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‘Lookaway, Lookaway’ by Raleigh author optioned by HBO

The entertainment blog Deadline reported Friday that HBO has optioned “Lookaway, Lookaway” by Raleigh writer Wilton Barnhardt for a new comedy series.

The book, set in Charlotte, lampoons Southern high society (and Charlotte high society in particular, with attention also paid to Raleigh and UNC-Chapel Hill). A reviewer described it as “a slow-motion collision of Old and New South that’s been rumbling for a few decades now” and called it “both dishy and literary.” The story centers on the family of steel-willed Jerene Jarvis Johnston and her husband, Duke Johnston.

It was released in August 2013.

According to Deadline, the “Lookaway, Lookaway” TV series will be executive produced by Sue Naegle, the former HBO entertainment president, and David Miner (“30 Rock,” “Parks & Recreation,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”). Barnhardt, a creative writing professor at N.C. State, will co-executive produce and is said to be “involved at the story stage,” but HBO is looking for someone to write the series.