Here’s what happened and trust me, it was completely out of the blue. Unbeknownst to me, Lena Dunham is a huge fan of my blog. GIRLS has been in ratings-freefall all second season long, and when HBO renewed it for a third year it was with the stipulation that they would make significant changes.
When Lena was out here in January for the Golden Globes we met for two days, I spelled out my suggestions for the show, and she embraced them. Further meetings with Judd Apatow and HBO followed and a deal was hammered out. One of my stipulations was that I would still be able to continue this blog. Judd said if I was really in a bind for time he’d write a few things for me. Or have Seth Rogen do it. Thanks, Judd.
So what are my changes? You'll read about these tomorrow in Alan Sepinwall's and Maureen Ryan's columns but why shouldn't you know before anyone else?
First of all we’re going to do the third season multi-camera, shot in front of a studio audience. HBO was concerned they were getting away from the comedy and this will help in that regard. Now when there are laughs you'll know. Yes, the objection has been voiced – won’t that format make the show seem less groundbreaking? No, and here’s why: Lena will do the same amount of nudity, except now in front of an audience. When have you ever seen that before on a sitcom? In many ways it will be more groundbreaking. And Lena, I'm in awe of your bravery.
Lovers of the show fear not. There will still be masturbating and anal sex but now there will be applause at the end, just like you do at home.
We’re also adding some fresh daring characters. To address the criticism the show is too white, we’re adding an African-American. Bill Cosby returns to television as Doodles, an irascible homeless guy who has an opinion on everything. He’ll befriend Hannah and explain to her why hip hop music is destroying the black community.
For a big season kick off, Judd has graciously agreed to do a crossover episode with the cast of THIS IS 40. Leslie Mann and Rebekka Johnson who played Gyno Nurse will be reprising their roles. The public interest should be HUGE.
Also, I plan to take advantage of the fact that the stars of the show all have famous fathers. So Brian Williams and David Mamet will both become series regulars. Brian will be Hannah’s wacky landlord, Mr. Higgenfroofer, and David will be her opera singing neighbor.
I hope you are as excited about these improvements as I am… or Lena is.
Today is April first. We go back into production one month from today. Look for the official announcement later today. Here’s a quote from it:
I feel so honored that Lena Dunham has chosen me to help her realize her vision.
To make it clear, especially for those who read this beyond April 1st -- this post was an April Fool's gag. I am not taking over GIRLS. It would have meant having to take off my clothes. I'm pretty sure America doesn't want to see that. Thanks for playing along. Hope you had fun with it.