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NBCU’s Joe Exotic goes straight to series

Joe Exotic, the subject of Netflix docuseries sensation Tiger King

NBCUniversal’s (NBCU) television and streaming arm has given a cross-platform straight-to-series order for its scripted show featuring characters from Netflix’s hit documentary Tiger King.

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, Madness became one of Netflix’s most viewed series of all time upon launching amid the global coronavirus lockdown.

The series has since led to multiple related projects, including NBCU’s show, which has the working title Joe Exotic. It will star Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live) and will roll out across NBCU’s scripted entertainment platforms, NBC, Peacock and USA.

Etan Frankel (Sorry for Your Loss, Shameless) is set to write the limited series via his overall deal with UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group. Emmy winner McKinnon will also executive produce along with Wondery’s Hernan Lopez, Marshall Lewy and Aaron Hart.

Based on the Wondery podcast of the same name, Joe Exotic is based on true events involving Carole Baskin (McKinnon), a big-cat enthusiast, and fellow wildlife park owner Joe ‘Exotic’ Schreibvogel, who has not yet been cast.

When Baskin finds out Exotic is breeding and using his big cats for profit, she sets out to shut down his venture, inciting a quickly escalating rivalry. But Baskin has a checkered past of her own and when the claws come out, Exotic will stop at nothing to expose what he sees as her hypocrisy.

Frankel, who will also write and executive produce UCP’s limited series Evel, recently finished co-showrunning the second season of Sorry for Your Loss, starring Elizabeth Olsen. Previously, he wrote and produced the first seven seasons of the US version of Shameless.

McKinnon is represented by Artists First, UTA and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller. UTA, who also represents Wondery, negotiated the deal on their behalf.

Other Tiger King related projects include a Nicolas Cage-fronted scripted series for CBS and an Animal Project doc titled Surviving Joe Exotic.


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