Sullivan County Democrat
Callicoon, New York
January 22, 2010 Issue
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HBO uses gas drilling for new dramatic series

By Dan Hust
SULLIVAN COUNTY — You’ve heard of “From the Earth to the Moon,” “Sex and the City,” “Oz,” and, of course, “The Sopranos.”
Now get ready for HBO to tackle the “Catskills Gas Rush.”
Tuesday’s The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the premium cable network has given the green light to a fictional series that will focus on the very real drama playing out in this area over gas drilling.
Richard Russo is the scriptwriter, according to the Reporter, and is sharing executive producer duties with Mark Johnson and Will Gluck.
Russo, a native of upstate New York, won the Pulitzer Prize for his book “Empire Falls” but may be just as well known locally for the Paul Newman film based on his book “Nobody’s Fool,” which was shot in the Hudson Valley.
Gluck spent time as a child in the Catskills, and he and Johnson made the initial pitch to HBO, subsequently bringing Russo on board.
Gluck told the Reporter that the to-be-named series will be akin to the film “There Will Be Blood,” focusing on the struggles, both placid and profound, between those who support and those who oppose the entrance of the gas drilling industry into the region.
It’s all inspired by a New York Magazine article on the topic published last year by David France, who will be a consulting producer on the series.
Russo told the Reporter that he likes exploring what lies beneath both the soil and people’s public lives, noting that the struggle over gas drilling in the Catskills seems to be a “class war” pitting poor farmers against well-heeled weekenders.

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