'Wire' Creator Heads to New Orleans

"The Wire" may be done, but David Simon isn't finished chronicling the struggles of urban America.

Simon will explore New Orleans in his next project for HBO, a pilot called "Treme." The cable channel has greenlit the drama along with several other projects, HBO's Michael Lombardo told reporters at the TCA summer press tour Thursday.

The others are a comedy based on Jessica Cutler's blog-turned-book "Washingtonienne" and a drama from "Sopranos" writer-producer Terence Winter and director Martin Scorsese. Additionally, Variety reports HBO is developing a drama about the diet industry called "Fat Sells" that has Forest Whitaker as one of its executive producers.

"Treme" is named for a New Orleans neighborhood that's home to a number of musicians. It will chronicle the lives of performers who live there as well as the city's struggles to rebuild itself following Hurricane Katrina. Simon penned the pilot script with Eric Overmyer, who counts episodes of "The Wire" and "Law & Order" among his writing credits.

Cutler gained Beltway notoriety a few years back for writing Washingtonienne, a blog chronicling her sexual exploits as a congressional staffer. She was fired from her job after being outed as the author but parlayed her fame into a book deal. "Sex and the City" star Sarah Jessica Parker will executive produce the pilot.

Finally, Winter is writing "Boardwalk Empire," which has been in development for some time but only recently got the go-ahead to film a pilot. The show, based on a book of the same title by Nelson Johnson, will tell the story of Atlantic City's rise as a gambling mecca in the first half of the 20th century. Scorsese is exec producing with the "Entourage" team of Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson. The pilot is scheduled to film in January.