×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Kelley cops Wambaugh police tale

'Hollywood' coming to small screen

David E. Kelley is teaming with Joseph Wambaugh to create a police drama based on Wambaugh’s novel “Hollywood Station,” which Little, Brown releases in November.

Scribe-producer’s 20th Century Fox TV-based David E. Kelley Prods. has acquired rights to the book, which chronicles the lives of LAPD cops who work the gritty streets of Hollywood. Kelley and Wambaugh will co-create and co-write the pilot script.

As with many of his projects, Kelley is writing “Hollywood Station” on spec, with plans to take the project to networks after the script is finished.

Kelley and Wambaugh said they don’t want the TV take on “Hollywood Station” to be a crime-of-the-week procedural.

While the two writers haven’t started outlining specifics, “the plots and stories that we choose will probably be the ones that explore the characters and their lives,” Kelley said. “It’s not going to be a series with guys in blue suits solving crimes.”

Wambaugh said fellow author James Ellroy “prompted me to do this book,” the first Wambaugh has set in Los Angeles since 1983’s “The Delta Star.” Author interviewed more than 50 LAPD officers over drinks and dinner meetings.

“Hollywood is a different place than anywhere else,” he told Daily Variety, recalling a true story about celeb impersonators involved in a crime.

“You can get a call from Grauman’s that Batman has assaulted Spider-Man, and the person who called it in is Marilyn Monroe — and Marilyn is actually a 6′ 2″ transvestite. There’s priceless stuff in Hollywood, and I want to take David over there and expose him to it.”

Kelley said Wambaugh’s book presents a “cauldron” of colorful personalities, making it ripe for a series.

“It’s a franchise where you have all these interesting characters whose lives intersect and cross paths with equally colorful characters on the other side of the law,” he said.

“Hollywood Station” would be the first Wambaugh novel to be turned into a TV series. He created the 1970s skein “Police Story,” while some of his books have been turned into telepics.

Wambaugh also adapted his book for 1979 feature “The Onion Field.”

As for Kelley, scribe plans to turn his attention to “Hollywood Station” after wrapping up the script for “Life on Mars,” the BBC skein he’s adapting for ABC. Kelley also is involved in the writing and production of his Alphabet skein “Boston Legal.”

Scribe has been inspired by Wambaugh before. He named Fyvush Finkel’s character in “Picket Fences” Douglas Wambaugh after the writer.

Kelley is repped by WMA, Marty Adelstein and attorney Michael Gendler. Wambaugh is repped by Joel Gotler.

More TV

  • Russian Doll

    TV News Roundup: Natasha Lyonne's 'Russian Doll' Sets Netflix Premiere Date

    On Friday’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for “Russian Doll” and Benedict Cumberbatch’s “Brexit” film has a premiere date on HBO FIRST LOOKS Showtime has released a new teaser for the upcoming comedy series, “Black Monday,” which will premiere Sunday, Jan. 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series stars and is executive produced by Don [...]

  • Vanity Fair Review

    TV Review: 'Vanity Fair'

    There’s something comforting about the predictability of a period piece novel adaptation in the Masterpiece Theater tradition. Knowing the story, or even just the rhythms of the genre, there are rarely many surprises. The women will toss off witticisms and cry careful, pretty tears; the men will steel their jaws and declare their love, ideally [...]

  • FILE - In this April 5,

    CBS Claims Commitment to Ending Harassment. Its Actions Say Otherwise (Column)

    At this point, a new breaking sexual harassment case at CBS isn’t exactly a surprise. Over and over again, powerful CBS company men from producers to executives to the ex-CEO himself have made headlines for propagating decades of harassment and abuse, with dozens of witnesses affirming that the pattern was business as usual. But as [...]

  • Willow ShieldsVariety Portrait Studio, Beautycon Festival

    'Hunger Games' Alum Willow Shields Joins Netflix Drama Series 'Spinning Out'

    Willow Shields has been cast in a series regular role in “Spinning Out,” the upcoming ice skating drama series at Netflix. She joins a cast that also includes Kaya Scodelario, who was announced as the series lead on Thursday, taking over the role originally held by Emma Roberts. Shields will star as Serena, Kat Baker’s (Scodelario) [...]

  • Adam Levine Cardi B

    Maroon 5 and How the Super Bowl Halftime Show Became Music's Least Wanted Gig

    Who would have thought that the Super Bowl Halftime show, an American institution watched by more than 100 million people, would become the least wanted gig in music? But thanks to the ongoing controversy concerning the NFL’s stance on a player’s right to protest, brought to the forefront by football’s top conscientious objector Colin Kaepernick, [...]

  • CBS Studios Exterior

    James Corden's Fulwell 73 to Develop Sci-Fi Drama at CBS (EXCLUSIVE)

    CBS is developing a drama series that hails from James Corden’s production company, Fulwell 73, Variety has learned exclusively. The series is titled “Embody.” In the series, after a mission gone wrong renders her permanently blind, a special agent volunteers for an experimental government program that can temporarily transfer her consciousness into someone else’s body, giving [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content