HBO’s recent announcement that “Deadwood” would be closing its run with a pair of two-hour movies — and, much to the delight of hardcare fans, not end abrubtly after season three — won’t affect the next project that David Milch has at the pay cabler.
First and foremost is a pilot for that Milch will write in collaboration with author Kem Nunn, titled “John From Cincinnati.”
“It’s a about surfing and the tragic, incoherent world at the border of Mexico and the United States,” Milch explains. “It’s where the water’s polluted, and nobody has documents. Drugs are being brought in by the ton, and people are found dead in the estuaries — and that’s just the beginning.”
Another project, “Six Guys Named Gonzalez,” focuses on the invisible culture of the Puerto Rican in New York City.
“From the point of view of the dominant culture, all Puerto Ricans are named Gonzalez and are all exactly the same. They’re all (superintendents), and they’re all late for work every day.”
Milch’s take will focus on six characters coincidentally named Gonzalez who all live on the same block on the Upper West Side.
“They don’t know each other, and they’re all totally different. They just get their coffee at the Starbucks every morning, which is where their paths cross.”
Milch, whose father was a surgeon and whose brother is one, is additionally developing a series about the formation of the Johns Hopkins Medical School in Baltimore in 1887.
“It was formed by this strange combination of accidents that wound up creating modern American medicine,” he says. The school had an unusual group of founders, he notes, including “a group of lesbians, who were the inventors of the B&O Railroad bonds, who were trying to get some school to accept women.”
Besides another show, which centers around horse racing (“Something else from my less constructive past,” he notes), Milch is also developing a series with New York City police veteran and “NYPD Blue” collaborator Bill Clark, whose own true story brought him back from Vietnam into the force.
“He was recruited as a soldier while he was overseas, to come back as a disaffected veteran and infiltrate the antiwar movement, as a shortcut into the New York City police force as a detective,” Milch explains.
“That was Bill’s experience: this moral and emotional upheaval of being a returning veteran, compounded by the fact that you have to pretend to hate everything that you believe in. It’s a tragic story, and it’s the beginning of his experience on the NYPD in the ’70s.”