Paul Giamatti Drama Ordered to Pilot at FX

Written by "Get Shorty's" Scott Frank, "Hoke" is the story of mid-life crisis and murder that features the hard-boiled and possibly insane homicide detective in pre-chic Miami circa 1985.
Paul Giamatti

FX is moving forward with a Paul Giamatti drama.

The cable network has ordered the hour-long effort, titled Hoke, to pilot. The entry is described as a darkly comedic drama based on Charles Willeford's series of novels, Sideswipe, New Hope for the Dead and The Way We Die Now. Hoke is the story of mid-life crisis and murder that features the hard-boiled and possibly insane homicide detective, “Hoke Moseley” (Giamatti), in pre-chic Miami circa 1985. Production is set to begin in Miami later this year.

The project hails from writer/producer and Academy Award nominee Scott Frank (Out of Sight, Get Shorty) along with executive producers Curtis Hanson (LA Confidential), Carol Fenelon (Too Big to Fail) and Giamatti’s producing partner Dan Carey. In addition to starring, Emmy winner Giamatti, whose Touchy Feely Films inked a two-year, first-look deal with FX Productions at this time last year, will serve as an EP. The drama is being produced in-house at FX Productions.

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“Like Elmore Leonard, Charles Willeford is one of the most deeply respected writers of crime fiction and he created a wholly original and colorful lead character in Detective Hoke Mosely,” FX Networks original programming president Eric Schrier said in a statement announcing the news Wednesday. He added: “Scott Frank delivered a magnificent script and we are honored that Paul Giamatti will bring Hoke to life.  We're grateful to Curtis Hanson, Carol Fenelon, Paul, and Dan Carey for bringing us this project.”

The news comes as FX Networks continues to bulk up on projects as it goes about expanding its suite of cable channels. On Sept. 2, the News Corp.-owned company will launch FXX, which is designed to hyper-target an 18-34 demographic. The executives involved have publicly committed to having 25 series on the air to collectively fill the schedules of FX, FXX and FXM in the not too distant future.

The network group currently is in production on two addition drama series pilots, The Strain from Guillermo del Toro and Carlton Cuse, and Tyrant from Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff and Craig Wright. There are seven comedy series pilots in the works as well.

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For Giamatti's part, this project joins another, limited series Mayflower, at FX. The latter is billed as an unflinching portrait of the Puritan settlers at Plymouth Colony and their uneasy alliance with the local Native Americans. Gil Netter (Life of Pi) will executive produce, marking his first small-screen vehicle. Carey and Giamatti (Sideways, John Adams, Cindarella Man) also will executive produce alongside writers Doug Miro and Carlo Bernard (The Sorcerer's Apprentice).

Giamatti is repped by Kipperman Management and UTA.  Hanson, Fenelon and Carey are repped by UTA. Frank is repped by CAA.