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HBO makes plans for 'In Treatment'

June 3, 2008 |  2:46 pm

Intreatment1 HBO’s “In Treatment” has not been officially renewed for a second season, but there are signs that Gabriel Byrne’s therapist, Paul Weston, will be back in his chair next year.

The cable network has already made plans for a change in the management of the critically acclaimed drama should it continue, tapping Warren Leight, who has run “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” for the last two years, to succeed show runner Rodrigo Garcia.

Garcia plans to stay on as an executive producer and oversee post-production but would hand over head writing duties to Leight, a Tony Award-winning playwright.

“It’s a very, very difficult show to make,” Garcia said. “Bear in mind, we did 43 episodes and it’s all-consuming and it’s exhausting, so I just thought it would be great to have someone to share the weight. And Warren is a very good show runner and an excellent playwright, so I’m happy to have him. But I’m still a part of it.”

HBO executives declined to comment, as negotiations over the series’ second season are ongoing. And representatives for Byrne did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

But both Garcia and Leight talked about another installment of “In Treatment” as a fait accompli.

“Sometime in the fall we’ll begin shooting,” Garcia said. “We have to write a lot of scripts before then.”

The series, based on an Israeli drama, aired in 30-minute increments five nights a week, which each episode centered on a session with a different patient. The show drew plaudits from critics but a small audience. 

Leight said he plans to wrap up production on the seventh season of “Criminal Intent” by early August and begin breaking stories for “In Treatment” a few weeks later.

“In some ways, it’s 180 degrees from what I’ve been doing,” said the writer, who signed a one-year producing deal with HBO to run “In Treatment” and write a separate pilot.

“This show is so plot-driven,” he said of “Criminal Intent,” where he spent six years, while the HBO series is “an emotionally driven show.”

“I’ve killed probably 150 people in last six years,” Leight added. “It will be nice to have people working their problems out in therapist’s office.”

He noted that it was a hard decision to leave “Criminal Intent,” which moved from NBC to sister cable network USA last year. The show, the youngest of Dick Wolf’s “Law & Order” franchise, was renewed last week for another 16-episode season.

“Dick gave me my shot as a show runner, and I’ll always been grateful to him for that,” Leight said.

Wolf has not announced who will replace Leight on the USA series but released a statement praising him for a “terrific job.”

-- Matea Gold & Maria Elena Fernandez

(Photo courtesy HBO)

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