“The Shawshank Redemption” director Frank Darabont is headed back to the small screen with a new project after being booted off “The Walking Dead,” the massively successful zombie series he created and initially ran for AMC and that kicked off its third season this past Sunday.
Darabont’s been working on a Los Angeles-based period drama called “L.A. Noir” for TNT. Based on the nonfiction book by John Buntin, the show tracks the true story of the conflict between the LAPD, under the leadership of Police Chief William Parker (played by Neal McDonough), and a criminal network headed up by boxer-turned-gangster Mickey Cohen during the 1940s and ’50s.
According to Variety, TNT’s going ahead with the high-profile series, having ordered six episodes, while potentially ditching the title. Former “Walking Dead” star Jon Bernthal has the lead role as Joe Teague, a former Marine working as a cop who deals with corruption in his ranks. Milo Ventimigila, Jeffrey DeMunn and Jeremy Strong also star, while Thomas Jane guest stars as Bugsy Siegel in the pilot, with Simon Pegg playing a mob hanger-on.
While a six episode order sounds awfully short, the first season of “The Walking Dead” also only ran that long, and presumably offers a measure of comfort for what will surely be a pricier than average production. It’ll also be interesting to see how Darabont fares in dealing with network execs and a TV schedule this time around, though clearly TNT has faith in him.