Cinemax is about to get a whole lot classier.
The premium cable channel, notorious for the kind of pulpy programming that has earned it the nickname ‘Skinemax,’ will partner with venerated director Steven Soderbergh and Golden Globe-winning actor Clive Owen to bring The Knick, a period drama centered on Knickerbocker Hospital in downtown New York, to its viewers next year.
According to Screen Rant, Soderbergh will direct all ten ordered episodes of The Knick‘s first season, which will commence filming in New York this September. Owen is set to star in the series, but no further cast members have been announced.
Though Soderbergh recently announced his retirement from filmmaking, that evidently doesn’t extend to his work on television, luckily for Cinemax.
HBO programming president Michael Lombardo released a statement saying that HBO is “thrilled that Steven and Clive have chosen to bring this unique and exciting series to Cinemax.”
According to Cinemax, the series, set in 1900, will explore the lives of Knickerbocker Hospital’s “groundbreaking surgeons, nurses and staff, who push the bounds of medicine in a time of astonishingly high mortality rates and zero antibiotics.”
Jack Amiel and Michael Begler, who previously wrote the screenplays for Big Miracle and Raising Helen, wrote the pilot for The Knick and will serve as executive producers for the show. Other executive producers on board include Soderbergh, Owen, Rendition‘s Michael Sugar, and frequent Soderbergh collaborator Gregory Jacobs.
The big names behind The Knick will likely make it a force to be reckoned with in 2014, which is great news for Cinemax. The network has consistently trailed behind sister channel HBO in terms of quality programming.
While HBO pulled in a grand total of 108 Emmy nominations this month for programming such as Game of Thrones, The Newsroom, and Soderbergh’s own Behind the Candelabra, Cinemax received a grand total of 0 nominations. The channel only airs three original shows at this time, all high-octane action thrillers that fall under the ‘boobs-and-bullets’ subcategory: Strike Back, Banshee, and Hunted. None of them have been met with the same critical acclaim that HBO’s shows have received.
The Knick indicates that Cinemax is interested in increasing the quality of its original programming, and with Soderbergh and Owen pulling the strings, the show seems like a surefire hit. We’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for it next year.
What do you think? Is Steven Soderbergh the right man to give Cinemax a boost in quality programming? Does The Knick sound like the kind of show you’d watch? And most importantly, can Clive Owen really pull off a New York accent? Sound off below in the comments section.
Source: Screen Rant