Sean Chercover’s Big City, Bad Blood being developed for cable television.

Talented private-investigator-turned-novelist Sean Chercover has sold the television rights to his critically acclaimed and commercially successful first novel, Big City, Bad Blood–along with its protagonist, Ray Dudgeon–to Fox studios.

Paul Guyot (Felicity, Judging Amy) will be handling the screenwriting duties. “I was thrilled to learn that Paul Guyot had been signed to adapt BCBB for television,” says Chercover. “Paul’s a great screenwriter, and I’ve read a couple of his short crime fiction pieces, so I feel like Ray Dudgeon is in very good hands.”

The plan is to adhere as closely as possible to the tone and themes of the novel. According to Guyot, “We are developing [BCBB] specifically for cable. To do justice to Sean’s writing and characters, the show needs to be on cable; network television could not handle it.”

I personally love the idea of a strong P.I. series on cable. We have seen shows like The Wire, Rescue Me, Dexter, Oz and The Sopranos really utilize the freedom of cable to produce very dynamic shows with strong characters that step beyond the cliches. The hardboiled world of the P.I. novel seems well suited for cable.

Both Sean and Paul feel that a strong sense of place should be a key element. “The other thing I want to do–and the studio is on board, which is great–is make Chicago a big part of the show,” says Guyot. “[The show] will be shot on location, but instead of simply being a backdrop, the stories will be Chicago specific, and reflect the uniqueness of the city and its people.”

Big City, Bad Blood is a fantastic novel and if the pilot is half as good as the book, it will be a hit series.

Sean is a fine writer and exceptional human being so let us all give him hearty congratulations and wish him all the luck in the world. Remember, if this thing takes off, he can buy many more drinks at Bouchercon!