Paul Giamatti to star in FX drama pilot 'Hoke,' based on Charles Willeford's novels

paul-giamatti-fx-pilot-hoke-gi.jpgAs TV continues to prove fertile land for film stars, another big one is making the jump to the small screen with Paul Giamatti taking the lead in a darkly comedic drama pilot at FX.

The cable network announced on Wednesday (Aug. 28) that it had ordered "Hoke" to pilot, with Giamatti as set as the lead. The series, based on Charles Willeford's series of novels ("Sideswipe," "New Hope for the Dead" and "The Way We Die Now"), is a story of mid-life crisis and murder that centers on the hard-boiled and possibly insane homicide detective Hoke Moseley (Giamatti) in pre-chic Miami circa 1985. Production will begin in Miami later this year.

"Hoke" comes from "Get Shorty" writer Scott Frank, and will be executive produced by Curtis Hanson ("L.A. Confidential") Carol Fenelon ("Too Big to Fail") Giamatti and his Touchy Feely Films producing partner Dan Carey.

"Like Elmore Leonard, Charles Willeford is one of the most deeply respected writers of crime fiction and he created a wholly original and colorful lead character in Detective Hoke Mosely," FX Networks original programming president Eric Schrier said in a statement. "Scott Frank delivered a magnificent script and we are honored that Paul Giamatti will bring Hoke to life.  We're grateful to Curtis Hanson, Carol Fenelon, Paul, and Dan Carey for bringing us this project."

FX is currently in production on two other drama pilots, Guillermo del Toro and Carlton Cuse's "The Strain" and Howard Gordon's "Tyrant."

"Hoke" marks Giamatti's first foray into series regular TV work. The actor has largely kept his involvement on the small screen to guest star roles (like his upcoming turn in "Downton Abbey") and mini-series (HBO's "John Adams"). With his production shingle, Giamatti has two limited series in the works at FX, the Puritan settler-based "Mayflower" and an untitled look at the start of the Civil War.
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