CBS’s insatiable need for legal dramas and detective shows has driven it into the public domain, with the network giving a put pilot order to Sawyer & Huck, a modern-day adaptation of Mark Twain’s famous characters. The show will star Tom Sawyer as a down-on-his-luck attorney, Huck Finn as his childhood-friend-turned-private-investigator, and the collective will of a million fans of American literature, psychically screaming in pain.
Sawyer & Huck is being developed by Drop Dead Diva creator Josh Berman, and will see its title characters as “adults in modern day America at a time that harkens back to the racial and class divides that inspired Mark Twain’s books.” (Because only by turning Huckleberry Finn into a cool, bad-guy punching private gumshoe can the national healing begin.)
Weirdly enough, the idea of Tom And Huck: Crimestoppers! isn’t as far-fetched as it initially seems; Twain himself wrote a book, Tom Sawyer, Detective, as a parody of the rising popularity of mystery novels. Of course, Mark Twain was a literary genius, and Josh Berman is a guy who created a Lifetime show about a model who comes back to life in the body of a plain-looking person, so there may be a gulf in the relative levels of talent on display. All those considerations have to be weighed against the fact that “Tom Sawyer” and “Huckleberry Finn” are names that people recognize that nobody has to pay anybody else to use, though, so all those psychically screaming book fans should probably just resign themselves to this new, hip Tom Sawyer, the kind who tricks rival prosecutors into painting fences for him, and addresses every problem by faking his own death.