Monday, October 03, 2005

The Circle of Hollywood Life

James Ellroy ("The Black Dahlia," "L.A. Confidential") is one of my favorite authors, so the news last week that Joel Surnow and Bob Cochran --the creators of "24" -- are now working on a modern-day hardboiled detective series that cites "Confidential" as an influence easily caught my eye.

Called "Thirteen," the possible series (Fox has given it the green light for a pilot and it will be considered for the 2006 fall season ) follows a private eye working a single case over the course of 13 episodes. In the trade articles, Cochran and Surnow have cited Ellroy's book as one of the influences for the series. Interestingly, "L.A. Confidential" was itself considered as a potential Fox series more than 5 years ago.

Here's the history: Following the critically successful film adaptation in 1997, HBO originally ordered it as the basis for a 13-part miniseries in 1999. Supposedly, it was to focus on events prior to the movie, contain various Ellroy characters and made over the objections of Ellroy. HBO eventually passed on the project, but the pilot was then produced for the Fox Network-- and then Fox failed to pick up up the show as well. The pilot eventually ran on Tr!o, under their "Brilliant, But Cancelled" banner.

The kick: The star of the 2000 "L.A. Confidential" TV series? Kiefer Sutherland, of Surnow and Cochran's "24". Funny how things sometimes come quasi-full circle, eh? And, of course, had the TV adaptation of "L.A. Confidential" not failed, it begs the question of whether there would even be a "24".

Maybe this time Fox will get it right. Here's to hoping that a similar situation does not unfold with this series.

*Amazingly, the picture above is of the three non-Ellroy people mentioned in this article-- from left to right: Cochran, Sutherland and Surnow. God bless Google Images.

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