HBO greenlights ‘God Save Texas,’ a drama based on Texas legislative politics

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Texas politics, which gave America the likes of Ted Cruz, Rick Perry and Wendy Davis, is getting the Hollywood treatment.

HBO has approved the creation of God Save Texas, a drama set in the Texas State House touching on such issues such as gun rights, abortion and the role of government in the lives of Texans — and by extension, all America.

As reported by Gregory Barber for KUT radio, God Save Texas will feature an “idealistic cowboy” who is elected to the state Legislature, becoming the “target of the powerful energy lobby and learns how to survive in the crazy, brutal world of Texas politics.”

Written and co-produced by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Lawrence Wright, a native Texan and longtime spectator of Austin’s political scene. The show is an adaptation of Wright’s 2005 play Sonny’s Last Shot.

Although state government is not the typical source material for premium cable, Texas provides a perfect microcosm of the national conversation, as well as offering a range of characters and personalities. Few places have such a wellspring of unique, colorful politicos from which to draw dramatic inspiration—from well-worn veterans like Perry, the governor and former presidential candidate to newcomers like Davis, who have just begun to capture the national spotlight.

“The thing about Texas is that it’s a little larger than life,” Lauren Shuler Donner, the show’s executive producer told Deadline.com. “You can’t make up characters like this.”

Among the potential storylines for God Save Texas are gay rights, immigration and guns, but the reported story arc for Season 1 is the state’s crippling drought, where efforts to bring relief are thwarted in Austin by special interest groups.

God Save Texas is scheduled to begin production soon.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.