executive-produce.

Rae is also involved in HBO’s “Coastal Elites,” as announced to debut on September 12. The comedic satire  tells contemporary stories of characters breaking down and breaking through as they grapple with politics, culture, and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “Coastal Elites” stars Bette Midler, Kaitlyn Dever, Dan Levy, Sarah Paulson, and Rae. The project was originally conceived for the Public Theater in New York but shifted from the stage to the small screen due to the pandemic.

HBO also announced a wide variety of other documentaries that will premiere throughout the rest of 2020, including “The Vow,” “Yusuf Hawking: Storm Over Brooklyn,” “Siempre, Luis,” “Crazy, Not Insane,” “Baby God,” “The Mystery of DB Cooper,” “Alabama Snake,” “The Art of Political Murder,” “Axios,” Transhood,” and “The Soul of America.” Additional details about all of those upcoming documentaries can be found here.

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