'The Newsroom' Season 3 is probably happening and more HBO news

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newsroom-season-3-likely-hbo.jpgHBO executives Richard Plepler and Michael Lombardo didn't have a lot of big news to break at the TCA press tour session Thursday (July 25), but they provided a lot of little bits of news on shows that are currently on the air and projects in development. A rundown:

- The odds are "excellent" for a third season of "The Newsroom," Lombardo says, noting ratings for the first couple of episodes are up over last season.

"The conversation with Aaron [Sorkin] are all about schedule," Lombardo says. "... If we can figure out scheduling in terms of his time and being on the air next year, I would be shocked if you weren't hearing an announcement soon."

- The final (half-) season of "Treme" is scheduled to premiere Dec. 1, taking the Sunday-night spot "Boardwalk Empire" will hold in the fall.

- A miniseries from "Sopranos" creator David Chase that HBO announced four years ago -- but about which there has been no news since -- is still alive.

"I think he is still writing, developing and working" on the project about the early days of the movie business, Plepler says. "As you can imagine, our door is always wide open to him. ... He's working on it, so we'll wait and see what he comes back with."

- David Milch ("Deadwood," "Luck") also has a couple of things in the works. One is a pilot about a "dynastic New York media family" that's close to getting a production order.

Milch has also written "at least one" adaptation of a William Faulkner novel for an HBO film as part of a deal initially announced in late 2011. It's "still in development," Lombardo says. (Milch and HBO have seen several projects wither in their early stages, from the much-discussed "Deadwood" movies to a 1970s-set cop show called "Last of the Ninth.")

- The fate of "Criminal Justice," a pilot that James Gandolfini filmed before his death last month, is still up in the air. Lombardo says writers Richard Price and Steven Zaillian are still working on the project, and should it go forward Gandolfini's role will be recast.

- "Eastbound & Down" creators Danny McBride and Jody Hill have pitched a new comedy to HBO as their current show enters its final season. The new show in the early stages of development, and all Lombardo will say about it now is that it will "take a look at high school life."
Photo/Video credit: HBO