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Frank Rich Working with HBO? This Could be Rich Indeed...
May 22, 2008  | By David Bianculli
 

I've never met Frank Rich, never even talked to him. Yet yesterday's announcement that he has signed on as a creative consultant for HBO, to initiate and help develop projects, sounds like the best move HBO has made since green-lighting Deadwood.

And Rich, because of his decades of experience as both an Op-Ed columnist and drama critic for The New York Times, should be anything but dead wood.

Rich's Sunday column in the Times is my favorite piece of weekly journalism, and the first thing I read with my first cup of coffee on Sunday mornings. Decades ago, as a drama critic, Rich both echoed and enhanced my early love of Stephen Sondheim's work -- and probably, now that think about it, had something to do about how I approach my own work as a critic, and why I refuse to underestimate the intelligence of my readers.

So what will Rich do at HBO? I have no idea. Right now, I'm guessing, neither does he. But in the nonfiction area, if he gets to team up with HBO documentary maven Sheila Nevins, he'll be working with one of the smartest, savviest and most tasteful TV executives in the business. And since she's in charge of family programming as well, it wouldn't surprise me to see her working with Rich to tap his theatrical passion as well.

Whatever happens, HBO's embrace of Rich promises to be as enriching (so to speak) as it was unexpected. I await, and expect, great things.

 
 
 
 
 
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