After recently axing Family Tree and Hello Ladies, HBO is looking to refresh its original comedy lineup quickly, leading to a swift series order for The Brink. The new show boasts the unlikely comedic premise of a “geopolitical crisis and its effect on three disparate and desperate men” as World War III looms, with Tim Robbins playing the U.S. Secretary of State, and Jack Black as the “lowly foreign service officer caught in the middle of everything.” The pilot was directed and produced, respectively, by HBO vets Jay Roach (Game Change) and Jerry Weintraub (Behind The Candleabra), and written by brothers Kim and Roberto Benabib (the latter worked on Weeds). Deadline reports that the response to the pilot was so positive, HBO ordered the series only a day after it screened. A debut date for The Brink has yet to be announced.
Black made his film debut as an obsessed follower of the title character in Bob Roberts, Robbins’ first directorial effort, and both have showed up in movies like Anchorman and High Fidelity. But the third player in this potentially apocalyptical scenario is not John Cusack but Pablo Schreiber—a.k.a. “Pornstache” on Orange Is The New Black—who is a living testament to how much better a person can look without facial hair. Schreiber plays a Navy fighter pilot in the series exploring how these three men work together to prevent a catastrophic global incident. Obviously this kind of “comedy” will be incredibly dark, in the way that Dr. Strangelove was a comedy.