February 05, 2014 11:15am PT by Lesley Goldberg
LeBron James Comedy Gets Series Order at Starz
Starz is hoping NBA All-Star LeBron James is a slam-dunk for the network.
The premium cabler has ordered to series the James-produced half-hour comedy Survivor's Remorse, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The half-hour scripted comedy series hails from exec producers James, Tom Werner, Mike O'Malley, Maverick Carter and Paul Wachter. O'Malley, also a writer on Showtime's Shameless and an Emmy nominee for his role on Glee, will pen the project. The comedy, which was first announced in September, is being fast-tracked and will premiere in the fall on Starz.
Survivors Remorse is set in the world of professional basketball and explores the comedy and drama of an experience that everyone reads about, but few understand -- what truly happens when you make it out. Starz has ordered six episodes of the series.
The story follows Cam Calloway, a basketball phenom in his early 20s who is suddenly thrust into the limelight after signing a multimillion-dollar contract with a professional basketball team. Cam, along with his cousin and confidant Reggie Vaughn, confront the challenges of carrying opportunistic family members and their strong ties to the impoverished community that they come from. Cam, Reggie and an unforgettable group of characters wrestle with the rewards and pitfalls of stardom, love and loyalty.
James and Carter have been in business with Werner since 2011, when they partnered with Fenway Sports Group. The latter, for which Werner serves as chairman, owns soccer’s Liverpool Football Club and the Boston Red Sox. For his part, Wachter, a prominent Los Angeles-based financial adviser, has been business partners with James and Carter since 2004 and with Werner since he sold the Padres as Werner's investment advisor in 1995.
James, a nine-time NBA All-Star, will serve as an executive producer along with Wachter, Carter and Werner, whose long list of producing credits includes The Cosby Show, Roseanne, 3rd Rock From the Sun and That ’70s Show.
"Ever since I got cut from the freshman hoop team at Bishop Guertin High School in 1980, I've wanted to write about my love and hatred of basketball,” O’Malley said. “Starz has given us great freedom to explore an authentic world inspired by Maverick and LeBron. Tom’s legendary TV career and his experiences as a professional sports owner combined with Paul’s wealth of business and entertainment industry relationships have given this team a truly strong foundation to build a successful series.”
Added Starz CEO Chris Albrecht: “Mike has infused the world of Survivor’s Remorse with humor and heart. Along with LeBron, Maverick, Tom and Paul, we feel we really have an all-star team to capture the complexity and comedy inherent to this series.”
The show will be filmed in Atlanta, with Starz retaining all domestic and international multiplatform rights including TV, home entertainment and digital.
Survivor's Remorse joins an original programming roster that includes dramas Black Sails and DaVinci's Demons and the upcoming Power, Outlander and Flesh and Bone.
Casting has already begun; a specific premiere date for Survivor's Remorse has not yet been determined.