TNT cancels Frank Darabont’s ‘Mob City’

The "Mob City" cast and crew film a scene of the 1940s-set crime drama in Griffith Park on July 8, 2013. The TNT show from writer/producer Frank Darabont was earlier titled "Lost Angels."
(Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

Frank Darabont’s post-"Walking Dead” work life is off to a zombie-crawl, with TNT deciding to cancel his period noir drama “Mob City.”

The series was billed a three-week television event, with two back-to-back episodes trying to capitalize on the idea of binge-viewing. Though it was publicized as a limited series, it had the potential to continue if ratings proved sufficient. But the show failed to make a dent with its December rollout -- its two-hour premiere opened soft, with just over 2 million viewers.

“‘Mob City’ was created as a three-week television event and we are incredibly proud of the six hours we presented of this remarkable drama,” a TNT rep said in a statement. “Although the ratings of the limited series haven’t warranted more hours, we are eager to work with Frank Darabont again and were delighted to bring the vibrant world of ‘Mob City’ to life.”

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Adapted from John Buntin’s nonfiction book “L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City,” the six-episode series was set in 1940s Los Angeles and focused on the sometimes bloody dynamic between LAPD Chief William Parker (Neal McDonough) and gangster kingpins Ben “Bugsy” Siegel (Ed Burns) and Mickey Cohen (Jeremy Luke).

The series was eyed as a redemption of sorts for the writer and producer. It was Darabont’s follow-up to AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” the cable powerhouse he was unceremoniously booted from as show runner early in its run.

“Mob City” also served as a bold programming move for TNT, a network that has built a brand on broad-skewing original programming such as “The Closer” and “Rizzoli & Isles.”

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Ahead of its premiere, Darabont told The Times the decision to re-enter the TV space wasn’t something that required much contemplation.

“I needed a good experience after the last one,” Darabont, most famous for directing a pair of prison dramas, “The Green Mile” and “The Shawshank Redemption,” said last November. “I had plenty of bad feelings about doing TV again. But look, a horse tramples you, you can get back on the horse and ride some more, or you decide you’re never going to ride again.

“I’m not going to just sit back and feel sorry for myself, lick my wounds. That’s ridiculous. You eventually have to move on.”



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