Ask the Audience: Marky Mark – TV Dynamo?

A feature we used to do on StoneSoup each Monday was to ask our readership a question aimed to prompt interesting responses. I’m not sure we’re going to reintroduce the Ask the Audience item permanently, but I did have something that I’ve been curious about that I figured I’d crowd source out to readers to see if anyone knew the answer: What is with Mark Wahlberg’s burgeoning TV empire?

For those of you who don’t know (which I think is most people), in addition to being a successful actor, Mark Wahlberg is also the producer of four shows on HBO: Entourage (loosely based on his life), In Treatment, How to Make it in America, and the upcoming Boardwalk Empire. In fact, on IMDB, he’s actually listed as an executive producer of each of these shows (so either his title is completely misleading or his role is substantial). Moreover, he is also developing a new HBO show about the  pornography industry. It’s worth pointing out that Mark Wahlberg has produced more shows for HBO than most of the auteurs traditionally associated with the network: David Milch (2), Alan Ball (2), and David Chase (1). The only producer who has done as many is David Simon (with The Corner, The Wire, Generation Kill, and Treme). Obviously, Mark Wahlberg does not have the same role in his shows as the better-known HBO names have in there’s, but it’s still an impressive (and rarely-mentioned) feat.

Nevertheless,  I’ve found it difficult to find sources about Wahlberg’s role in the shows he produces or really any information about the subject at all. Thus, I’m throwing it out to the StoneSoup audience to see if you will have more luck: What’s Mark Wahlberg’s role in creating all these shows, and why does it go essentially unmentioned?

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3 thoughts on “Ask the Audience: Marky Mark – TV Dynamo?

  1. From what I’ve read, Wahlberg is just a people-who-know-people type of guy. He’s very good at getting people to do cameo roles (hence the success in entourage), and is always great at getting certain “best people in the industry”. Almost doing the work of lower lever studio execs.

  2. I think he is more than just a “people person”…

    “Boardwalk’s trek from page to screen began when Stephen Levinson and Mark Wahlberg optioned the book for their production company, Leverage Management. Wahlberg then got Scorsese interested after working with him on The Departed. Winter, the show’s creator, became aware of it as he was wrapping The Sopranos. “They asked me if I thought there was a series in there,” he recalls. “Then they said, ‘By the way, Martin Scorsese is attached.’ I said, ‘Well, I guarantee you there’s a series in here. I’ll find it!’ ” Then they just had to get the damn thing made.”

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