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“We’ve committed ourselves to documenting post-Katrina New Orleans in a way that takes relatively few liberties with what was actually at stake,” says David Simon, creator of the Peabody-winning drama series “Treme.”
“These are not mayors or police chiefs or gangsters battling for the future of their society. These characters are ordinary people – musicians, laborers, bar owners, fishermen, cooks – who couldn’t bear to walk away from what they understood to be great about their city. Their only weapon was the culture of New Orleans – its music, its food, its traditions, its street life. That’s what has brought the city back to the extent that it has returned.”
Noting that “Treme” is in many ways an allegory not just for New Orleans, but for the rest of the country, he adds, “New Orleans assumed certain things back in 2005. Certain basic things – infrastructure, some basic institutional responsibility, some sense that they were part of a viable social and political compact, that they weren’t alone. A few short years later, all Americans were made to understand that such things are, sadly, only assumptions. We are, all of us, on our own in a very real sense.”
The ensemble cast of “Treme” includes: Wendell Pierce (HBO’s “The Wire” and “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts”) as Antoine Batiste; Khandi Alexander (“CSI: Miami,” HBO’s Emmy-winning “The Corner”) as LaDonna Batiste-Williams; Clarke Peters (‘Red Hook Summer’, HBO’s “The Wire” and “The Corner”) as Albert Lambreaux; Rob Brown (‘Stop-Loss’, ‘Finding Forrester’) as Delmond Lambreaux; Steve Zahn (\A Perfect Getaway’, ‘Sunshine Cleaning’) as Davis McAlary; Kim Dickens (HBO’s “Deadwood”) as Janette Desautel; Melissa Leo (Oscar winner for ‘The Fighter’; Oscar nominee for ‘Frozen River’) as Toni Bernette; Lucia Micarelli (classical violinist) as Annie Tee; Michiel Huisman (‘The Young Victoria’) as Sonny; David Morse (‘The Hurt Locker’; HBO’s “John Adams”) as Terry Colson; Jon Seda (HBO’s “The Pacific”) as Nelson Hidalgo; India Ennenga (‘The Women’) as Sofia Bernette; and new cast member Chris Coy (HBO’s “True Blood”) as L.P. Everett.
In addition to Simon and Overmyer, Nina K. Noble, George Pelecanos and Carolyn Strauss serve as executive producers. Anthony Hemingway is co-executive producer and Joseph Incaprera is producer. Along with Simon and Overmyer, the writing staff includes George Pelecanos, Lolis Eric Elie, Jordan Hirsch and noted food writer and author Anthony Bourdain (Kitchen Confidential). Other writers include Chris Yakaitis, Mari Kornhauser, Jen Ralston, Chris Offutt, Chris Rose, Micah Kibodeaux and Tom Piazza. Directors this season include Tim Robbins, Adam Davidson, Ernest Dickerson, Alex Hall, Anthony Hemingway, Jim McKay and Roxann Dawson.
As ever, “Treme” will feature live performances of New Orleans music in its natural environment, the clubs andstreets and homes of the city. Among the musicians featured in season three are The Neville Brothers, Fats Domino, Tab Benoit, Dr. Michael White, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Sonny Landreth, The Red Stick Ramblers, Monk Boudreaux, James “Sugarboy” Crawford and Davell Crawford, Kermit Ruffins, John Boutte, The Hot 8 Brass Band, Anders Osborne, Tom McDermott, Marcia Ball, Meschiya Lake, Ivan Neville, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, Glen David Andrews, Donald Harrison, Jr. and The Valparaiso Men’s Chorus, among others.
Culinary guest actors this season include David Chang and Emeril Lagasse.
Episode #22: “Knock with Me – Rock with Me” – Debut: Sunday, September 23 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT)
Antoine Batiste flirts with martyrdom; Janette Desautel encounters her old nemesis, Enrico Brulard (Victor Slezak), and a new suitor; Delmond and Albert Lambreaux debut their Indian-jazz album; Toni Bernette meets L.P. Everett, a new ally in her investigation of post-Katrina killings; LaDonna Batiste-Williams finds living with in-laws is its own kind of hell; Sonny is in an in-law hell of his own, and he and Linh (Hong Chau) aren’t even married; Nelson Hidalgo is barking up new money trees.
Story by David Simon & Anthony Bourdain; teleplay by David Simon; directed by Anthony Hemingway.
Episode #23: “Saints” – Debut: Sunday, September 30 (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
Antoine’s students show interest and Annie’s demo hits the mark; Sonny and Linh show interest, but no marks are hit; L.P. Everett’s new case has smoke and fire; heat at the in-laws’ house forces LaDonna to move; Hidalgo discovers a new angle; Janette’s resistance slips; Albert learns he has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Written by Eric Overmyer; directed by Jim McKay.
Earlier this year, “Treme” received a Peabody Award for its second season. The first season of “Treme” was Emmy-nominated for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series (Agnieszka Holland, “Do You Know What It Means (Pilot)”) and for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics (Steve Earle, “This City”). In addition, the series was nominated for Grammy Awards in the categories of Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television, or other Visual Media and Best Song Written for Motion Picture,Television or Other Visual Media (Steve Earle, “This City”).