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HBO Is Making a Show about the Texas Legislature, and its Lone Star Roots Are Strong

A new HBO show, penned by a Texas writer, takes on the Texas lege.
A new HBO show, penned by a Texas writer, takes on the Texas lege.

Texas has always had its share of great characters and story lines. Davy Crockett and the Alamo. Lyndon B. Johnson and Texas politics. Rick Perry and, well, whatever he happened to say on a particular day. Recently, though, there seems to have been some coastal poaching on our dry land.

All The Way, a play about LBJ's maneuvering to push the Civil Rights Act through Congress, premiered on Broadway in March. Texas Monthly writer Mimi Swartz thought Bryan Cranston, fresh off Breaking Bad, portrayed the former president as a caricature, a Texas stereotype. She also thought the average-sized Cranston was too short to play the 6-foot-4 Johnson.

Then there is Halt and Catch Fire, which premiered on AMC on June 1. It takes place in Dallas in the 1980s and follows an engineer, a coding prodigy and a ballsy (and handsy!) salesman, all battling with IBM to build a better PC. We wrote recently about the show's unlikely origins: it's the first real screenwriting credit for the writer, Plano native Chris Cantwell. It also was shot in an unlikely location, Georgia, because in Hollywood tax incentives win all.

Now there's God Save Texas, which HBO recently greenlit. The show has a great setting for drama: the Texas legislature. Based on a play, Sonny's Last Shot, by Lawrence Wright, the TV series focuses on an idealistic cowboy who runs for office in Austin and gets caught up with lobbyists, according to Deadline.com. Wright, grew up in Dallas and lives in Austin, will also write and co-produce the show.

Wright won a Pulitzer for his book The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, an intimate look, which is sometimes too close for comfort, into the life of Osama bin-Laden and the men who tried to bring him down before the towers were hit. He also wrote the 1998 movie The Siege, starring Denzel Washington and Bruce Willis, about terrorists attacking New York after the United States abducts a terrorist suspect.

When reached for comment by email about the show, Wright told Unfair Park: "It's still too early to talk about it. I'm just writing the pilot now; it's a long way from the popcorn."

Send your story tips to the author, Sky Chadde.


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