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Lionsgate TV preps drama based on betting scandal around baseball’s Shohei Ohtani

LA SCREENINGS: Lionsgate Television has begun developing a drama based on the betting scandal surrounding Japanese baseball superstar Shohei Ohtani.

Shohei Ohtani

Scott Delman (Station Eleven) and writer, author and producer Albert Chen are attached to produce the series, which has moved quickly after the gambling scandal first came to light in late March.

In December, Ohtani made international news when he signed a US$700m, 10-year deal to join the LA Dodgers, the largest contract in the history of American sports. However, just three months later, news broke that Ohtani’s interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, had allegedly stolen US$16m from the baseball player to pay off gambling debts.

Mizuhara was fired by the LA Dodgers, turned himself in to federal authorities and investigations by the Department of Justice and Major League Baseball are ongoing.

Chen authored the sports gambling book Billion Dollar Fantasy and was also the co-creator, co-host and producer of podcast All American. Delman, in addition to having produced Max’s dystopian drama Station Eleven, is a multi-Tony Award winner for Broadway productions including The Book of Mormon, Death of a Salesman and All The Way.

Max Elins, senior VP of scripted TV development, is overseeing the project for Lionsgate Television. Bryan Weiser negotiated the deal.

Other projects in the works from Lionsgate TV include the recently announced English-language series adaptation of Park Chan-wook’s film Oldboy.

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