Are Robert Parker and Gary Vaynerchuk rivals in real life? Whatever the answer is, they might soon be on TV.
The production company behind "Boardwalk Empire" has optioned a script from "Sideways" author Rex Pickett called "The Nose," about characters based on Parker and Vaynerchuk.
Pickett says that in his plan for the pilot, the Parker character "has social anxiety disorder so badly that he has to have a psychiatric service dog." His rival, the Vaynerchuk equivalent, is younger and more savvy about the Internet and social media.
"They're not friends; Parker won't be on Vaynerchuk's show," said Pickett, who didn't share any specific plot points.
It's still a long way from a pilot script to an HBO series -- or even a filmed pilot. But Leverage Management, which also produces "Entourage" for HBO, is interested in making a TV series about wine, Pickett said. And Pickett, who wrote the book that became the most successful wine movie in history, was a natural choice to take a swing at it.
"They wanted to get underneath the surface of the gloss that is wine country and into the real wine world," Pickett said.
The concept reminds me of the mid-'90s animated show "The Critic," in which Jon Lovitz played a sad misanthrope who reviews movies. In fact, Lovitz' character reminds me a lot of Miles in "Sideways." So imagine if Miles and Robert Parker were melded; maybe that's the idea.
"The Critic" was excellent but never developed an audience. ABC cancelled it after one season, but it was picked up by Fox, where it was cancelled the following year. Only 23 episodes were made and the DVD has proven popular enough that it's in its fifth printing.
HBO doesn't need as big a mass audience as the broadcast networks. It's not hard to imagine such a show succeeding. "The Critic's" signature line was, "It stinks." What will Parker's and Vaynerchuk's signature lines be? I can't wait to watch "The Nose" and see.