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‘L.A. Confidential’ Series in Development at CBS

CBS is developing a TV adaptation of “L.A. Confidential,” Variety has learned.

Based on James Ellroy’s classic novel of the same name, the series would follow the paths of three homicide detectives, a female reporter, and a Hollywood actress as they intersect while the detectives pursue a sadistic serial killer through the seedy underbelly of 1950’s Los Angeles.

New Regency, Lionsgate Television and CBS Television Studios will produce, with New Regency’s Arnon Milchan serving as executive producer. Jordan Harper is set to write and executive produce. Harper previously wrote for and produced the CBS drama “The Mentalist.” Most recently, he served as a writer and supervising producer on Fox’s “Gotham.” He is repped by UTA and The Shuman Company.

The novel was first published in 1990, the third entry in Ellroy’s “L.A. Quartet,” which explored life in the City of Angels in the 1940’s and ’50s. The other books are “The Black Dahlia,” “The Big Nowhere,” and “White Jazz.” “L.A. Confidential” was subsequently adapted into the 1997 film of the same name. It starred Guy Pearce, Kim Basinger, Russel Crowe, Kevin Spacey, James Cromwell, and Danny DeVito with Curtis Hanson directing. The film received widespread acclaim and was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It won two: Best Supporting Actress for Basinger and Best Adapted Screenplay for Hanson and Brian Helgeland.

This is not the first time an “L.A. Confidential” series has been attempted. After the success of the film, a pilot starring Kiefer Sutherland and Eric Roberts among others was shot. It was ultimately not picked up, but was included as a special feature in the film’s DVD and Blu-Ray release. In 2013, Ellroy shopped a sequel series to various networks but was unable to find it a home

As Variety previously reported Wednesday, CBS is also working with Gina Rodriguez to develop the drama titled “Have Mercy,” based on the German format “Dr. Illegal.” It centers around a Latina doctor who is unable to practice when she immigrates to Miami. She begins work as a nurse’s assistant, but risks everything when she opens a makeshift clinic in her apartment to serve the community.

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