HBO nabs Milch's 'Ninth'


David Milch and HBO are at it again.

Milch has landed his third drama pilot at the pay cable network in five years with "Last of the Ninth."

After his exploration of the worlds of Westerns with "Deadwood" and surfing with "John From Cincinnati," Milch is returning to his "NYPD Blue" roots with "Ninth," a gritty drama set in the New York Police Department in 1972.

"It is about an older detective's mentoring of a young detective returned from Vietnam in a department fiscally crippled, under attack by revolutionaries, and which has been brought by allegations of systemic corruption into public disrepute," Milch said.

Milch and fellow "NYPD Blue" executive producer Bill Clark, a former New York homicide detective, co-wrote "Ninth" before the writers strike. The two, who also worked together on "Cincinnati," will executive produce the pilot, which will be produced after the end of the writers strike.

Milch is a cop drama veteran, having received his start on NBC's "Hill Street Blues" before moving on to co-create ABC's Emmy-winning "NYPD Blue." His short-lived CBS series "Big Apple" also revolved around NYPD officers and their efforts to bring down crime and corruption.

"Ninth" stems from Milch's development deal with HBO, which was extended in August, following the network's cancellation of "John" after its first season.