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‘The New Pope’ on HBO Jan. 13

The New Pope, the follow-up series to The Young Pope, premieres on HBO Jan. 13. Paolo Sorrentino created both series, and the new one “dives into the inner workings of the Vatican, while exploring the very human desires, vices and fragilities of those in power and the complexities inherent in faith today,” according to HBO.

There are nine episodes, all directed by Sorrentino. He wrote The New Pope with Umberto Contarello and Stefano Bises.

The New Pope picks up where The Young Pope left off, with Jude Law’s Lenny Belardo, known as Pope Pius XIII, in a coma. Following a curious turn of events, Secretary of State Voiello (Silvio Orlando) has English aristocrat Sir John Brannox (John Malkovich) placed on the papal throne, adopting the name John Paul III. The new pope seems right for the post, but he has some secrets, and Voiello realizes it will not be easy to replace the charismatic Pius XIII. Hanging between life and death, Lenny has become a saint. Meanwhile, the church is under attack from external threats and scandals striking the symbols of Christianity.

“Good and evil proceed arm-in-arm towards history, and to reach the showdown, we must wait for the events to take their course,” teased HBO.

The New Pope is a Sky, HBO, CANAL+ original production. The executive producers are Lorenzo Mieli, Mario Gianani, Riccardo Neri, Elena Recchia, Paolo Sorrentino, Jude Law, Caroline Benjo, Carole Scotta, Simon Arnal, Jaume Roures, Javier Méndez, Nils Hartmann and Sonia Rovai.