MEDIA
05/29/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Frank Rich Joins HBO As Creative Consultant

Frank Rich, who spent thirteen years as the theater critic at the New York Times and is now a weekly columnist there, has signed on as a creative consultant to HBO. According to the press release, the role will allow Rich to "both initiate and help develop projects" at the network.

To my mind, HBO has always been the gold standard for some of the best work in television," Rich said. "I'm excited to be a part of this collaboration."

"Frank is one of the smartest and most astute observers of popular culture, and we are thrilled that we can call upon his judgment and superb instincts," said HBO co-president Richard Plepler and HBO president, programming group and west coast operations, Michael Lombardo.

Nikki Finke adds that Rich's NYT colleague Bill Carter has also done work with HBO and is planning to do more in the future:

Also, it's interesting to note that another NY Times staffer has done showbiz work for HBO: TV writer Bill Carter, who in 1996 adapted his book about the late night war over David Letterman into the HBO teleplay Late Shift, but continued (and continues) to cover the pay channel. Carter also in 2002 adapted his book about Howard Cosell and ABC's Monday Night Football into the TNT teleplay Monday Night Mayhem but continued (and continues) to cover both the cable channel and ABC. More recently, TV sources tell me that Carter has been saying he'd like to write a sequel to Late Shift about Jay Leno's anticipated exit from NBC which he has been covering for the NY Times.

Full release below:

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FRANK RICH, WHO WRITES A WEEKLY COLUMN FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES, SIGNS ON AS CREATIVE CONSULTANT TO HBO

NEW YORK, May 21, 2008 - Frank Rich has signed on as a creative consultant to HBO, it was announced today by Richard Plepler, co-president, and Michael Lombardo, president, programming group and west coast operations, HBO.

In this capacity, Rich will both initiate and help develop projects at the pay-TV network.

"Frank is one of the smartest and most astute observers of popular culture, and we are thrilled that we can call upon his judgment and superb instincts," said Plepler and Lombardo.

Added Rich, "To my mind, HBO has always been the gold standard for some of the best work in television. I'm excited to be a part of this collaboration."

Rich will recuse himself from writing about HBO and Time Warner in his weekly OpEd column, which is largely about politics and public affairs.