Sinister Cinema: When I Wasn’t Paying Any Attention Whatsoever, “Hoke” Bit the Dust

Surfing around the net a few days ago, I noticed a blurb for some new TV pilot that included Paul Giamatti in the cast. I wondered, Does this mean that the “Hoke” series for FX never got a pickup?

Easy come, easy go, I guess.

When I first mentioned the show back in 2013, the news came at me out of the blue — and even then I knew that if they did a pilot, it might not jump through the next set of hoops to become an ongoing show.

It looked good for awhile. I blurbed an article where Oona Chaplin joined the cast, and after that they filled out the roles. Obviously they must have shot the pilot episode. . . .

But today I got an email from Trisha Telep in the UK — freelance journalist, former bookbuyer for Murder One in London — asking if I in fact am working on a revamp of my book on Charles Willeford. Answer: after a few years of putting it off, yes, I’m digging stuff out of file boxes and thinking about it, most likely as an eBook.

Then she mentioned that Hoke didn’t get picked up. A quick search of the net found one article — and another — confirming the demise. Too bad.

And it looks as if we’ll never see the pilot.

Trisha tells me, “I talked to a PR guy at FX Productions (they made the pilot as part of their original programming) named John Solberg — he’s the SVP, Media Relations at FX and Fox Cable Networks. All he would say is that they decided not to go ahead with it.

“I can’t believe they pulled the plug with so many great people attached, though. I mean, the quality of the pilot can’t have been poor or anything.

“I can’t believe they’ll ever show it because, obviously, FX weren’t happy with it.”

Trisha adds, “I was hoping to write an article about the axing of the series but because, sadly, no one on the project will give me any info on what really happened, I’d love to hear any (preferably colourful) theories from hardcore Willeford fans about what they think may have happened to Hoke.”

So, why didn’t FX pick up Hoke when they did pick up The Strain? Is Willeford still too out there and hot for even cable TV? Did Giamatti do Hoke Moseley as a gibbering nutcase?

If you’ve got a theory, pop it to Trisha at:

When or if she gets an article on the subject done, I’ll announce it — as long as someone tells me about it. . . .


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