Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
EXCLUSIVE: Crime novelist Michael Connelly has partnered with Fuse Entertainment (The Killing, The Good Guys) and writer-producer Eric Overmyer (HBO’s Treme) in hopes of finally bringing his Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch character to series TV. Overmyer has come on to develop and serve as showrunner and lead writer on the prospective series, Connelly told Deadline today. No network or pilot deal is in place. The partnership marks Connelly’s first Bosch deal following a legal battle between the author and Paramount over rights to the character. Until 2010, the brooding LAPD homicide detective and protagonist of 15 of Connelly’s 20-plus books was tied up in 15 years of development hell at the studio.
Connelly says the partners first plan to shop the series to cable, and he sees The Killing’s serialized story line about a single murder as the model. “The Killing took two years [to solve a case]; we won’t do that,” Connelly said. “But what we are looking at is using the elements of one, possibly two, books a year, or a season.”
Connelly said he has the option of writing one episode per season, but plans to stay out of the writing process for the most part, as he has done when his books are made into movies (recently, The Lincoln Lawyer). “I couldn’t find a better writer than Eric Overmyer on TV,” Connelly said. “I’ve been down the Hollywood path a lot, and the conclusion that I’ve come to is that I should write the best novels I can, take them to Hollywood, and let them take it from there.”
Paramount had optioned two Harry Bosch books, Black Ice (1992) and The Black Echo (1993), back in 1995 but never developed either one into a movie. A 15-year option also gave Paramount ownership of the Bosch character so Connelly could not take it elsewhere. In 2010, Connelly sued Paramount to seek accurate accounting of development money spent so he could take advantage of a yearlong window to buy back the rights to Bosch.
The suit was settled in October 2010 and the buy-back window was extended to three years. Connelly then shopped Bosch around and finally bought back rights for an undisclosed amount after forging this new partnership.