I was checking out the Washington Post and saw a surprising and sad story. Writer and executive producer David Mills passed away yesterday.
He died of a brain aneurysm in New Orleans while working on the set of his new HBO series Treme.
By Jacqueline Trescott and Lisa de Moraes
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, March 31, 2010; 4:50 PM
David Mills, a Washington-born journalist and Emmy-winning television writer known for his work on gritty police dramas, died Tuesday in New Orleans, while working on the set of the upcoming HBO series “Treme,” his family and colleagues confirmed Wednesday. He was 48.
Mills, who grew up in Lanham and attended the University of Maryland, was also a staff writer for the Style section of The Washington Post in the early 1990s. He died of an apparent brain aneurysm while overseeing the day’s shooting of the “Treme” series, according to David Simon, Mills’s longtime friend and frequent collaborator.
“It happened very suddenly,” Simon said in an interview Wednesday. Sitting in a director’s chair, Mills “lost consciousness . . . slumped in the chair and never regained consciousness,” according to Simon, who was not on the set at the time but learned details from eyewitnesses.
As a script writer, Mills was attracted to the hard street life of America’s cities. With college newspaper friend Simon, Mills contributed to HBO’s acclaimed five-season drama “The Wire,” which used Baltimore a setting for a conversation about the disintegration of U.S. inner cities. Mills also wrote for NBC’s “Homicide: Life on the Street,” a series based on Simon’s book.
Mills was executive producer of Simon’s “The Corner,” a precursor to “The Wire” focused on a drug-infested corner of Baltimore.
“He was a very good listener,” Simon said. “He was great at dialogue because he listened to people. He often seemed to be not engaged when he was very engaged. He was quite a shy person in a lot of ways.”
“Treme,” set to debut April 11, begins in fall 2005, three months after Hurricane Katrina. HBO said it follows musicians, chefs, Mardi Gras Indians and ordinary New Orleanians as they try to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of the hurricane and the levee failure that caused the near-death of the city.
Before writing for television, David worked at the Washington Post and the Washington Times. He also wrote for the Diamondback newspaper while he was a student at the University of Maryland.
Treme is scheduled to premiere on HBO on Sunday April 11.
I’m a huge fan of David’s work including The Wire, Homicide: Life on the Street and The Corner.
RIP David Mills.
David Simon, the creator of two excellent tv shows, The Wire and Homicide: Life on the Street, is working on a new tv show which he hopes will be picked up by HBO. The new show is called Treme and takes place in the New Orleans neighborhood of Treme (prounounced truh-may). PBS recently had a special about the Treme neighborhood. The documentary is called Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans. One of the writers for the upcoming Treme series, Lolis Eric Elie who’s a reporter for The Times-Picayune newspaper, produced the PBS Faubourg Treme documentary.
NEW ORLEANS — David Simon, creator of the critically acclaimed television shows “The Wire” and “Homicide: Life on the Street” is in New Orleans working on his next project.
Named after the Creole neighbourhood known for its rich musical history, “Treme” (truh-MAY’) is a prospective TV series geared for HBO that aims to capture New Orleans’ heritage and traditions as residents struggle to recover from Hurricane Katrina.
However, Simon is quick to say it’s not just another Katrina project.
“This is an American story,” he said in an interview from outside a jazz club where the hourlong pilot was being filmed Wednesday. “This is about an American city trying to pick itself up and doing it without a great deal of help.”
To tell the story, Simon abandons almost all the backdrops New Orleans is best known for – the French Quarter and Garden District included – and gets into grittier, lesser-known neighbourhoods he says have been “under-chronicled.”
Check out the entire article here.
Some of the cast members include Wendell Pierce, Steve Zahn, Khandi Alexander, Melissa Leo, Kim Dickens and Clarke Peters. Sounds like a terrific cast. Wendell and Clarke are The Wire alumni. I hope HBO picks up this show. I’m looking forward to watching it.