Franzen's Corrections Won't Be An HBO Series After All

Cooper and Wiest as Pa and Ma Lambert. - image via
Cooper and Wiest as Pa and Ma Lambert.

Gentle readers, please try to contain your disappointment. If you must shed tears, please shed them discreetly in the privacy of the bathroom. (If you see a taunting piece of poop, remember it's only a hallucination. Probably.) HBO has announced that it will not be picking up the TV series version of Jonathan Franzen's 2001 novel, The Corrections.

Yes, a pilot was shot. Yes, it contained a number of Big Names, including Chris Cooper and Dianne Wiest as Alfred and Enid Lambert of St. Jude, USA, (read: St. Louis, Missouri) and Ewan McGregor and Maggie Gyllenhaal as two of their adult children, and it was directed by Noah Baumbach, who seems to share Franzen's dour view of humanity. Still HBO execs liked it. Or they said they did.

However, according to Deadline Hollywood,

HBO brass liked the performances but the decision came down to adapting the book's challenging narrative, which moves through time and cuts forwards and back. While that works in the novel, it proved difficult to sustain in a series and challenging for viewers to follow, hampering the potential show's accessibility.

A few commenters on the the Deadline Hollywood post reported that, in truth, the pilot was lousy and the HBO execs were too nice to say so, but it's unclear whether these commenters know what they're talking about or whether they're just trolls.

Just to compound the sadness, the show already had its own IMDB entry.