The first teaser for Emmy-winning Veep creator Armando Iannucci’s Avenue 5 has landed, offering us our first giant leap of a look at the forthcoming space tourism comedy ahead of its launch on HBO in January. Avenue 5 shares its name with the interstellar pleasure barge captained by Veep alum Hugh Laurie, with Josh Gad (most recently of Little Monsters) and Zach Woods (an HBO regular who also did a stint on Veep) also aboard the series’ ensemble cast.
Set four decades in the future, Avenue 5 boldly imagines a world where the rich feel entitled to not only the world, but also the solar system. Cool and capable Captain Ryan Clark (Laurie) pilots the show’s titular space cruiser, of which Herman Judd (Gad) is the billionaire face—Judd’s obnoxious personal branding, remarkably bad haircut and penchant for gaudy, golden decor all feel strangely familiar. When the Avenue 5’s ride gets a bit rougher than expected, it’s up to the ship’s kindly, but nihilistic customer relations head Matt Spencer (Woods) to calm their passengers down: “This is a safe space … emotionally. Physically, we’re obviously in terrible danger,” he admits, failing miserably to ease their frayed nerves. Though he puts on a braver face than his subordinate, Captain Clark seems more concerned with getting from point A to B than ensuring that his hoity-toity passengers enjoy the ride—it’s easy to imagine Laurie’s contemptuous, yet darkly funny last line coming out of Selina Meyer’s mouth.
HBO ordered Avenue 5’s pilot back in September 2017 before setting their phasers to “series” in April. Iannucci created the show, directs its pilot episode, and executive produces alongside Kevin Loader, Simon Blackwell, Tony Roche and Will Smith, while Nikki Amuka-Bird (Luther), Rebecca Front (Iannucci’s The Thick of It), Lenora Crichlow (Black Mirror: “White Bear”), Suzy Nakamura (Veep) and Ethan Phillips (Veep) round out the show’s core cast.
Watch the Avenue 5 teaser below and stay tuned for further transmissions on the series.