While “The Walking Dead” lurches on ably without the participation of Frank Darabont, the “Shawshank Redemption” director’s intriguing new TV drama continues to take shape over at TNT. Set in ’40s and ’50s L.A., “Lost Angels” is based on John Buntin’s book “L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City,” and focuses on the battles between the LAPD, led by Police Chief William Parker (Neal McDonough), and the criminal world headed by boxer turned gangster Mickey Cohen (Jeremy Luke).
Now, according to Deadline, “Lost Angels” has added filmmaker and actor Ed Burns in the recurring role of infamous gangster Bugsy Siegel — a role that’s been played before in film by Harvey Keitel, Warren Beatty, Richard Grieco and Armand Assante, among others. Siegel moved to California after the repeal of Prohibition and took over the numbers racket, also befriending Hollywood stars and high-ranking industry figures, becoming known for his extravagant parties.
Burns has dabbled in TV before — he appeared in three episodes of “Will & Grace” in 2005 and later played himself on “Entourage.” Thomas Jane, who starred in Darabont’s “The Mist,” had previously been considered for the role as Siegel. Jon Bernthal, Alexa Davalos and Milo Ventimiglia are all in the cast, while Simon Pegg is set for a guest role.
Period gangster tales remain a covetable if tricky to pull off commodity on the small screen — while CBS’ Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis-starring “Vegas” never clicked and was canceled, “Boardwalk Empire” is ramping up to its fourth season on HBO this fall (and features Michael Zegen as teenage Benny Siegel). Meanwhile, a TV adaptation of “L.A. Confidential” has been shopped around by James Ellroy — the events in the film, which was set after the period occupied by “Lost Angels,” are set off by the imprisonment of Mickey Cohen (played by Paul Guilfoyle).
“Lost Angels” is scheduled to premiere late this year and will have a short six-episode first season, the same length as the Darabont-run initial season of “The Walking Dead.”