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‘Wag The Dog’ Comedy Series In Works At HBO

Deadline logo Deadline 4/27/2017 Denise Petski
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HBO is teaming with Barry Levinson and Robert De Niro on a small screen version of Wag the Dog.

The premium cabler and Oscar winner Levinson are developing the 1997 political satire, which Levinson produced and directed and De Niro starred, as a half-hour comedy series. It hails from Warner Bros. TV, whose sibling New Line Cinema produced the original feature.

HBO describes the series as “an ode to the classic film, but moving the weapons of mass distraction beyond politics and into business, entertainment, and yes, non-profits. In the 21st Century with the tools of social media at their hands, nothing is off limits to a small group of operators when it comes to manufacturing reality. Fake news is so yesterday.”

Levinson is attached to direct the series and executive produce with Tom Fontana via their Levinson/Fontana Co. Jason Sosnoff also is an executive producer.

Rajiv Joseph (Draft Day, Army of One) will pen the adaptation and also exec produce with de Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Berry Welsh via De Niro’s Tribeca Productions. David Brock will serve as consultant.

The film Wag the Dog follows a Washington, D.C. spin doctor (De Niro) who, just days before a presidential election, distracts the electorate from a sex scandal by hiring a Hollywood film producer (Hoffman) to construct a fake war with Albania. The film earned Oscar noms for Hoffman and screenwriter David Mamet. The movie grossed $64.3 million worldwide.

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