Just a few minutes ago, the HBO session at the TCA press tour kicked off — but news has been dribbling out all day about some of the network's upcoming projects and big premieres. I'm watching for even more scoop from the sessions, but here's what we know so far:
- Entourage will be back for its fifth season in September. Its Sept. 7 premiere date makes it the first of HBO's series to return to the air after the writers' strike prompted something of a Summer drought. We've already heard that Leighton Meester and Jeffrey Tambor would be guest-starring; now we can add Giovanni Ribisi and Fran Drescher to the list.
- Also coming in September: True Blood, Alan Ball's vampire series starring Anna Paquin, which will also premiere Sept. 7, and Little Britain USA, a sketch comedy show that kicks off Sept. 28. I've read mixed reviews about True Blood thus far, so I'm very curious to see how it's received at HBO's panel.
To hear about a new series that has Forest Whitaker on its team, just read more.
- The network is also cooking up a new series called Fat Sells, which is set in the herbal weight loss industry. Forest Whitaker has signed on to produce it and may also direct its first episode.
- Chris Rock and Ricky Gervais will both be putting together stand-up comedy specials for the network. Rock's will air Sept. 27, while Gervais's will film this month and air in November.
- While not strictly TCA-related, David Simon's new New Orleans-set drama for HBO has a name: Treme. Here's a huge amount of info on the project, which is tentatively scheduled to begin filming later this year.