Vice Principals is one of the summer's most anticipated new shows. This HBO series re-teams Danny McBride and Jody Hill, who already brought us the brilliant dark comedy Eastbound & Down, and brings along the great Walton Goggins (Justified) for the ride as well. The show will tell the story of two vice principals in competition with each other and the twisted shenanigans that ensue.
With two of cable television's most well-received comedies (Silicon Valley and Veep) just having wrapped up their latest seasons, there is a spot open to ideally turn Vice Principals in the next great hit featured in HBO's lineup. With that in mind, this potential success will apparently only last for a limited amount of time.
Variety is reporting that Vice Principals will only last for a total of 18 episodes, making up two seasons total. During an interview at the show's premiere, McBride stated:
"The whole series is only 18 episodes and that’s it. We just wanted to make a really long movie. It’s one school year and a complete story. This was an old screenplay that Jody [Hill] and I wrote back in 2006. But we needed it to be longer so we added and reworked it and broke it up into 18 segments."
Hill went on to confirm that the Vice Principal series has already been shot in its entirety and that will be it.
Fortunately, it appears HBO has more than enough faith in McBride and Hill, who received plenty of critical acclaim with Eastbound & Down (as well as some naysayers for those simply unimpressed by the filmmakers' sense of humor). Frequent collaborator and executive producer/director David Gordon Green was happy to note the guys were able to essentially make the show they wanted to make, with no interference from the higher ups at HBO.
Having a set number of episodes in place, it does create a curiosity over what kind of finality this series will have. Eastbound & Down was originally supposed to end after season 3, only for the show to have enough popularity for HBO to persuade McBride and Hill to develop a fourth and final season. It didn't hurt that the results were fantastic. Vice Principals has not even begun, so it is hard to say this show deserves more, but it is easy to respect McBride and Hill for wanting to create a story with a set amount of time.
Given how McBride is quite busy, it likely makes it easier for him to devote a certain amount of time to these sorts of personal projects as well. One can only hope Hill will also be moving on to develop more divisive, yet inspired work, with more films like Observe & Report. For now though, there are 18 episodes of Vice Principals to look forward to.
Vice Principals begins airing on HBO on July 17th, 2016.