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Hamptons Life

Sep 29, 2008 3:13 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Hamptons familiar location for director

Sep 29, 2008 3:13 PM

In the pilot episode of the American “Suburban Shootout,” Ms. Greer of “Miss/Guided” has the lead as a married woman wary of her husband’s transfer from a sergeant’s desk job in the city to police chief in a quaint and quiet suburb. While her husband, played by Michael Weaver of “Notes from the Underbelly,” is excited about his new job, Rebecca’s fears are realized as she discovers the suburb is the setting of a turf war between rival gangs of gun-toting housewives.

Ms. Harris, also of “Notes from the Underbelly,” plays Camilla Diamond’s consigliere—like Robert Duvall to Marlon Brando in “The Godfather,” as Ms. Ashford put it. Ms. Birdsong plays Louise, Camilla’s henchman, Ms. Ashford said.

The writer explained that the gang war’s history, which is played out in the pilot through flashbacks, is that Camilla and Ms. Kenny-Silver’s character “came upon a crime one night that went really wrong, and they ended up killing somebody,” Ms. Ashford said. “And in that formative experience, they made a vow that they would not let their town be ruined by criminals and thugs.”

After that initial moment of solidarity, things went sour. Ms. Ashford said that although the two women started as a team to clean up their town and keep it safe, Camilla saw an opportunity for power and profit. “She realized that she could make a lot of money by basically running the criminal enterprises in the town,” Ms. Ashford said.

When Rebecca moves to town with her policeman husband, the rivals vie for her favor.

Since the cast is predominantly female and will address issues that concern women, the show will attract a female audience, the writer said, but it still has broader appeal: “There’s a lot of things blowing up,” she said, “and a lot of things being shot, so I think guys always like that.”

Asked about the prospects for the pilot to be picked up for a season by HBO, Ms. Ashford picked her words carefully.

“I would never jinx myself by predicting one way or the other,” she said, “but I do feel that the material is really good and from what I’ve seen so far, I think we’re in good shape.”

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