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2 items from 2007

HBO lays 10 spot on new 'Hope'

15 May 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

HBO has assembled the cast of J.J. Abrams' drama pilot The Anatomy of Hope, which Abrams has signed on to direct.

Chris Messina, John Ortiz, Simon Callow, Valerie Pettiford, Matt Craven, Deepti Daryanani, Daryl Edwards, Diego Klattenhoff, Kerry Condon and Sarah Knowlton have been tapped to star in the hospital drama that explores cancer battles from the patients' point of view.

Hope, based on Jerome Groopman's book, is produced by Abrams' Bad Robot through the company's deal at Warner Bros. TV. It was written by Tom Schulman and Rafael Yglesias, who are exec producing with Abrams and Bryan Burk. The project marks the first pilot to come out of Bad Robot's pact with WBTV.

Messina (HBO's Six Feet Under) will play an oncologist who goes between being overly friendly and aloof. Ortiz (Miami Vice) will play a recent cancer survivor. Callow (The Phantom of the Opera) will play one of the top oncologists in the U.S. Pettiford (UPN's "Half & Half") plays a terminally ill cancer patient. »

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HBO OKs medical drama pilot with Abrams

4 January 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

HBO has given the green light to a medical drama pilot that J.J. Abrams is in negotiations to executive produce and possibly direct.

The untitled project, from feature writers Tom Schulman, an Oscar winner for 1989's Dead Poets Society, and Rafael Yglesias, is a hospital drama that explores the battle against cancer from the patients' point of view.

It is based on the book "The Anatomy of Hope: How People Prevail in the Face of Illness" by Jerome Groopman, a professor at Harvard Medical School and writer for the New Yorker.

The book, published in 2004, tells the stories of seriously ill patients of Groopman who had relied on their hope to cope with their illness.

Groopman and his wife, Pamela Hartzband, also a professor at Harvard Medical School, will serve as consultants on the show.

The project was developed internally at HBO with Schulman and Yglesias, who also are executive producing, and was then taken to Abrams.

Abrams will executive produce through his overall deal with Warner Bros. TV. »

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