It seems like there’s no better time to escape to the past than now, and television is delivering by taking us back to the time of murder mysteries and Hollywood glamour with Tinseltown. A TV series based on William J Mann’s 2014 bestselling book, the Tinseltown TV series is a murder mystery drama set in 1920s Hollywood that is currently in the works from Desperate Housewives writer Kevin Murphy.

Deadline reports that Spectrum Originals is developing Tinseltown, a murder mystery period drama TV series based on Mann’s 2014 book Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, And Madness At The Dawn of Hollywood. Kevin Murphy, best known for writing Desperate Housewives and creating Hellcats and Valentine, is developing the project alongside Mann, Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment, Tracy Katsky’s KatCo, and Paramount Television Studios. Murphy and Mann, who are also executive producing the series, are co-writing the script.

Set in Hollywood at the height of the silent film era, Tinseltown follows “four pioneer women filmmakers whose lives and livelihoods were threatened by a scandalous murder and the brutal patriarchy of Hollywood’s nascent studio system,” according to Deadline. The series revolves around the real-life unsolved murder of William Desmond Taylor, the president of the Motion Picture Directors Association.

“The show centers on four accomplished women filmmakers who get dragged into the grotesque media circus surrounding a murder,” Murphy said in a statement. “Their careers are upended and they find themselves pushed out of the burgeoning Hollywood studio system, a system Paramount founder Adolph Zukor has been building by strong-arming independent producers and exhibitors ravaged by the Spanish Flu shutdown.”

“I believe this is a story about women in Hollywood and the resiliency of women in Hollywood,” Mann added. “We wonder how we got to where we are today, well, this is the origin story of so much.”

A lot of elements make this project eerily topical. The series follows four female filmmakers at a time where women creators weren’t well-regarded, tying well with the ongoing Me Too movement. But the the series also takes place immediately after the Spanish flu pandemic ravaged the globe, which may hit a little too close to home to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic we’re currently experiencing. But it’s a project that had long been in the works, with Kapital and KatCo acquiring the rights to Mann’s book back in 2014, and Kaplan and Murphy in discussions about doing a project together for the past seven to eight years, according to Deadline.

No network has yet picked up the series, which could take a while getting to the small screen amid the industry-wide shutdowns from the pandemic.

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