The cast of Seinfeld is reuniting. But not on Seinfeld. A fictional, yet real, meta-reunion of the classic sitcom is going to be the story arc of the next season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, debuting Sept. 20 on HBO, Larry David announced at the TV critics’ press tour today.
How did Larry David decide to get the Beatles back together? People had been pestering him about a reunion for years, and he resisted. But reuniting the gang on Curb—that was interesting.
The storyline for this season will follow Larry David’s character on the show—David calls him “TV Larry”—getting together with Jerry Seinfeld to write a new episode of the show. (Seinfeld will appear on five episodes.) Clips from the season included the rest of the cast getting together for a table read. Why would TV Larry want to do the reunion? We’ll find out, David said. Is it possible the character David plays could ruin a reunion? “My guy could very well wreck it!”
The other scenes in the Curb clip reel included a lot of physical comedy: David wrestling over a restaurant check with Rosie O’Donnell, killing a swan with a golf club, wrestling (hilariously) with plastic product packaging, and (even more hilariously) trying to make out with a woman in a wheelchair. Oh, yes—and Cheryl Hines is still in the show.
It was a jam-packed HBO presentation, opening with an executive session and several programming announcements, including:
* There’ll be new seasons of Entourage, Hung, True Blood and The Life and Times of Tim
* There will probably be new seasons of Flight of the Conchords; In Treatment and The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency are possible but not certain
* Big Love returns in January; miniseries The Pacific debuts in March; David Simon’s Treme, in April
* Ricky Gervais is making an animated series, based on his podcasts; executives sounded very bullish on Martin Scorsese’s Boardwalk Empire being picked up as a series
The channel then launched a session on By the People, its emotional but sometimes uncomfortably celebratory documentary about the Obama campaign. After that, though, it was a big comedy day. First, there was a weird, punchy session on Hung. The show has divided critics (I like it, some dislike it intensely) and it divided the questioning, with some contentious questions (Why don’t you show the lead character’s penis? I demand answers!) and plenty of inadvertent double entendres, beginning with the critic who asked about its place in the history of shows about “working stiffs.”
More universal guffaws for the session on the upcoming Bored to Death, starring Jason Schwartzman as a writer and detective-novel fans who starts moonlighting by impersonating a detective. When someone asked costar Ted Danson about doing so much cable when he had made his name on broadcast comedies, he leaned over to costar Zach Galafikanis and mock-explained that he was once on “a show called Cheers.” Galafikanis sneered, “He tells us every 5 minutes! If it isn’t Cheers, it’s f*cking Becker!”
After Larry David, the session closed with Robin Williams, who has a standup special coming up. “The reason I’ve gone back to standup is I’ve run out of merchandising money from Bicentennial Man,” he announced, then did less a Q&A than a run-through of new material, including perhaps too many Twitter jokes. “Today was a great test audience,” he concluded. “Because I realize I’ve got a sh*tload of work to do.”