Robert Duvall

Robert Duvall

The first American version of "Cracker" went stale pretty quickly, but TNT is hoping it can give viewers something better to chew on.

The cable network has bought rights to the show, about a chain-smoking and heavy-drinking but dogged detective from Granada America, the U.S. arm of the company that produced the original version. Actor Robert Duvall will be among the executive producers of the new version.

"Cracker" starred Robbie Coltrane as Eddie "Fitz" Fitzgerald, whose messy life and abrasive style masked a brilliant investigative mind. ABC produced a version of the show starring Robert Pastorelli in the 1997-98 season, but it lasted only 11 episodes. In this year of the remake, though, the strength of the source material caused TNT to give it another look.

"It was such a success in the U.K. and around the world -- such a great character and also a great procedural," Granada America's Julie Meldal-Johnsen tells The Hollywood Reporter. "We thought the timing was right and that American cable, edgier and more open, would be a better venue for it than broadcast."

Jason Horwitch ("Medical Investigation," FX's movie "The Pentagon Papers") will write the script for TNT's pilot and serve as a co-executive producer. Duvall and Robert Carliner ("Broken Trail") will exec produce.