Kate McKinnon to lead Joe Exotic series at NBCUniversal
While CBS Television is developing its own scripted series with Nicolas Cage (Mandy) leading the way, NBCUniversal Television has given a direct-to-series order for a Joe Exotic series with Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live) leading, according to Variety.
Written by Etan Frankel and based on the Wondery Podcast of the same name, the limited series will center on big cat enthusiast Carole Baskin (McKinnon) as she learns of Joe “Exotic” Schreibvogel’s animal abuse and breeding of big cats and sets out to shut down his business, creating a rivalry between the two. As Carole’s own shady past begins to come to light, Joe will fight for his business and seeks to expose her for her hypocrisy.
Frankel, who is also developing an Evel Knievel limited series led by Milo Ventimiglia (This Is Us), is set to write and executive produce the project alongside McKinnon, Wondery’s Hernan Lopez, Marshall Levy and Aaron Hart while Universal Content Productions are attached to produce.
The series was first announced as being in development in November and in an effort to combat the streaming wars, NBCU has set the series for a multi-platform airing across NBC, fresh streaming platform Peacock and USA Network, where it was originally set up. This business model is a similar setup to Hulu’s deal with multiple networks of simultaneous streaming programs after their on-air debuts, as well as HBO’s with their platform HBO Max.
Netflix’s docuseries Tiger King first introduced the world to the bizarre nature of Exotic and Baskin’s story this past March and became an overnight sensation, trending across multiple social media platforms, in news headlines and reaching an audience of 34.3 million unique viewers within the first 10 days of its debut. This success led to the ordering of a follow-up special hosted by Joel McHale (Community), a follow-up docuseries at Investigation Discovery and the Cage-starring scripted series at CBS Television Studios, based on the Texas Monthly article “Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild” by Leif Reigstad.
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