HBO is sharing all kinds of news today from the TCAs.
Now we're hearing from The Deuce and getting our first word that, yes, James Franco is still a part of the series after being accused of less than savory behavior shortly after he won his Globe Award for his performance in The Disaster Artist.
Chronicling the rise of pornography and the multibillion-dollar industry’s transformation of American culture, the critically acclaimed drama series The Deuce, created by George Pelecanos and David Simon, returns for its nine-episode second season Sunday, Sept. 9 (10/9c), exclusively on HBO.
Resuming five years after the culmination of the first season, The Deuce returns to the world of 1977, capturing the Times Square area of midtown New York at its most garish and volatile.
The series is also available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and affiliate portals.
Amid a city that is as culturally dynamic as it is dystopic, the show finds its protagonists living at the apex of the Golden Age of Porn, when the dream of a mainstream X-rated film business is a suddenly a credible reality, and the culture of pornography and its blatant commodification of sex is finding increasing traction among more and more Americans.
Disco and punk are in full swing, and police corruption and political tolerance for New York’s midtown demimonde is at its height.
And the Mafia, the early backer of pornography at the moment when courts declared for its legality, is now seemingly poised to reap great profits. A comparable – and, in some ways, more professional – porn industry is rising on the West Coast as well.
But for now, New York is holding its own in a city flush with movies, music and art, as the drug-fueled party rages around the clock.
"This is the moment when it genuinely seemed for the first time that hardcore pornography was going to become mainstreamed into American culture and psyche," says David Simon. "And in a very real sense that would happen to a profound degree, though not in the ways that our protagonists once imagined."
Created by George Pelecanos and David Simon, both veterans of the HBO series The Wire and Treme, The Deuce is executive produced by Pelecanos, Simon, Nina K. Noble and James Franco.
The drama stars James Franco as both Vincent Martino, a successful manager of several mob-backed nightspots, and his twin brother, Frankie Martino, whose own business ventures are more fraught, and Maggie Gyllenhaal as Candy, now a rising director of ambitious porn films.
The returning cast also includes Gary Carr (Downton Abbey) as C.C. and Gbenga Akinnagbe (The Wire) as Larry Brown, both Eighth Avenue pimps coping with the changing realities of the sex trade.
Margarita Levieva (Revenge) returns as Abigail Abby Parker, who brings her artistic and political sensibilities to the Hi-Hat bar while navigating life with Vincent and Dominique Fishback (The Knick) and Emily Meade (The Leftovers) return as prostitutes Darlene and Lori who gain some independence as their film careers rise.
Lawrence Gilliard, Jr. (The Wire) as NYPD detective Chris Alston; Chris Bauer (The Wire) as massage parlor manager and Martino brother-in-law Bobby Dwyer; Michael Rispoli (The Sopranos) as Mafia capo Rudy Pipilo; and Chris Coy (Banshee) as nightclub proprietor Paul Hendrickson.
Season two finds Luke Kirby (Rectify) joining the cast as a series regular as Gene Goldman, an incoming Koch administration official bent on reform, and Jamie Neumann (The Looming Tower) joining the cast as Ashley, a former sex worker turned activist.
Guests include Zoe Kazan (The Big Sick), Ralph Macchio (The Karate Kid), Mustafa Shakir (Marvel’s Luke Cage), David Krumholtz (Living Biblically), Don Harvey (The Night Of), Cliff Method Man Smith (8 Mile), Daniel Sauli (House of Cards) and Sepidah Moafi (Falling Water).
Season two writers include David Simon (The Wire and Treme), George Pelecanos (The Wire and The Pacific), Richard Price (The Night Of), Anya Epstein (The Affair, In Treatment), Carl Capotorto (Vinyl), Megan Abbott (Give Me Your Hand), Stephani DeLuca, Will Ralston (Treme) and Chris Yakaitis (Treme).
Season two directors include Alex Hall (Treme), Steph Green (The Americans), Uta Briesewitz (Orange Is the New Black, Westworld), Zetna Fuentes (Jane the Virgin), Susanna White (Generation Kill), Tricia Brock (Mozart in the Jungle, Younger), Tanya Hamilton (The Chi) and Minkie Spiro (Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey).
In addition to The Wire, creators David Simon and George Pelecanos also collaborated on HBO’s New Orleans drama Treme. Simon is an author, journalist, and producer whose other works for HBO include The Corner, Generation Kill and Show Me a Hero.
Pelecanos is the author of 20 critically acclaimed novels, including The Double and The Turnaround, as well as a screenwriter and film producer, and served as a writer and co-producer on HBO’s The Pacific. His next novel, The Man Who Came Uptown, will be published Sept. 4.
The Deuce was created by George Pelecanos and David Simon; executive producers, George Pelecanos, David Simon, Nina K. Noble and James Franco; co-executive producer, Richard Price.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the (), enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.