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‘Get Shorty’ TV series nabs Chris O’ Dowd and Ray Romano for leads

Elmore Leonard’s 1990 novel Get Shorty was already adapted for a well-received 1995 film directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, and now the story of a mob enforcer who tries to go legit as a movie producer is being turned into a television series, too.

EPIX and MGM Television have reportedly signed Emmy-winning Everybody Loves Raymond star Ray Romano and The IT Crowd actor Chris O’Dowd  to star in the series, which will take the form of a 10-episode first season comprised of one-hour episodes. The Get Shorty series will be executive produced by Shameless writer and executive producer Davey Holmes.

According to Deadline, which first reported on the project, O’Dowd and Romano will portray characters similar to the parts played by John Travolta and Gene Hackman, respectively, in the 1995 film.

The initial description of the series has O’Dowd playing Miles Daly, the enforcer for a vicious criminal organization in Nevada, who decides to change professions for the sake of his daughter. While attempting to become a movie producer — and launder his earnings through the film — he has a difficult time leaving his criminal past behind him, and finds himself dealing with a whole new set of problems in Los Angeles.

The 1995 film based on Leonard’s novel also starred Rene Russo and Danny DeVito, and earned positive reviews from professional critics and general audiences on its way to $115 million worldwide. The film spawned a 2005 sequel titled Be Cool, based on Leonard’s sequel to Get Shorty. The sequel had Travolta’s movie producer turning his attention to the music industry in order to help an old friend.

Get Shorty is expected to premiere in 2017, with production beginning this fall. The series will air on Epix television network Epix On Demand, Epix.com, and on the TV Everywhere digital platform.