Now I guess I have to get my hands on a copy of Trent Reznor’s Year Zero. The concept album was released after my interest in following Nine Inch Nails’ continuing career had evaporated; even while reading about the complex Alternate Reality Game (ARG) that was set up in conjunction with the record, I couldn’t quite muster up the willpower to listen to it. But now I may need to be familiar with Year Zero and its coming sequel, since Reznor tells the LA Times that he’s working with HBO to get a show made based on the concept albums.

“I just pitched it to HBO two weeks ago in L.A,” he says. “It went great. Ideally,
we’re trying to get them to do a two-year limited series. I prefer that
over a film. We would have a second ARG tying into the second album and
ties into the series and they all happen together with a budget needed
to pull that all off. There would be a tour down the road. The record
completes the story, the ending that no one knows. I know what happens.
I knew when I started it. And it’s not what people think.”

The network hasn’t picked the series up or gone to pilot yet, but Reznor’s been working with writers and producers.

Here’s Wikipedia’s take on the story:  The Year Zero story takes place in the United States in the year 2022; or “Year 0” according to the American government, being the year that America was reborn. The United States has suffered several major terrorist attacks, and in response the government has seized absolute control on the country and reverted to a Christian fundamentalist theocracy. The government maintains control of the populace through institutions such as the Bureau of Morality and the First Evangelical Church of Plano, as well as increased surveillance and the secret drugging of tap water with a mild sedative.

I have to say that this sounds win/win for HBO, depending on how the DVD licensing works out (Reznor got into a big fight with his label about pricing, and we all know what HBO DVD pricing is like), since there’s a guaranteed purchase base for this right from the start. If Reznor can bring this in on a budget and can make it actually, you know, good, this could be an epochal new show for the network that is still looking for an identity.