The two-hour premiere last night of Frank Darabont’s LA Noirish limited event series pulled in 2.3 million total viewers for TNT. Debuting at 9 PM, the heavily promoted Mob City drew 801, 000 viewers among Adults 18-49 and 875,000 viewers among the Adult 25-54 demo. While something quite different for TNT as a limited event series, and with good potential digital life, Mob City’s results last night are at the top end between the cable station’s two most recent debuts Monday Mornings and King And Maxwell - both of whom have since been cancelled. The David E. Kelly medical drama pulled in a weak 1.34 million total viewers at 10 PM on February 4 this year with just 386,000 among Adults 18-49 and 472,000 among the 25-54 demo. The Rebecca Romijn and Jon Tenney P.I. drama drew 3.5 million total viewers with 825,000 among Adults 18-49 and a bit more than 1 million among Adults 25-54 on June 10. Mob City is based on John Buntin’s book L.A. Noir: The Struggle For The Soul Of America’s Most Seductive City. Starring Neal McDonough, Ed Burns, Milo Ventimiglia and Jon Bernthal, the one-hour six-episode series is set to run until December 18. Like the LA Noir book, Mob City focuses on the war between the Police Chief William Parker’s LAPD and newly transplanted gangsters like Mickey Cohen for control of LA during the 1940s. TNT picked up the drama from the former Walking Dead showrunner and fellow …
Ed Burns is fast becoming TNT‘s MVP. The actor, who is a regular on Mob City, the network’s upcoming noir drama series set in 1940s Los Angeles, is behind another TNT period crime drama project, which has received a pilot order. The network has greenlighted Public Morals, written, to be directed by and starring Burns. Amblin TV and TNT Original Prods are producing, with Steven Spielberg and Burns executive producing alongside Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey and Aaron Lubin. The project is set in 1967 in New York City’s Public Morals Division, where cops walk the line between morality and criminality as the temptations that comes from dealing with all kinds of vice can get the better of them. It centers on cop Terry Muldoon (Burns), who knows the line between the good guys and bad guys is thin, and he is determined to raise his sons to be honest and hardworking as he deals with the dark underbelly of the vice world. Burns can draw on family history for Public Morals: His father Edward J. Burns worked for the NYPD during the late 1960s. This marks the first TV series multi-hyphenated Burns has created and is starring in. He previously co-created with his brother Brian the NBC comedy The Fighting Fitzgeralds. Burns is with Cinetic Management, John Sloss and David Matlof.
EXCLUSIVE: Ed Burns has been tapped to play notorious mobster Bugsy Siegel in a recurring role on Frank Darabont’s upcoming TNT series Lost Angels. Additionally, Robert Knepper, originally cast as a recurring, has been upped to a regular on the 1940s-set crime drama. Based on the John Buntin book L.A. Noir, Lost Angels follows the turmoil surrounding the LAPD and ruthless criminal activities led by gangster Mickey Cohen (Jeremy Luke). After moving from the East Coast to California, Siegel quickly established himself as the Los Angeles mob leader in the late 1930s and early 1940s, with Cohen as his chief lieutenant. Siegel also was a Hollywood fixture, throwing lavish parties for Tinseltown’s biggest names. Knepper plays Sid Rothman, a rank-and-file mobster working for Cohen. The actor recently became available for a regular gig after his CW series Cult ended following a brief run.
EXCLUSIVE: Ed Burns and writer-director Doug Atchison are teaming to put Turk on the ice. The duo will develop a feature film about former Boston Bruins player Derek “Turk” Sanderson, the talented but troubled member of the Stanley Cup-winning Bruins in the 1970s. Burns will co-star as Sanderson’s father and also serve as co-producer on the project, which is scheduled to begin filming next year in Boston. Akeelah And The Bee director-writer Atchison will helm Turk from his own screenplay, a rewrite of an earlier draft by Chris Pappas. Booze and drugs sent Sanderson’s life into a downward spiral, and the film will chronicle that fall and how his superstar teammate Bobby Orr helped him get his life back together. The role of Sanderson has not been cast. Tenth Green Productions will produced the film with Burns and Aaron Lubin’s Marlboro Road Gang. Atchison is repped by UTA and the Pitt Group; Burns is repped by UTA and Cinetic Management.
Producers of Summit Entertainment’s upcoming release I, Alex Cross, directed by Rob Cohen with Tyler Perry stepping into the role created by Morgan Freeman, have filed suit against other producers who claim they should receive compensation and screen credit for the movie. Bill Block and Paul Hanson are partners in QED, which produced the project that Summit has acquired for distribution. QED claims in the suit that prolonged negotiations that began in 2008 with potential producers Jan Korbelin and Marina Grasic (who with Mark Lindsay have launched Cargo Entertainment) and their company Visitor Pictures failed to come to an agreement on Visitor’s involvement with the development of I, Alex Cross. QED claims it drafted and redrafted multiple memorandums of understanding for Visitor’s involvement that were all rejected and no agreement was reached or signed. In 2009, QED says it formally notified Visitor that all previous offers were withdrawn. QED asserts that development of the movie proceeded without Visitor, who “indeed sought to have no involvement,” according to the suit.
Now that principal photography on I, Alex Cross has finished and the movie is expected to be released next year, QED claims that Visitor has resurfaced and is demanding compensation and screen credit, probably in preparation for legal action of their own. QED and other plaintiffs Suejack Inc and JPB Businesses are seeking a court ruling in the case to remove the “cloud” cast over I, Alex Cross by Visitor’s claims before the movie is released.
EXCLUSIVE: With his HBO comedy series Entourage recently wrapping production on its final season, Doug Ellin is shifting attention to his next project for the pay cable network, half-hour pilot 40. Michael Rapaport has been tapped to star opposite Ed Burns in the ensemble comedy, which revolves around four lifelong friends who help each other navigate life at 40, which isn’t all they expected it to be. Burns plays one of them, a married guy and a father who used to work at Bear Stearns making over $2 million a year but has now been out of work for almost a year. Rapaport, repped by Paradigm and Brillstein Entertainment, will play another friend, also married, who is described as a neurotic everyman. Rapaport’s series credits include comedies The War at Home and My Name Is Earl and drama Prison Break.
EXCLUSIVE: Following her memorable turn on Fox’s medical drama House this season, Amber Tamblyn is staying in business with Fox and House executive producer Katie Jacobs. Tamblyn has teamed with Jacobs and The Wire co-creator Ed Burns for a drama project that would star Tamblyn as a young teacher in the world of public education in America. The project, which has received a script commitment from the network, is being produced by 20th Century Fox TV.
Jacobs came up with the idea for the drama and pitched it to Tamblyn while the two were working together on House. Tamblyn loved it, and the two then brought in Burns, who was a public teacher in Baltimore (as well as a police detective) before he segued to writing. The three developed the project together, with Burns attached to write and Jacobs to direct. The show was set up at Fox and 20th TV through Jacobs’ joint overall deal with the network and studio. Jacobs and Burns are executive producing, with Tamblyn co-executive producing. Also expected to be part of the show is Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Tony-winning writer-star of the Broadway musical In the Heights. Miranda, also a former teacher, is friends with Jacobs and appeared in the two-hour sixth-season premiere of House, which she directed. On the feature side, Tamblyn, repped by WME and Hyler Management, has acquired the rights to Janet Fitch’s book Paint It Black and is writing a big-screen adaptation. …
EXCLUSIVE: Summit Entertainment has acquired domestic distribution rights to I, Alex Cross, the reboot of the James Patterson franchise. Tyler Perry stars as the title character, with Rob Cohen directing. Lost‘s Matthew Fox was just set to play Michael Sullivan, a psycho serial killer who viciously murders Cross’s wife when the detective thwarts his earlier attempt to commit a murder. The drama becomes a mano a mano battle between cop and the killer who is one of the most memorable villains in Patterson’s novels. Ed Burns will play Cross’s partner Tommy Kane.
Three distributors chased the picture. One was Lionsgate, which has the long relationship on all the hit films that Perry has directed and starred in. But Summit Entertainment had an “in” as well: Summit co-chairman/CEO Rob Friedman. Friedman, former Vice Chairman and COO at Paramount Pictures Motion Picture Group, had an active hand in Paramount’s release of the first two Alex Cross films, Kiss the Girls and Along Came A Spider, which starred Morgan Freeman. He personally oversaw the acquisition and has a relationship with the author.
The show, set in New York, revolves around four lifelong friends who help each other navigate life at 40, which isn’t all they expected it to be. Burns will play one of them, married with kids guy, who used to work at Bear Stearns making over 2 million a year but has now been out of work for almost a year. The quartet also includes a rich metrosexual guy, a a ripped personal trainer and a schlumpy neurotic married guy.The project falls under Ellin’s overall deal with HBO.
40 joins HBO’s recent pilot orders to Armando Ianucci’s Veep starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Aaron Sorkin’s untitled News Show project. Entourage‘s eighth and final season airs this summer.