FX has bought a drama pitch from L.A. Confidential author James Ellroy and producers Joe Roth and Clark Peterson. Based on Ellroy’s 2012 novella Shakedown, the project is set in the tabloid world and underbelly of Los Angeles circa the late 1950s and centers on the city’s top informant/operator/wire tapper/fixer, Fred Otash, who lives and works where the glamour and the grime intersect. A fictionalized version of legendary Hollywood vice cop-turned-private eye Otash, who exposed the sins of the rich and famous in the 1950s magazine Confidential, also appeared in Ellroy’s novels The Cold Six Thousand and Blood’s a Rover.
Ellroy, repped by CAA and manager Joel Gotler, is writing Shakedown and will executive produce the series with Roth, Peterson, Steven Hoban and Palak Patel for FX Prods. This marks a return to FX for Ellroy, who developed cop drama Throwdown Gun at the network two years ago. On the feature side, James Franco recently signed on to direct and star in an adaptation of Ellroy’s American Tabloid.