Script Files

Hell City TV Pilot

An alcoholic detective has a chance to stop home-grown jihadis from launching another devastating attack on New York, but might fall short if not for the unexpected help of his girlfriend who breaks a key suspect as the action heads for a breakneck conclusion.

NYPD homicide dick Jack Oldham heads a counterterrorism squad that tracks U.S. citizens Nadir al Zwadaki and Luke Swan. Were they trained in the Af-Pak region? Jack and his partner, the irascible Vincent “Lucky” Luciano, track their movements around a Harlem mosque and follow a maddening world of clues that takes them through the grittiest precincts of the city, the back roads of America, the lawless regions of Pakistan, the faceless chat rooms of the Internet and the dark corridors of the military-intelligence complex — not to mention the whiskey-tinged environs of the Christmas, a raunchy dive bar in Hell’s Kitchen frequented by Jack and other oft-recovering alcoholic cops.

Along the way, Jack strikes up an unlikely romance with Annette DeFarro, a rehabbed punk queen, who shares Jack’s lust for the city’s dark side. And in the end, it’s not the task force, not the FBI, but the deputized Annette who breaks the key suspect. This hard-boiled, streetwise drama twists the mind and the senses as it heads for a crash course with disaster.

  • Allen Shadow
    The Eatery
  • Project Type:
    Television Script
  • Number of Pages:
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
  • First-time Screenwriter:
  • Student Project:
  • 2015 World Series of Screenwriting

    October 27, 2015
Writer Biography - Allen Shadow

Bronx-born Allen Shadow (aka Allen Kovler) has been a cook, a cabdriver, a correspondent and a composer. He has also been an accredited PR pro for 30 years. His gritty-yet-lyrical prose style has been forged by the streets of New York. His debut thriller, “Hell City” (Blue City Media) was released in 2012.

Kirkus Reviews says: “A striking read that will leave you looking around the corner in fear…Shadow has crafted an entertaining mystery that borrows from the best in mystery and noir, while adding a heavy dose of modern paranoia. Jack Oldham, the compelling detective, is riddled with doubts and scars, and rather than being a standard cardboard cutout, he feels vivid and believable as a protagonist. Shadow deftly evokes the constant high alert in a modern security state… in this thrilling lookout for the bad guys’ next move.”

Shadow holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Lehman College. His writing has appeared in literary magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times.

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Writer Statement

Hell City (Season 1) is rife with compelling, conflicted characters. Characters with pedigrees. How interesting they are connected to the city’s history, to its gangs and to its avant-garde culture, from the Beats to punk to pop artists like Warhol. Great stories have an inside story, something beyond the plot, something deeper, something profound. Stories like HC elevate to another level.

The Hell City TV Pilot was a finalist in the 2015 World Series of Screenwriting. In addition, a sequel to the novel Hell City, which will provide the basis for Hell City (Season 2), has been completed.