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Neil LaBute creating original short film series for DirecTV

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Satellite provider DirecTV will be expanding its original programming line-up with a series of short films that will be written and directed by Neil LaBute. Deadline Hollywood reports that the 10 films will air on the Audience Network, DirecTV's home for original and exclusive programming. It's part of an ongoing relationship between the satellite provider and the sometimes-controversial playwright; the upcoming DirecTV series Full Circle is based upon scripts by LaBute, but according to a statement he wanted to have greater creative control on his next television effort. "Although I am incredibly proud of my scripts for Full Circle, I was disappointed I was not available to be a part of the production," LaBute says. "That fact drove home for me how important it is, from an artistic standpoint, to roll up my sleeves and immerse myself in all aspects of the creative process on television."

While original programming for services like Netflix and Hulu has been a relatively recent development, it's something that DirecTV has been involved with for some time. The company famously saved Friday Night Lights from cancellation back in 2008, and picked up Damages from FX for its final two seasons. With the new LaBute project, it appears that DirecTV will be giving the same kind of creative freedom that lured the likes of David Fincher for House of Cards. "The films will be produced with a true auteur model," says Chris Long, the company's senior vice president of original content and production. "We're striving for the least possible distance between the artist's vision and the final product." The new shorts are expected to air later this year.