Eastbound And Down creators Danny McBride and Jody Hill’s new HBO project, Vice Principals, will come and go as fast as a baseball hurled by a man with a goddamned rocket for an arm. Speaking at the show’s premiere last night, McBride made it clear that the series—about the destructive war and alliances between two Hill/McBride-style baby men vying for control of a South Carolina high school—would run for exactly 18 episodes split into two seasons, and no more.
“The whole series is only 18 episodes and that’s it,” McBride said. “We just wanted to make a really long movie. It’s one school year and a complete story.” Hill seconded the claim, saying that the “short and sweet” project wouldn’t continue even if ratings prompted HBO to ask for a third season. “We already shot the 18 episodes and that’s it.”
The series co-stars Justified and The Shield star Walton Goggins as McBride’s rival for extremely moderate amounts of local scholastic power. It apparently comes from an old, pre-Eastbound script that Hill and McBride wrote together more than a decade ago, and has been filmed largely without HBO oversight for its presumably foul-mouthed and violent antics. “HBO trusted us to make those episodes without anyone watching them,” McBride noted during the premiere, hopefully without any of Kenny Powers’ enthusiastic, self-centered malice glimmering in his eye. “So they really, really trust us.” We’ll see how that works out when the show debuts on July 17.