×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘The Deuce’ Prepares for Season 2 With James Franco on Board Despite Sexual Harassment Allegations

HBO’s “The Deuce” is planning to begin filming its second season in a few weeks with James Franco still on board as star and executive producer of the drama series.

Franco’s status on the show had been questioned after five women came forward to the Los Angeles Times in January with allegations of sexual misconduct against the actor. After the Times report was published Jan. 11, HBO said it had reached out to staffers on the show and found no complaints or concerns raised about Franco’s behavior on “Deuce.” Franco plays twin brothers on the show, which chronicles the birth of the modern pornography business in New York City in the early 1970s. Franco has also directed episodes of the show, in addition to exec producing with creators/showrunners George Pelecanos and David Simon.

At present, the “Deuce” writing staff is at work on scripts for the second season in which Franco’s characters of Frankie and Vincent Martino are integral to the plot. A source close to the situation said there was no alternate plan for storylines should Franco be forced out. Franco said during an appearance on CBS’ “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” in January that many of the accusations leveled against him are “not accurate.”

The dark cloud cast by the Times report is widely believed to have cost Franco a lead actor Oscar nomination for his work in “The Disaster Artist.” The movie had been generating strong awards traction for Franco, including a Golden Globe win and SAG Award nomination, prior to the sexual harassment storm.

HBO has taken a hard line on associating with creatives linked to troubling sexual harassment allegations. The pay cabler dropped older series and comedy specials starring Louis C.K. from its on-demand platforms after the comedian acknowledged the truth of accusations published by the New York Times in November. HBO also dropped plans for a miniseries about Donald Trump’s ascent to the White House after veteran political reporter Mark Halperin, one of the project’s exec producers, was accused of sexual harassment by multiple women.

In the case of Franco, multiple women accused the actor of taking advantage of them and putting them in sexually charged situations during production on low-budget independent films. But the lack of complaints about Franco’s behavior during season one of “Deuce” and the absence of additional alleged victims coming forward publicly during the past month with appears to have persuaded HBO, Simon and Pelecanos to maintain the status quo.

In January, Simon said Franco’s conduct had been “entirely professional” on the set of “Deuce.” “I’m still reading it the same as everyone else, trying to discern what is or isn’t there,” Simon told Variety in a statement issued Jan. 11. “Personally I can only speak knowledgeably to ‘The Deuce.’ I’ve checked with all my fellow producers and other personnel. We have no complainant or complaint or any awareness of any incident of concern involving Mr. Franco. Nor has HBO been approached with any complaint. In our experience, he was entirely professional as an actor, director, and producer.”

More TV

  • Sacha Baron Cohen

    Why Sacha Baron Cohen Credits Donald Trump for ‘Who Is America?’

    Over the course of history, comedians have shared their take on current events with biting commentary on everything from class and gender to fashion and politics, and the current presidential administration is definitely no exception — with President Donald Trump regularly lampooned on shows like “Saturday Night Live” and by late-night TV hosts. But when [...]

  • Susan Rovner, Brett Paul Named Presidents

    Susan Rovner, Brett Paul Named Presidents of Warner Bros. Television

    Longtime television executives Susan Rovner and Brett Paul have been tapped to become presidents of Warner Bros. Television, ascending from their most recent roles as executive VPs of the studio. This means that they will continue to do double duty, simultaneously serving as presidents of Warner Horizon Scripted Television, roles they have occupied since 2014. [...]

  • Netflix Orders Japanese Animated Series 'Dino

    Netflix Orders Animated Series 'Dino Girl Gauko' From Japan (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix has ordered a new kids animated series, “Dino Girl Gauko,” Variety has learned. The program is from creator and showrunner Akira Shigino, who previously served as a director on a number of popular Japanese animated TV series, including “Crayon Shin-chan,” “Line Town,” “Osomatsu-kun,” and a remake of “Yatterman.” The comedy series is set in [...]

  • TV Ad Sales Upfronts

    TV's Upfront Market May Be More Complex Than Networks Expected (EXCLUSIVE)

    TV’s “upfront” ad-sales market has started to simmer. What will be required to bring it to full boil? TV networks and media buyers hope to answer that question in coming weeks – if not days. In this annual market for advance commitments to buy commercial time, Madison Avenue and TV sales executives haggle over the [...]

  • The Rook

    'The Rook,' Shondaland, Ted Sarandos Among Programming for SeriesFest 2019 (EXCLUSIVE)

    The fifth edition of SeriesFest will deliver panels and programming designed to celebrate individual talent as well as companies who are “taking creative risks and leveraging advances in technology to reimagine storytelling.” On the linup is Starz’s upcoming supernatural thriller “The Rook,” a panel with the creatives behind Shondaland, a look at LGBTQ representation on [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content