James Ellroy's neo-noir novel may come to life again

By Dan Snierson
February 02, 2018 at 09:00 PM EST
Everett Collection

CBS is on the hunt for a hit in 1950s Los Angeles. The network has ordered a pilot for an adaptation of L.A. Confidential.

James Ellroy’s 1990 neo-noir novel was adapted into a 1997 big-screen film that starred Guy Pearce, Kevin Spacey, Kim Basinger, and Russell Crowe and netted nine Oscar nominations. This is not the first attempt at an L.A. Confidential series; a pilot with Kiefer Sutherland and Eric Roberts was filmed (and offered as a special feature on the film’s DVD/Blu-Ray release), and ultimately pitched to networks in 2013, but it did not land anywhere.

This proposed series would chronicle the intertwining exploits of three homicide detectives on the hunt for a sadistic serial killer, a female reporter, and a rising Hollywood actress in the underbelly of L.A. in the ’50s, but told through a lens of 2018 music and style. Jordan Harper (Gotham) serves as executive producer and writer of the pilot.

The network also ordered pilots for three more dramas as part of its development season, including Red Line, which hails from executive producers Ava DuVernay, Greg Berlanti, and Sarah Schechter. The prospective drama centers on three different families who are connected to the death of a black doctor, who is mistakenly killed by a white police officer in Chicago.

Caitlin Parrish (Supergirl) and Erica Weiss (The View From Tall) will write the pilot and serve as co-executive producers.

CBS also greenlighted a pilot for The Code, which will follow the military’s top brains in and outside the courtroom, and “each attorney is trained as a prosecutor, a defense lawyer, an investigator – and a Marine.” The Code is being written by Craig Sweeny (Star Trek: Discovery) and Craig Turk (The Good Wife), with Sweeny serving as showrunner.

Also headed to a pilot: Main Justice, which focuses on the youngest-ever U.S. Attorney General as he tackles legal and investigative cases, and is loosely based on the life of former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Sascha Penn (Power) will write the pilot and serve in the executive producer ranks, which include Jerry Bruckheimer. 

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