Television is a ravenous beast, endlessly hungering for more cop, lawyer and doctor shows to fill its gaping maw. Showrunners, trembling in fear before the idiot box’s monstrous desires, are under constant pressure to come up with novel twists on the long-since stale crime drama. A criminal who helps the cops. A serial killer who we know will help the cops eventually. A cop who’s also a criminal. An arsonist who only burns down the houses of other arsonists. A team of cops who does basically the same shit as other cops but in a different city.

It’s not easy to come up with a new premise for a crime story, but Timothy Hallinan has managed it. The novelist’s seriocomic Junior Bender series concerns a high-end thief who becomes a private eye—a private eye who only solves mysteries at the behest of other criminals. Hallinan has published four Bender books thus far, beginning with 2010’s Crashed, and the series is now being adapted into a new series for NBC.

Doing the adapting is everyone’s favorite executive transvestite, Eddie Izzard. The British comedian and actor will executive produce the series, with Royal Pains producer Jessica Ball writing the script. Izzard—who brought wit and sleazy charm to criminals he played in Mystery Men, Oceans 13, The Riches, and most relevantly, Hannibal—seems like an obvious fit for the lead role, but for the moment, he’s only set to produce, not star. Perhaps, as executive producer, he can convince himself to take the role.

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