12:01pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
TNT Picks Up Frank Darabont's 'L.A. Noir' to Series
TNT is officially in the Frank Darabont business.
The cable network has picked up the ousted Walking Dead showrunner's period drama formerly known as L.A. Noir, ordering six episodes of the period cop drama, TNT said Wednesday.
The untitled series, based on the book L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America's Most Seductive City by John Buntin, revolves around the battle between former Los Angeles Police Chief William Parker and mobster/former boxer Mickey Cohen.
Darabont wrote and directed the TNT Originals' pilot and will executive produce alongside The Social Network producer Michael De Luca and Elliot Webb (Tall Time Tales). Michael De Luca Productions' Alissa Phillips (Moneyball) will serve as co-executive producer.
“L.A. Noir is an intense, exciting drama that takes viewers back to a truly fascinating time in the history of Los Angeles," said Michael Wright, president and head of programming at TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies. "Frank Darabont, Michael De Luca and Elliot Webb have delivered an outstanding opening episode that evokes the time and place in stunning detail. Together with a pitch-perfect ensemble cast and top-notch production crew, they have woven an engrossing tale of heroism in the face of greed and corruption."
The project, which takes place in the 1940s and '50s, marks a reunion for Darabont with The Walking Dead stars Jon Bernthal and Jeffrey DeMunn, whose characters were killed off of the AMC zombie drama last season. Bernthal stars as Joe Teague, an former Marine-turned-LAPD cop in the period drama. DeMunn plays Detective Hal Morrison, head of the LAPD's new mob squad. Neal McDonough will play Capt. William Parker, Teague's boss who's hellbent on weeding out corruption and bringing Cohen down.
Heroes' Milo Ventimiglia will play Ned Stax, who fought alongside Teague during World War II but now works as an attorney with ties to the mob. Hung's Thomas Janeguest stars in the pilot as notorious gangster Bugsy Siegel, with Simon Pegg playing Hecky Nash, a third-rate comedian and mob roadie.
The series comes as TNT continues to add to a year-round model of original programming and joins a slate that includes Major Crimes, Dallas, Southland, Leverage, Rizzoli & Isles and the upcoming David E. Kelley medical drama Monday Mornings, among others.
For Darabont, L.A. Noir marks his first project since his July 2011 ouster from AMC's The Walking Dead. After initial reports that Darabont had stepped down from Walking Dead, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the showrunner -- who shepherded the adaptation of the series based on the comics by Robert Kirkman -- was pushed out over after clashing with the cable network over the show's budget. The Academy Award-nominated scribe's credits also include The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption.
Check out another pic from the drama, below. A premiere date has yet to be determined.