David Simon series to premiere April 11

HBO has set April 11 as the premiere date for a new David Simon series, “Treme,” about how the citizens of New Orleans rebuild their lives following the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Ten-episode skein is Simon’s most recent collaboration with the net following “The Corner,” “The Wire” and Iraq war miniseries “Generation Kill.” “Wire” thesps Wendell Pierce and Clarke Peters, as well as Khandi Alexander of “The Corner,” are part of a large ensemble.

“This is a city essential in the American psyche. It’s coming back on its own terms as best as it can,” Simon said.

Simon, Nina K. Noble, Eric Overmyer and former HBO programming topper Carolyn Strauss are exec producers.

Staying with the Big Easy theme, cabler is once again joining forces with Spike Lee. Helmer will follow his Katrina doc “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts” with an untitled film that he will direct. It revisits the same people he interviewed in “Levees” to see how their lives have progressed.

Pic, which will air this summer, begins shooting Friday. Lee and Sam Pollard produce, and HBO docu topper Sheila Nevins is exec producer.

Also at the net’s portion of the Television Critics Assn. tour in Pasadena, exec producer Steven Spielberg discussed 10-episode miniseries “The Pacific,” which begins airing March 14.

Spielberg said that from a filmmaking perspective, the $250 million “The Pacific” is unlike “Band of Brothers” in that the Pacific portion of WWII “had more vivid colors and was a blue-sky war,” while the European theater was much more visually grim.And on the dramatic difference between the two HBO miniseries that depict different theaters of the war, exec producer Tom Hanks added, “The war in the Pacific set the tone for all wars that followed. It was a war of racism, terror and absolute horrors. We took human beings and put them through hell.”

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