On the heels of Amazon’s announcement that comedy legend Woody Allen will make his first television series for the company’s streaming service, HBO has announced a two-year exclusive deal with Saturday Night Live alum, comedian, and director Mike Myers, according to Deadline. Myers is best known for creating iconic characters like Wayne Campbell from Wayne’s World, the James Bond spoof Austin Powers, and the lovable animated green ogre Shrek.
“Mike Myers is one of the great comedy minds of this or any other era,” said HBO’s president of programming Michael Lombardo, per Deadline. “The opportunity to collaborate with a talent of his stature is tremendously exciting.”
“I’m thrilled to be at HBO,” Myers said.
Myers is an accomplished comedic writer and actor, having written the Wayne’s World and Austin Powers movies as well as starring in them. While he was one of the most iconic comedians of the 1990s, Myers has been a bit more under the radar as of late. Last year he made his directorial debut with the documentary Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon. That movie documented the life of Hollywood talent manager Shep Gordon, who has spent his career making other people famous. Gordon’s clients have included Alice Cooper, Blondie, Teddy Pendergrass, and Pink Floyd.
Myers became friends with Gordon when seeking to use an Alice Cooper song in Wayne’s World and decided the raconteur would be an interesting documentary subject. The film received positive reviews even though some criticized it for overlooking the negative aspects of Gordon’s life and painting too flattering a picture. Still, it was a very successful directorial debut for someone Hollywood has only known as a comedian.
With Myers recently revealed to be a capable director in addition to his long history as a comedic actor and writer, his work for HBO might not necessarily be simply writing and starring in a comedy show. He could choose to continue his work behind the camera rather than in front of it, potentially making another documentary or directing a TV show.
This deal will likely put on hold Myers’s rumored plans to make a fourth Austin Powers film. The third one, Austin Powers in Goldmember, came out in 2002 and co-starred Beyoncé as the “Bond girl.” There are rumors that a fourth Austin Powers film is in the works, although no dates have been set and no official announcements about the project have been made.
HBO has some big plans for new content in 2015 as the network needs to keep up competition with new, high-quality, award-winning material coming from online streaming services like Amazon’s Prime Instant Video and Netflix. Netflix and Amazon’s big wins at this year’s Golden Globes were another sign of how streaming services are changing the television industry, not only in terms of how people watch but also where the critically acclaimed content is being produced.
HBO long held the title of being the place where the best shows on television come from, but now that streaming services are nipping at its heels the network needs to work harder to assure its dominance. Making a deal with a talent like Mike Myers, whether he ends up directing or writing or acting for the network, is a way for HBO to keep ahead of the competition.
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