HBO Max has given a series order for the new comedy HOW TO BE A BOOKIE, from Emmy® nominees Chuck Lorre (“The Kominsky Method,” “The Big Bang Theory”), Nick Bakay (“Mom,” “Young Sheldon”), and Warner Bros. Television. Actor/comedian Sebastian Maniscalco (“The Irishman,” “Green Book”) is set to star in the single-camera series, which has received an order for eight episodes.
Lorre and Bakay will co-write, and they will serve as executive producers along with Maniscalco and Judi Marmel. Warner Bros. Television, where Lorre and his Chuck Lorre Productions are under an overall deal, is the studio. HOW TO BE A BOOKIE marks Lorre’s first series for HBO Max.
Logline: A veteran bookie struggles to survive the impending legalization of sports gambling, increasingly unstable clients, family, co-workers, and a lifestyle that bounces him around every corner of Los Angeles, high and low.
Casey Bloys, Chairman and CEO, HBO and HBO Max Content quote: “It’s very exciting to have the next comedy series from Chuck Lorre and Warner Bros. Television. We have been fans of Sebastian’s for several years and look forward to what these brilliant comedic voices put together for HBO Max.”
Chuck Lorre quote: “It’s an absolute dream to work with Sebastian Maniscalco — whom I’ve been a fan of for years. To have my first project at HBO Max with such an incredibly gifted comedian and alongside Nick Bakay is the trifecta. I can’t wait to get started.”
Channing Dungey, Chairman, Warner Bros. Television Group quote:: “I’m thrilled that How to Be a Bookie, from Chuck Lorre and Nick Bakay, and starring Sebastian Maniscalco, one of the greatest stand-up comics working today, is moving forward at HBO Max. This smart, subversive, and hilarious series will be the next great comedy on HBO Max, continuing the successful partnership between Warner Bros. Television and Chuck Lorre Productions.”
Sebastian Maniscalco quote: “It’s an incredible honor to be working with someone of Chuck’s pedigree and along with Nick Bakay. They’ve put together a truly remarkable script. And now to be in the family with Warner Bros. Television and HBO Max, who are putting out some of the most compelling stories on TV and streaming, I just couldn’t be more excited.”
About Sebastian Maniscalco: Maniscalco played organized crime figure Joe Gallo opposite Robert De Niro in Martin Scorsese’s acclaimed film “The Irishman,” and he had a supporting role in director Peter Farrelly’s “Green Book,” which won three Oscars®, including Best Picture. He wrote and stars opposite De Niro in the upcoming semi-autobiographical comedy “About My Father,” which will be distributed by Lionsgate. He recently co-starred in Ray Romano’s upcoming film “Somewhere in Queens,” which premiered at the 2022 Tribeca Festival, and he voices the character of Spike in Universal Pictures’ upcoming release inspired by Nintendo’s Mario videogame. Maniscalco also shared his observational comedic style in his own discovery+ food show, “Well Done with Sebastian Maniscalco.” As a standup comedian, Maniscalco has been recognized by Pollstar and Billboard with top touring awards in recognition of his record-breaking, sold-out shows at major arenas in the U.S. In 2018, he released the best-selling memoir “Stay Hungry,” followed by a Netflix comedy special of the same name in 2019.
About Chuck Lorre: Lorre is a prolific television writer and producer, having created, executive produced, or written more than 1,000 episodes of television in the past 30 years. Through his overall deal with WBTV, Lorre co-created the Emmy®-nominated comedies “The Big Bang Theory” and “Two and a Half Men” for CBS, and he created the Emmy®-nominated comedy “The Kominsky Method” for Netflix. He co-created and executive produces the current CBS comedies “Young Sheldon” and “Bob Hearts Abishola.” His prior series include “Mike & Molly,” “Mom,” “B Positive,” and “United States of Al” for CBS, as well as “Disjointed” for Netflix. Before joining forces with WBTV, Lorre created hits such as “Cybill,” “Dharma & Greg,” and “Grace Under Fire,” and also served as co-executive producer of “Roseanne.” Lorre is represented by Jay Sures at UTA. Maniscalco is represented by UTA, Judi Marmel at Levity Entertainment Group, and Yorn Levine.
About Nick Bakay: Bakay is a writer, actor, comedian and sportscaster who first worked with Chuck Lorre on “Two and a Half Men” and, more recently, on “Young Sheldon,” “Bob Hearts Abishola,” “The Kominsky Method,” and “Mom.” He was a writer/producer and the voice of Salem the talking cat on “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” and then teamed with Kevin James as a writer-producer on “The King of Queens.” Bakay and James then co-wrote the hit films “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” the sequel, “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” and “Zookeeper.” Bakay also created numerous shows for Comedy Central, including the Emmy®-nominated “The Adventures of Baxter” and “McGuire.” His opinionated editorials were also regularly featured on ESPN, including “Just Living the Dream,” the original NFL bad beats gambling segment on SportsCenter. Bakay is represented by APA, and Yorn Levine.