Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

HBO is trying to make a show about Soviet spies again

Illustration for article titled HBO is trying to make a show about Soviet spies again

Thanks to its secretly successful mission to infiltrate and take over Hollywood in the 1950s, the Soviet Union now has an impressive hold over American culture. Everyone is too distracted by Russian video games, Russian standup comedy, and dramas about Russian spies on FX these days to figure out the truth anyway, so TV networks might as well try and capitalize on this anti-capitalist movement while they can. We assume that’s why HBO is taking another crack at making a show about Soviet spies, something it last attempted back in 2011.


The plan back then was to make a drama series set in the ‘80s that would be based on the life of director Martyn Burke, who discovered that a crewmember on one of his films was actually a colonel in the KGB. The show would’ve been about a Soviet spy trying to start a family in America as a cover for all of the spy stuff he would do on weekends or whatever, but that’s basically what FX’s The Americans is about, so HBO has had to come up with a new idea in the years since then. To do that, it went to a guy who has some experience with this subject matter: director Martyn Burke, the same guy from earlier in this paragraph. This comes via Deadline, which says that the network will be adapting his “comedic drama thriller” The Commissar’s Report into a new series, with Burke writing the pilot and Naked Gun’s Jerry Zucker producing.

In a slight twist on how these stories usually go, The Commissar’s Report isn’t about a spy who tries to avoid the temptations of American life, but one who secretly embraces them. Deadline says this ends up putting his life “in mortal danger,” so we assume the Soviets don’t take too kindly to the blue jeans and Mickey Mouse t-shirts he starts wearing. It’s a “comedic drama thriller,” though, so we imagine any dramatic moments will be undercut with some thrilling comedy. Or maybe the comedy will be undercut with thrilling drama? It’ll be one of those, at least.