This spring, HBO will bring Garry Shandling back to the network: Judd Apatow’s two-part documentary about the late comedian who brought you two highly inventive and influential TV comedies: Showtime’s It’s Garry Shandling’s Show and HBO’s The Larry Sanders Show.
The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling will premiere on March 26 and conclude on March 27, the network announced on Thursday at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena.
The four-hour-plus documentary about the comedian who passed away in 2016 — someone that Apatow considered a close friend, boss, colleague, and “one of the most important comedy minds of all time” — boasts interviews with 40-plus comedians, including James L. Brooks, Jim Carrey, Sacha Baron Cohen, David Coulier, Jon Favreau, Jay Leno, Kevin Nealon, Conan O’Brien, Bob Saget, Jerry Seinfeld, and Sarah Silverman. In addition, it features personal diaries, letters, and home videos, and covers his rise to success on the stand-up circuit to becoming a TV star to lawsuits over The Larry Sanders Show.
Asked at TCA why the documentary stretches more than four-and-a-quarter hours, Apatow quipped, “O.J. got seven hours and he murdered people. So don’t you deserve more time for not murdering people?”
HBO also announced that it signed investigative journalist Ronan Farrow to a three-year deal to develop investigative documentary specials, and revealed the rest of its doc slate for the first half of 2018:
• The Number on Great Grandpa’s Arm, about a 10-year-old boy who talks to his 90-year-old great grandfather about the tattooed numbers on his arm and his life as Polish boy who lost his family and survived Auschwitz (Jan. 27)
• May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers, a Judd Apatow- and Michael Bonfiglio-produced documentary about the folk rock band (Jan. 29)
• Atomic Homefront, which centers on the toxic effects of nuclear waste (Feb. 12)
• Arthur Miller: Writer, a look at the legendary playwright courtesy of his daughter Rebecca Miller (March)
• King of the Wilderness, which examines the final years of Martin Luther King, Jr.. (April)
• Traffic Stop, about an African-American teacher from Austin who was violently arrested after a routine traffic stop (April)
• I Am Evidence, which focuses on untested rape kit backlog in the U.S., produced by Law & Order: SVU‘s Mariska Hargitay (April)
• The Final Year, which provides a “unique insiders’ account of President Obama’s foreign policy team during his last year in office (May)