BACK FOR A LITTLE MORE, THE EMMY AWARD-WINNING SHORT FORM SERIES STATE OF THE UNION RENEWED FOR A SECOND SEASON ON SUNDANCETV
CREATOR NICK HORNBY AND DIRECTOR STEPHEN FREARS REUNITE TO DELIVER A PROFOUND EXPLORATION OF HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS IN THE NEXT INSTALLMENT OF GROUNDBREAKING SERIES FROM SEE-SAW FILMS
NEW SEASON PREMIERING LATER THIS YEAR ON SUNDANCETV AND SUNDANCE NOW STARS BRENDAN GLEESON, PATRICIA CLARKSON AND ESCO JOULÉY
NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES – January 27, 2021 – SundanceTV announced that it has renewed the Emmy®award-winning short form drama series, State of the Union, for a second season. Produced by See-Saw Films, Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges), Patricia Clarkson (Sharp Objects) and Esco Jouléy (High Maintenence) will lead the second installment of the innovative format, 10 episodes, each 10 minutes in length, which commenced production in January. The second season will premiere on SundanceTV and AMC Networks’ streaming service Sundance Now later this year.
Written by Nick Hornby (Brooklyn, An Education) and directed by Stephen Frears (The Queen, A Very English Scandal), State of the Union, cleverly explores relationships and the human experience. In this season, liberal campaigning Ellen (Clarkson) drags her traditional, self-made husband Scott (Gleeson) out of his comfort zone and into a hipster Connecticut coffee shop, where they have ten minutes before their marriage counseling session to drink a coffee, gather their thoughts and argue about everything from Quakerism to pronouns. Amongst the bickering they also discuss betrayals from their past, how they’re changing as people, and what the future of their relationship might look like in a changing world.
“The first season of State of the Union was a triumph of storytelling form, captivating audiences – 10 minutes at a time – by smartly and authentically exploring our fundamental humanity and curiosity around what makes people think, feel, love and interact,” said Dan McDermott, president of original programming for AMC Networks. “We are thrilled to once again partner with the great Nick Hornby and Stephen Frears, and welcome Brendan, Patricia and Esco, to break new ground in short-form storytelling with a series built on the most universal and unifying element of all – the human relationship.
“We are over the moon to be given another opportunity to work with Nick and Stephen on a new season of State of the Union with our friends at SundanceTV.” Said Jamie Laurenson and Hakan Kousetta, Executive Producers, See-Saw Films. “We are incredibly happy to welcome Brendan, Patricia and Esco to the team for a new story this season.”
Emmy Award-winning and multiple Golden Globe nominee, Brendan Gleeson recently played the role of Donald Trump in the CBS miniseries The Comey Rule and will soon be seen in the role of King Duncan in Joel Coen’s film adaptation of Macbeth. Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe- Critics’ Choice- and Emmy Award-winning actress, Patricia Clarkson was recently seen in the HBO limited series Sharp Objects and the sixth and final season of Netflix’ House of Cards. Burgeoning multi-talent Esco Jouley recently wrapped a role on the upcoming Starz series Blindspotting, from creators Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs, and was recently seen in HBO’s High Maintenance. Full Bios and Headshots
Jamie Laurenson, Hakan Kousetta, Iain Canning, and Emile Sherman are executive producers along with Hornby and Frears, with Sophie Reynolds producing the series for See-Saw Films. Kristin Jones, EVP of international programming for AMC and SundanceTV, is the executive in charge for SundanceTV. Endeavor Content is handling international sales.
The first season of State of the Union starred Oscar®-nominee Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl, A Private War) and Emmy®-winner Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids, Get Shorty) in an innovative look at a couple who meet for drinks ahead of their weekly marriage counseling appointments. The short form series premiered as an official selection of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and screened at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. State of the Union received three Emmy awards: Short Form Comedy or Drama Series, Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama (Pike) and Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama (O’Dowd).
Since its launch in 1996, SundanceTV has remained true to founder Robert Redford’s mission to celebrate creativity and distinctive storytelling through unique voices and narratives found in the best independent films. From delivering critically acclaimed Emmy®, Golden Globe® and Peabody Award-winning television featuring some of the world’s most talented creators and performers, to showcasing some of the most compelling and iconic films across genres and generations, SundanceTV is a smart and thought-provoking entertainment destination. SundanceTV is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.; its sister networks include AMC, IFC, BBC America and WE tv. SundanceTV is available across all platforms, including on-air, online at www.sundancetv.com, on demand and mobile.
About Sundance Now
AMC Networks’ streaming service Sundance Now is for culture craving TV watchers looking for their next series to obsess over and offers a rich selection of original and exclusive series from engrossing true crime to heart-stopping dramas and fiercely intelligent thrillers from around the world, all streaming commercial-free. Adding exclusive new programs every week, Sundance Now has exclusively premiered several distinctive, critically acclaimed Sundance Now Original Series, including supernatural drama A Discovery of Witches; glamourous thriller Riviera; and critically acclaimed French spy drama The Bureau; plus Sundance Now Exclusives, such as Nordic noir thriller Wisting and British drama Des starring David Tennant; as well as riveting true crime series like No One Saw a Thing.
Follow Sundance Now on:
About See-Saw Films
Academy Award®, BAFTA and Emmy Award winning producers Iain Canning and Emile Sherman founded See-Saw Films in 2008. With offices in London and Sydney, See-Saw specializes in international film and television production.
See-Saw’s film projects include this year’s awards contender Ammonite, written and directed by Francis Lee, starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan which was selected for the Cannes, Telluride, Toronto and London Film festivals. In 2016 they released the six-time Academy Award® nominated Lion, starring Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara, as well as The King’s Speech, which was nominated for twelve and won four Academy Awards® in 2011 including Best Motion Picture. Recent projects include Widows directed by Steve McQueen and starring Viola Davis. Upcoming projects include Operation Mincemeat, directed by John Madden and starring Colin Firth, Matthew Macfadyen and Kelly Macdonald; The Power Of The Dog, written and directed by Jane Campion, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons; and The Unknown Man directed by Thomas M Wright, starring Joel Edgerton and Sean Harris.
See-Saw’s television division kicked off with the multi-award winning first season of Jane Campion’s ‘Top of the Lake’. Campion returned with ‘Top of The Lake: China Girl’ starring Elisabeth Moss, Nicole Kidman and Gwendoline Christie which premiered at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for a Golden Globe. ‘State of the Union,’ written by Nick Hornby, directed by Stephen Frears and starring Rosamund Pike and Chris O’Dowd had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival 2019 and won three Emmy Awards. Recent projects include Samantha Strauss’ ‘The End’ for Foxtel and Sky Atlantic, starring Harriet Walter and Frances O’Connor. Upcoming projects include ‘The North Water’ for BBC Two written and directed by Andrew Haigh, starring Colin Farrell, Jack O’Connell and Stephen Graham; ‘Slow Horses’ for Apple TV+, starring Gary Oldman, Jack Lowden and Kristin Scott Thomas; and ‘The Essex Serpent’ for Apple TV+, directed by Clio Barnard.
Nick Hornby Bio
Nick Hornby is an Oscar®-nominated screenwriter and award-winning author. He won an Emmy for his short form series State Of The Union directed by Stephen Frears and starring Rosamund Pyke and Chris O’Dowd. He adapted Nina Stibbe’s memoir Love, Nina into a BBC1 television series and received Academy Award® and BAFTA nominations for his screenplay adaptation of Colm Tóibín’s novel Brooklyn, which was directed by John Crowley. The film starred Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, Julie Walters and Jim Broadbent, received three Oscar nominations in total and was awarded BAFTA’s Outstanding British Film. Nick’s previous film and television projects include his Oscar and BAFTA-nominated adaptation of Lynn Barber’s memoir An Education, which was directed by Lone Scherfig and starred Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, Dominic Cooper, Rosamund Pike and Emma Thompson, his adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s New York Times bestselling memoir into the film Wild, which starred Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern, and his adaptation of his own memoir for the screenplay of Fever Pitch starring Colin Firth.
Nick’s best-selling books have served as a rich stream of inspiration for filmmakers: the British film of Fever Pitch was re-made by the Farrelly brothers, starring Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon; High Fidelity was directed by Stephen Frears, starring John Cusack and Jack Black, and in 2020 was re-imagined as a TV series starring Zoe Kravitz; About A Boy was directed by the Weitz brothers, starring Hugh Grant, Rachel Weisz and Toni Collette; A Long Way Down was directed by Pascal Chaumeil, starring Pierce Brosnan, Aaron Paul and Toni Collette, and his young adult novel Slam was adapted into an Italian language feature directed by Andrea Molaioli. Jesse Peretz directed an adaptation of his novel Juliet, Naked, starring Rose Byrne, Ethan Hawke, and Chris O’Dowd.
Nick’s other novels include How to be Good (2001), Funny Girl (2014) and Just Like You (2020). His non-fiction work includes Fever Pitch, 31 Songs, and The Complete Polysyllabic Spree, a collection of Nick’s book columns for US magazine The Believer, to which he continues to contribute a bi-monthly column. Among other recognition for his literature, Nick received the EM Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. In 2010, he co-founded the children’s writing charity The Ministry of Stories, located in East London and now expanding to other UK cities.
Stephen Frears Bio
Unanimously regarded as one of Britain’s finest directors, Stephen Frears has always embraced a wide variety of styles, themes and genres. He worked almost exclusively for the small screen in the first 15 years of his career, with programs such as One Fine Day by Alan Bennett and Three Men In A Boat by Tom Stoppard. Stephen’s more recent TV work includes Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight for HBO and Channel 4’s The Deal starring Michael Sheen and David Morrissey. In the mid-1980s he turned to the cinema, shooting The Hit (1984), starring Terence Stamp, John Hurt and Tim Roth. The following year he made My Beautiful Laundrette for Channel 4, which crossed over to big-screen audiences and altered the course of his career. After directing its companion piece Sammy And Rosie Get Laid and the Joe Orton biopic Prick Up Your Ears, he began working in Hollywood, with Dangerous Liaisons and the Grifters (for which he was Oscar®-nominated) among his most notable titles.
Returning closer to home, he directed The Snapper and The Van, two Irish films based on Roddy Doyle stories and, after a second spell of making American films (The Hi-Lo Country and High Fidelity), based himself largely in Britain. Frears showed his versatility with two vastly different movies – Dirty Pretty Things, a realistic account of immigrant life in London, and Mrs Henderson Presents, a nostalgic backstage comedy-drama. For his 2006 film The Queen he was again nominated for an Oscar. His subsequent films included Cheri and Tamara Drewe. He followed these with Philomena, starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, which won a BAFTA and was nominated for three others, along with three Golden Globe and four Oscar nominations; The Program, which starred Ben Foster as seven time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong; and Florence Foster Jenkins, starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant, which received various accolades including a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture and an Oscar nomination for Streep. Frears followed this with Victoria & Abdul, which starred Judi Dench, who received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance. Frears’ return to TV was with the acclaimed three-part BBC television series A Very English Scandal, which won Stephen a BAFTA for Best Director. He followed this up with an Emmy win for Nick Hornby’s short form series State Of The Union – starring Rosamund Pike and Chris O’Dowd; and most recently directed James Graham’s QUIZ for ITV starring Michael Sheen and Matthew Macfadyen.