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'French Connection' to be TV series

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'French Connection' to be TV series

Monday, October 11, 2004 Posted: 8:41 AM EDT (1241 GMT)


LOS ANGELES, California (Hollywood Reporter) -- The story of one of the biggest drug busts in U.S. history, subject of the Oscar-winning feature "The French Connection," is coming to television.


NBC is developing a "French Connection" series about the events that led to the now famous operation and the two cops who led it, New York Detectives Eddie Egan and Sonny Grosso.


Feature writer Rand Ravich has been tapped to pen the project as part of a sizable two-script deal he has signed with the network's sister studio, NBC Universal TV.


A "French Connection" police drama had been on NBC head of drama Christopher Conti's list of show ideas for some time. When, after inking the NBC pact, Ravich met with Conti and heard several potential concepts, he immediately jumped at the idea of "French Connection."


"It's one of my favorite movies," Ravich said. "I had to do it."


As part of his research, Ravich spent a lot of time with Grosso and talked to a number of other NYPD veterans from the 1960s and '70s. (Egan died in 1995.) Grosso, who along with Egan served as technical advisors on William Friedkin's feature, is expected to serve as a consultant on the NBC project.


Like in the 1971 movie, the two central characters based on Egan and Grosso will be named Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle and Buddy "Cloudy" Russo, respectively. But in addition to the gruff law enforcement duo, Ravich hopes to bring in a third central character on the show.


"I'm looking at New York City not just as a backdrop but as a character," Ravich said. "I want to (explore) N.Y.C. of the 1970s with the drugs, the Vietnam War, the Black Panthers, Mayor John Lindsay and how all that was trickling down to the regular people."


NBC Universal TV co-president Angela Bromstad said the studio already is exploring its "fabulous casting possibilities."


In the film, the two leads were played by Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider who earned an Oscar and Oscar nomination for their roles as Doyle and Russo, respectively.


Ravich wrote and directed the 1999 feature "The Astronaut's Wife," which starred Johnny Depp and Charlize Theron.

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Guest El Satanico

eh...it could be good. And it's not a Fox show, so if it's good it won't be cancelled in 5 episodes.

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