In the build up to the 2012 election, HBO continues to pour out politically themed films, mini-series and now comedies. The cable network has announced it will begin production on the new sitcom Veep starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
In Veep, Louis-Dreyfus will play Selina Meyer, a former senator who swiftly finds that the job of Vice President isn't all it’s cracked up to be. Sitting just a stone’s throw away from the presidency, Meyer comes to the realization that the warnings she received prior to accepting the gig were right on the money.
Louis-Dreyfus, who was last seen regularly on the CBS sitcom The New Adventures of Old Christine (which ended its run in 2010) is now following in the footsteps of another Seinfeld alum, Larry David. After several guest appearances on Curb Your Enthusiasm – including the hilarious faux Seinfeld reunion show – it looks like the actress has built a bit of a rapport with the network – at least enough to land a starring gig on their newest sitcom.
Veep comes from good stock – it is the brainchild of Armando Iannucci, who has made a very successful career out of satirizing the workings of modern government and politics. In 2009, Iannucci co-wrote and directed the wickedly funny political satire In the Loop, for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. The film is an offshoot of his popular BBC series The Thick of it, which employed many of the same actors and writers.
Joining Louis-Dreyfus on the show will be another graduate of the In the Loop crowd, Anna Chlumsky (My Girl, Covert Affairs), as Louis-Dreyfus’ chief of staff. Meanwhile, Tony Hale (Arrested Development) will play Meyers’ right hand man while Reid Scott (My Boys), Sufe Bradshaw, Matt Walsh and Timothy C. Simons portray the Vice President’s aides.
Unlike HBO’s two other politically charged projects – the Jay Roach directed Game Change and the upcoming Dick Cheney mini-series, Veep has the advantage of being entirely fictional – as opposed to being comprised of fictionalized accounts of real events. That separation should allow the inevitable pessimism and sarcasm of the show to hopefully ring true for people on both sides of the political fence.
Iannucci directed and co-wrote the pilot episode of Veep with his In the Loop collaborator, Simon Blackwell. HBO has slated production on the series to begin sometime this fall with the intention of a 2012 debut.