Will Larry David be making any more series of Curb Your Enthusiasm? It's the question on every comedy fan's lips...
The writer and star of the classic HBO show has, perhaps in keeping with the grouchy "character" he plays, always refused to give much away. It is a move which leaves fans of the brilliantly observed comedy occasionally frustrated.
But Robert B Weide, producer for the first five series and an occasional director on the following three series, believes a Curb reunion, although difficult, is still possible.
He told RadioTimes.com: “It was never a traditional situation of being renewed or not renewed. It was always a standing invitation for Larry to come back and do another series if he ever wanted to.
“And I would eventually get another call from Larry saying what is it do you want to do another season or what? And I would say yeah why not?
"So now we have done - or Larry’s done- eight now and it depends whether he wants to come back and do another one.”
Weide added that he once harboured a suspicion that David may want to make two more series to bring the total to ten.
“At one time I thought he would probably get to ten which is a nice round number and say he had ten seasons of a show, but now I really don’t know about that,” says Weide.
The mystery of how many Curbs will be made has long exercised fans of the hit comedy in which David plays a hyper-real version of himself and which creates its own unique comedy, usually out of trivial incidents in David’s life which irritate him.
David has always been right-lipped about the next series of Curb, telling reporters who asked him about a potential series nine: “I don’t know. I really don’t know. Ask me in six months.” However that was last August.
But Weide says that if David does give the show the nod he thinks the team would try to be involved.
“I am doing my own thing, I think [Curb star] Jeff Garlin has another series on. The guys who came in and took my place are doing different things right now so [David] would kind of have to get the band back together again.
“If he wanted to do it, we would get the phone call and come round and do it again. The thing is it’s hard to get any momentum now We have had some hiatuses that are two or three years.”
Weide worked on the acclaimed episode Palestinian Chicken the third episode from the most recent, eighth, episode which aired in 2011.
But it has not been an entirely smooth ride, he admits.
David was criticised for an episode called The Bare Midriff from series seven in which his character accidentally splashes a picture of Jesus in a bathroom while urinating [Warning: potentially offensive content].
Says Weide: “Larry got a lot of heat for that one. In the States anything dealing with religion, people go nuts, because they are nuts. People acted like he though peed on the face of Jesus rather than a joke about a dopey little painting in a bathroom that gets a little splatter. People in the States live for finding something they can lose their minds over. They have nothing else going on. They watch a show and there’s a joke and everybody’s up in arms. It’s meaningless ultimately to the creative people who are doing things, they pay no attention. It doesn’t change your mode at all."
Weide has written and directed a new series for Sky Atlantic called Mr Sloane which airs this coming Friday [March 23].
The six-part series, which has already gained critical acclaim in previews, is set in 1969 and sees Spaces, Hot Fuzz and The World’s star Nick Frost play the part of Jeremy Sloane, a likable but slightly hapless accountant who is trying to get his life back on track after losing his job and seeing his wife (played by Olivia Colman) walk out on him.
Episode one of Mr Sloane airs on Friday May 23 at 9pm.
More from our Robert B Weide interview will appear on RadioTimes.com later this week