From Crime Time to Prime Time for UCI Prof Elizabeth Loftus, LA Noir Novelist James Ellroy

In a television world overpopulated with laws, orders, CSIs and whatnots, it should surprise no one that two crimey types have new shows in the works.

One even got the OC Weekly cover treatment.

Paramount/CBS in September snatched up Law N Order: SVU writer Roger Wolfson's Mind Games, which is based on UC Irvine psychology professor Elizabeth Loftus' off-campus work evaluating the memories of witnesses in criminal cases.

Wolfson, who is currently writing the pilot, contacted Loftus after seeing a 60 Minutes story on her that famously featured the memory expert planting a false memory in correspondent Lesley Stahl, who went on to pick the wrong man out of a lineup.

One Mind Games storyline will likely involve the controversial professor's first criminal case, which centered on a woman charged with murdering her abusive boyfriend.

 “The real excitement for me is that I've been teaching 10 students in a seminar, or 12 jurors, or 150 students in a large lecture maybe, but this is a chance to reach millions with some important lessons about how the mind works,”
Loftus tells the Orange County Register's Frank Mickadeit.

Hitting the airwaves (or cable waves) sooner than that will likely be a recent Orange County visitor's show.

Come to think of it, James Ellroy was also on the Weekly cover once (“Pulp-Non-Fiction,” Nov. 8, 1996).

Coming to the tube: James Ellroy's LA: City of Demons, which is set to debut Jan. 19 on the Investigation Discovery channel. The six-part series will have Ellroy talking to witnesses, prosecutors, investigators and jurors tied to famous LA cases.

“To add an even more surreal sheen to the show, Ellroy's work will be interrupted occasionally by an animated crime dog, 'Barko.' Seriously,” observes LA Observed.

Got that, Wolfson? You're gonna need an animated shrink dog. Call him “Noodles.”

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