EXCLUSIVE: Writer, director, and producer E.L. “Evan” Katz, who won the 2013 SXSW Audience Award with his festival favorite dark comedy Cheap Thrills, has joined Jim Mickle and Nick Damici (Cold In July) as writer and producer on SundanceTV’s original scripted series Hap and Leonard.

Premiering in 2016, the series is adapted from author Joe Lansdale’s Southern noir books about an unlikely pair of best friends and martial arts experts who try to stay on the right side of the law in 1980s East Texas. SundanceTV ordered six one-hour episodes in November. Filming begins this year with Mickle set to direct a number of episodes.

The show marks Katz’s first foray into television after writing, directing, and producing his way up the genre film ranks. He also directed a slick entry in last year’s horror anthology ABCs of Death 2.

Hap and Leonard is the latest Lonsdale adaptation for exec producers Mickle and Damici after the pair adapted the Southern fried thriller Cold In July with Michael C. Hall, Don Johnson, and Sam Shepard starring. IFC released the film last year after debuting it at Sundance.

Jeremy Platt and Nicholas Shumaker are executive producing Hap and Leonard, while Lansdale is co-exec producing alongside Lowell Northop. Linda Moran is also producing the project.

Katz is repped by Gersh, manager Jeremy Platt and attorney Kim Stenton.