NBC’s eight-episode remake of Australian miniseries The Slap has found a director in Lisa Cholodenko, who will continue her sojourn in television that began with HBO’s upcoming Olive Kitteridge by directing the first two installments of the NBC limited series, then serving as executive producer for the other six. Cholodenko is probably best known for her films, which include High Art and The Kids Are All Right (for which she received an Academy Award nomination for the film’s screenplay), but she’s dabbled in television before, having directed episodes of Homicide: Life On The Street and Hung, among others. However, Kitteridge into The Slap mark her first two projects where she is the primary directing producer of the programs, rather than an episodic director for hire. It’s yet another sign of the auteurs of American indie film finding steadier work and pay in television these days than they’re often able to scrounge up in the movie world (though if Hollywood wants to sign Cholodenko up for the Godzilla sequel, we’re all for that).
The Slap is based on the aforementioned miniseries (which, itself, was based on the novel of the same name by Christos Tsiolkas) and revolves around the fallout in two families when the father of one slaps the misbehaving child of another. The series will be scripted by Brothers And Sisters creator and playwright Jon Robin Baitz, and it’s a part of NBC’s overall strategy to place shorter-run series in troubled timeslots, particularly when it doesn’t have the NFL or The Voice to lean on. The Australian series was a huge success, both in terms of viewership and in terms of Australian TV awards (which we’d never heard of before either, so they might not be real), and we’re hoping that’s because its final hour is just people slapping each other over and over and over.