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Coen Brothers Join TV Migration with Detective Comedy

Photo of Anne Thompson and Maggie Lange By Anne Thompson and Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood October 5, 2011 at 4:16AM

Everybody's going to TV. Even Joel and Ethan Coen have sold an hour-long private detective comedy to Fox, HarveKarbo. With Cedar Rapids writer Phil Johnston on the script, the brothers' single-camera show will trace the life of P.I. Harve Karbo and his noir-like investigations into the seedy underbelly of Hollywood high society. The Coens, along with Johnston, Imagine co-founder Brian Grazer and president Francie Calfo, will executive produce, reports Deadline.
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Thompson on Hollywood

Everybody's going to TV. Even Joel and Ethan Coen have sold an hour-long private detective comedy to Fox, HarveKarbo. With Cedar Rapids writer Phil Johnston on the script, the brothers' single-camera show will trace the life of P.I. Harve Karbo and his noir-like investigations into the seedy underbelly of Hollywood high society. The Coens, along with Johnston, Imagine co-founder Brian Grazer and president Francie Calfo, will executive produce, reports Deadline.

The Coen brothers have long mined a range of genres, but this first TV project is in their detective noir wheel house.

The Oscar-winning Coens are in good company, as other successful Hollywood directors turn their talents to the small screen. Steven Spielberg has been producing TV for a long time, from HBO's Band of Brothers and Pacific to the more recent Falling Skies and Terra Nova. But now Martin Scorsese has won an Emmy for the Boardwalk Empire pilot; his two-part HBO doc George Harrison: Living in the Material World airs Wednesday and Thursday. Neil Jordan went period with Showtime's The Borgias. Oscar-winning screenwriter Robert Towne is prepping min-series Pompei for the Scott brothers. And Jonathan Demme's A Gifted Man, starring Patrick Wilson, Jennifer Ehle and Emmy-winning Margo Martindale, is a well-reviewed CBS survivor so far this fall season.

This article is related to: Awards, Directors, Genres, Hollywood, Studios, TV, Career Watch, Emmys, Steven Spielberg, Coens, Martin Scorsese, HBO


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.