HBO wastes no time appreciating a hit when they have it, announcing that the cable giant has renewed its critically acclaimed drama series The Deuce for a second season. Created by George Pelecanos (Treme) and David Simon (The Wire, Homicide: Life on the Streets), the series was renewed after airing only the second episode of the show's eight-episode first season.
For Casey Bloys, president of HBO programming, it's about giving Simon and Pelecanos the ability to continue telling their tales they way they were meant to be told:
"We are thrilled to continue our creative collaboration with master storytellers David Simon and George Pelecanos. Their unique gift for immersing the audience in their dark and edgy worlds brings a brilliant verisimilitude unlike any other. With the remarkably talented Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Franco leading an exceptional cast, we look forward to delving deeper as this captivating story evolves."
The Deuce uses the legalization and rise of the porn industry in NYC from the early 1970's through the mid-1980's as its backdrop to address a number of societal issues raging through both NYC and the country at the time, including: HIV/AIDS, LGBTQ rights, women's rights and drug abuse. James Franco stars as twin brothers Vincent and Frankie Martino, who become fronts for the mob as the brothers try to navigate a volatile NYC at a time of major social unrest while seeing a potential (and lucrative) future in what will become a multi-billion-dollar porn industry. That's if they can stay alive long enough to see their dream realized.
Simon appreciates the opportunity to broach subject matters that other networks might find uncomfortable:
"Everyone involved with this project is genuinely grateful to HBO for the chance to take the narrative where it needs to go. We knew the theme and purpose of the story, but there are many people in the entertainment industry who might not have it told — or worse, would have told it for the wrong reasons. HBO is a serious outfit. And they don't scare."
For Pelecanos, it's an appreciation that comes with getting back to work and telling more stories with a a team you can trust:
"Many thanks to HBO, our longtime partners, who've now given us the opportunity to continue to tell this compelling story. We're ready to get back to work with our amazing cast and crew."
Joining Franco in The Deuce's ensemble cast are: Gyllenhaal as Eileen "Candy" Merrell, a Times Square sex worker drawn to the growing porn industry; Gary Carr as Cee Cee; Margarita Levieva as Abigail "Abby" Parker, a college student with interests in Vincent; Lawrence Giliard Jr. as Chris Alston, an NYPD patrolman; Dominique Fishback as Darlene, a young, sweet-natured prostitute; Emily Meade as Lori; Gbenga Akinnagbe as Larry Brown, a rough and intimidating pimp; Chris Bauer as Bobby Dwyer, Vincent and Frankie Martino's brother-in-law; David Krumholtz as Harvey Wasserman; Ralph Macchio as Officer Haddix, a jaded vice cop; and Method Man as Rodney.