John Lurie Returns to TV in New HBO Series ‘Painting With John’

Streaming Service Placeholder HBO
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Thirty years after his first unscripted TV series aired, John Lurie is getting another.

HBO will debut “Painting With John,” a new series directed by, written by and starring Lurie, Jan. 22. Each of the new show’s six episodes will feature the artist, musician and actor painting watercolors and reflecting on life. Adam McKay and Todd Schulman of Hyperobject Industries will serve as executive producers. The series is photographed and edited by Erik Mockus.

Lurie had previously teased that he was working on a new TV project, writing on Twitter last year, “We have started shooting Painting With John. Whenever the painting or talking is going poorly, I say – Let’s go outside and shoot another elephant shot. So we do -“

On Thursday, Lurie shared a trailer for the show, writing, “I am worried that this is going to hurt my standing in the Hermit community. But, I made it to cheer people up. So cheer the fuck up. -“

Lurie, who as a musician led ensemble the Lounge Lizards for two decades and composed the score for feature film “Get Shorty,” appeared as an actor in films and series including “Stranger than Paradise,” “Down by Law,” “The Last Temptation of Christ,” “Oz” and “Wild at Heart.” His 1991 series “Fishing With John” was an early riff on reality television. The show featured Lurie and various entertainment-industry friends — including Dennis Hopper, Tom Waits, Jim Jarmusch and Willem Dafoe — embarking on fishing expeditions that were plainly less eventful than than the show’s editing and narration strained to make them seem. At the end of one episode, Lurie, according to the narrator, “died of starvation,” only to turn up alive again at the beginning of the next episode. The show originally aired on the Bravo cable channel. It was largely unavailable for several years, but is currently streaming on the Criterion Channel.