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HBO Renews ‘My Brilliant Friend’

HBO has ordered a second season of My Brilliant Friend. The eight-episode first season, based on Elena Ferrante’s book, debuted Nov. 18. Season two will be based on The Story of a New Name, Ferrante’s second book in the series.  

“We’re thrilled that Elena Ferrante’s epic story has resonated so powerfully with viewers and critics, and we look forward to the continuing journey of Elena and Lila,” said Casey Bloys, president of programming at HBO.

My Brilliant Friend is about Elena Greco and the most important friend in her life. She met Raffaella Cerullo, whom she has always called Lila, in the first year of primary school in 1950. Set in a dangerous Naples, their story covers more than 60 years of their lives and explores the mystery of Lila, Elena’s close friend and, in some ways, enemy.

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Filmed in Italian, the series stars Elisa Del Genio and Ludovica Nasti as the younger versions of Elena and Lila, while Margherita Mazzucco and Gaia Girace portray their teenage versions. All episodes are directed by Saverio Costanzo.

My Brilliant Friend is an HBO-RAI Fiction and TIMVISION series.

“RAI is deeply proud of the extraordinary success of My Brilliant Friend. It’s an important milestone that confirms our commitment to focusing on international co-production, as well as on the value of Italian talent,” said Fabrizio Salini, CEO of RAI.

The season finale airs Dec. 10.

Paolo Sorrentino and Jennifer Schuur are the executive producers. Ferrante wrote the screenplays.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.