Frank's back; let the good TV roll.
He played a huge part in bringing The Walking Dead to TV screens, and contributed to the best parts of the zombie drama; he wrote the screenplays for – and directed - The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption, and now he’s back on the small screen with a noir, period drama called Mob City. Boy, it’s nice to have you back, Frank.
Darbont's Mob City hits town tomorrow, December 4th, on TNT.
It’s no secret that Darabont’s exit from AMC’s The Walking Dead – their marquee show, despite owning Breaking Bad and Mad Men, with phenomenal viewing figures – damaged the show. Fans noticed a dip in quality, some more than others. This humble writer fell right out of love with it. So the news that Frank is back on the small screen – a trajectory he sees many actors making, for very good reasons – is very good indeed.
Mob City sees the battle between Mickey Cohen, a one-time boxer who rose to the top of L.A.'s criminal world, and the Los Angeles Police department rise to boiling point. The 6-episode season will be over and done with by December 18th; this is because it’s a limited series, and will be airing two episodes every Wednesday for three weeks.
Ed Burns plays one of the show's gangsters, Bugsy Siegel
“I'm absolutely delighted. I think it's inspired to air two a night over three weeks because otherwise we'd be doing the difficult thing of an hour a night and football season gets in the way. Then the audience has to hunt for it. I think it's a really smart way to go,” Darabont explained to The Hollywood reporter.
Of course, the holy grail for any show is to get a second season, and Darabont thinks a 6-ep start is the best way to go; it’s more than you get with a pilot, but doesn’t put people off with a lengthy season if they find it tiresome. “You can't really tell anything from a pilot. With six, you can really make your case and the network can give you the opportunity to do that without committing their resources for a full season. It's a great way to launch something,” he explained.
Since Darabont’s ousting from the Walking Dead setup - something he confirmed was down to budgeting - but refused to talk further on - Scott Gimple has assumed the position of showrunner. He’s been good, but the first half of season 4 hasn’t inspired much hope for the future of the show. And neither did the news of a possible spin-off.
The Mob City poster