HBO’s ‘No. 1 Ladies’ premieres

Both Minghella, Pollack worked on series

NEW YORK — “This is an ironic night because I spent 12 years working with Anthony Minghella,” Harvey Weinstein said at HBO’s Time Warner Center premiere of “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency,” March 18. “And we disagreed about one thing and that was (this project.)”

The seven-part series based on Alexander McCall Smith‘s popular books, was among the last projects that Minghella and Sydney Pollack worked on before their deaths last year.

Weinstein said he originally wanted to make the books into a film franchise but Minghella saw it as a TV series.

Ultimately Minghella won out and, to Weinstein’s delight, the series ended up at HBO.

“You say things to (HBO toppers) Richard Plepler and Michael Lombardo like, ‘We’ll put some more music in here and shoot an action sequence,’ ” Weinstein said. “And they say, ‘No we don’t want that. Don’t worry our audience is intelligent; you can err on the side of beauty.’ I’ve never had notes like that before. It’s usually more boobs and more blood.”

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