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Alexander Payne signs on for ‘Hung’

Director turns to TV with HBO's dark comedy

Alexander Payne is turning to TV, signing on to direct HBO’s dark comedy “Hung.”

Payne’s attachment comes as HBO has given the pilot a firm greenlight. Project’s the first lined up at the pay cabler by new HBO Entertainment prexy Sue Naegle (Daily Variety, April 24), and it’s been on the fast track ever since.

“Hung” would rep Payne’s first directing gig for TV. Project comes from Blueprint Entertainment and was created by Colette Burson and “The Riches” creator Dmitry Lipkin.

Payne is expected to sign on as an exec producer, along with Burson, Lipkin, Blueprint’s Michael Rosenberg, Noreen Halpern and John Morayniss.

“Hung” revolves around a well-endowed man who is plodding along in middle age as a struggling father and high school coach. The character was once a high school sports legend, and his luck returns when he figures out a way to use his best asset.

“Think of him like Spider-Man,” Burson told Daily Variety last month. “He’s an average guy who gets in touch with his innate superpowers.”

Payne’s credits include “Sideways,” as well as “About Schmidt” and “Election.”

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