The multiple-Emmy winner stars in the upcoming HBO Max comedy as a Vegas stand-up comic who's trying to maintain her popularity and status.

By Gerrad Hall
April 28, 2021 at 02:12 PM EDT
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Three-time Emmy winner Jean Smart ain't no hack, and her new character Deborah Vance is trying to prove she isn't either. Smart's new HBO Max dark comedy, Hacks, which debuts May 13, crowns Vance the "Queen of Sin City," but the respected and beloved comedian's audiences are getting smaller — and her casino boss is trying to cut show dates.

But she'll do whatever it takes to maintain her popularity and status, even if that means reluctantly hiring an up-and-coming comedy writer, Ava (Hannah Einbinder), to help freshen up her act. As seen in the first trailer for the series, below, they immediately butt heads — but perhaps, somewhere along the way, they'll find common ground and respect for the other.

"It's fun to have that be part of the generational clash between her and Ava, along with a million other things," Smart previously told EW. "I love their relationship so much, and we have so much fun. I'm awful to her on the show, but we're laughing all the time. I can't say enough about Hannah. She's incredible."

The show — from creators Paul W. Downs, Lucia Aniello, and Jen Statsky (all three worked on Broad City) — also stars Kaitlin Olson as Vance's daughter, DJ, as well as Christopher McDonald, Carl Clemons-Hopkins, Mark Indelicato, Poppy Liu, Johnny Sibilly, Meg Stalter, and Rose Abdoo, and Downs plays Deborah and Ava's manager.

Hacks debuts May 13 with two episodes, followed by two episodes each Thursday for four weeks.

Check out our daily must-see picks — plus news, celeb interviews, trivia, and more — in EW's What to Watch podcast, hosted by Gerrad Hall. 

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