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Which David Will Save HBO?

With Monday's announcement that Sopranos creator David Chase is working on a brand-new mini-series for HBO, one of our biggest wishes came true at last: The three greatest Davids in premium-cable history (Chase, Milch, and Simon) are once again developing programming for the network that transformed them from mere balding geniuses into TV-transcending demigods. But whose upcoming project are we most excited about?

David: Chase



New show: A Ribbon of Dreams



The pitch: A mini-series revolving around a cowboy and an engineer who become some of Hollywood's first-ever producers, in 1913. The pair will work with luminaries like D.W. Griffith, John Wayne, and Billy Wilder as the movie business advances from silent films to the talkies and musicals of the late twentieth century. As the two leads age, the show will follow their children. [Variety]



As good as his last show? It's a mini-series lasting only a few episodes, so probably not. But certainly lives in the movie industry will afford Ribbons' protagonists similar opportunities for doing awful things and disappointing their parents as the mafia did Tony Soprano.



Anticipation level: Three black-out endings







David: Milch



New show: Last of the Ninth



The pitch: A gritty cop show set in seventies New York, when a task force was formed to root out corruption in the NYPD. The show will star a young detective just back from Vietnam and an older one who becomes his mentor. [Variety, Watcher/Chicago Tribune]



As good as his last show? Yes, it will be way better than John From Cincinnati. Nobody could possibly be disappointed to see the co-creator of NYPD Blue returning to police drama; plus, by the time this thing airs (no date has yet been set), the collapsing economy will likely have rendered New York as dangerous as it was in the seventies, so Ninth will feel terrifyingly relevant. Also, the setting would seem to allow for at least as much swearing as in Deadwood.



Anticipation level: Four McShanes







David: Simon



New show: Treme



The pitch: A drama series set in post-Katrina New Orleans and focusing on the lives of local musicians. But, of course, Simon promises it'll also explore "political corruption, the public housing controversy, the crippled criminal-justice system, clashes between police and Mardi Gras Indians, and the struggle to regain the tourism industry after the storm." And it'll star Homicide and Frozen River's Melissa Leo, CSI:Miami's Khandi Alexander, and Wire alums Clarke Peters and Wendell Pierce. [Variety, Times-Picayune]



As good as his last show? Sure, Baltimore sucked it pretty hard — but if ever there were a city failed by its elected leaders, its infrastructure, and the System, it's definitely New Orleans, which should provide an endless assortment of things for David Simon to rail against. Also, this cast is totally awesome.



Anticipation level: Five Lester Freamons





Earlier: David Chase Done With the Mafia, Plans to Take On Hollywood Next

Photo: Getty Images