September 03, 2013 8:10am PT by Lacey Rose
LeBron James, Tom Werner Developing a Comedy Series for Starz
LeBron James is going Hollywood.
The NBA star has teamed up with veteran producer Tom Werner, writer-actor Mike O’Malley, longtime friend Maverick Carter and manager Paul Wachter to develop a half-hour comedy series, titled Survivor’s Remorse, for Starz. The series will explore the complexity, comedy and drama of an experience that everyone reads about, but few understand – what truly happens when you make it out.
Through a combination of God-given talent and north Philly grit, lead characters Cam Calloway and Reggie Vaughn have achieved fame and fortune that neither could have imagined growing up in one of the toughest neighborhoods in Philadelphia. But success comes with its own challenges, and the cousins and confidantes wrestle with the rewards of money, stardom, love, and occasionally, the guilt of having “made it.”
“We are incredibly excited at Starz to work with such a deep bench of talented storytellers to develop Survivor’s Remorse,” Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said in a statement announcing the news Tuesday. “Everyone involved brings something unique to the table – from Tom Werner’s legendary television success to LeBron’s extraordinary life experiences and point of view. We hope that Survivor’s Remorse will bring the humor, pain and complexity of these characters to life in a way that is honest and compelling for audiences worldwide.”
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 advisor, 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.
“I have a deep passion for the amazing television being created right now,” said James, noting that his small screen favorites include Boardwalk Empire, Magic City, Scandal and 24. “When my business partners Tom Werner and Maverick Carter brought up the idea of creating a television series that would capture the story of what happens when you make it out, I jumped at the chance. For Maverick and I even to be where we are right now, given where we came from, is kind of hard to believe. I felt like it was a story that needed to be told, and nobody can craft a story like Tom Werner.”
James, a nine-time NBA All-Star, will serve as an executive producer along with Wachter, Carter and Werner, whose vast producing credits include The Cosby Show, Roseanne, 3rd Rock From the Sun and That ’70s Show. O’Malley (Glee, Justified, Shameless) will serve as an executive producer and a writer on the project.
To date, James has not been as focused on Hollywood projects as some of his fellow athletes. If ultimately ordered to series, this effort will join a schedule that includes Black Sails and The White Queen. The premium cable network recently announced it would not be moving forward with Magic City after two seasons.