David Milch is back with a new HBO series, and he’s a long way from Deadwood.
The creator and head writer of HBO’s sweary, historical drama is heading farther west with a new series about a dysfunctional family of champion surfers.
Based on a rough cut of his pilot, HBO has ordered a total of twelve episodes of John from Cincinatti, a drama about the fictional Yost clan of Imperial Beach, California, and the disruptions caused by the arrivals of a young, rich “savant” from Ohio who wants to learn how to surf–and a man who’s out for revenge after the family spurned him years ago.
The Milch series boasts another strong ensemble cast, including Bruce Greenwood as patriarch and former surfing star Mitch; Rebecca De Mornay as his unhappy wife; Cissy; Brian Van Holt as their drug addict- and former surfing champ son, Butchie; and, to make it three generations, Greyson Fletcher as Butchie’s boy, Shaun. Austin Nichols plays John from Cincinatti, and there’s also room for Luis Guzman and Ed O’Neill.Milch wrote the pilot script with surfer novelist Kem Nunn, based in part on the lives of the legendary surfer Herbie Fletcher and his family of wave riding stars. Fletcher and his wife are consulting.
Milch tells The Hollywood Reporter that John is set at the intersection of land and water and of two countries–the U.S. and Mexico. “It is at those crossings that drama occurs, and it’s not just geographical, it has to do with generations. Those are people who seem very much lost. Them finding themselves is an engaging process to watch.”
We’re bound to be surprised at how poetically these people speak– and by how creatively they curse.
Milch pulled the plug on Deadwood after its third season ended in August. The series will wrap up loose ends in two feature-length HBO movies next year.