December 11, 2013 10:18am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Rob Reiner Developing 'Basket Case' Dramedy for Spike TV
Spike TV is continuing its re-entry into scripted programming, teaming with Emmy-winner Rob Reiner to develop Carl Hiaasen's best-seller Basket Case.
From FremantleMedia North America, Random House Television Productions and Reiner's Castle Rock Entertainment, Basket Case centers on an investigative reporter who has trouble dealing with authority, change, women, success and corruption.
Reiner will develop the script and direct the project should it move forward. Peter Gethers (Old Jews Telling Jokes) and Jeffrey Levine (Too Big to Fail) will executive produce alongside Alex Taub (Hart of Dixie, Drop Dead Diva), who will pen the script. Thom Beers, Craig Cegielski and Stefanie Berk will exec produce for FMNA. Reiner (All in the Family, Stand by Me, This Is Spinal Tap) and Liz Glotzer will exec produce for Castle Rock.
"Corruption, murder and laughs. I can't think of a more satisfying combination. Carl Hiaasen strikes the perfect balance. I'm so looking forward to entering his twisted world," Reiner said in a release announcing the news Wednesday.
Hiaasen is a critically acclaimed novelist who has penned more than 15 novels, including Star Island (2010), Bad Monkey (2013) and young adult entry Hoot (2002), the latter of which was remade as a movie in 2006. He has sold nearly 13 million copies of his books in the U.S., and his work has been translated into 34 languages worldwide. Basket Case has sold 700,000 copies in the U.S. and has been published in 13 foreign countries.
"It's very cool to have Rob Reiner involved with Basket Case," Hiaasen said. "Among writers of satire, Spinal Tap stands as a work of genius. I'm excited to see what Rob will do with my twisted little novel."
After the family-run newspaper the investigative reporter works for is sold to an international conglomerate and he savages the new owner in a video on the paper's website, he is demoted to the lowest position at the paper: the obituary desk. Obits, however, provide a new perspective into crime-ridden Miami and the reporter soon learns that they are a unique window into suspicious deaths and weird goings on. Using an unusual team of friends, relatives, an ex-wife, newspaper misfits and his beautiful new boss, he strives to regain his investigative credibility and a saner life.
"We are thrilled to have sold our first scripted series to Spike," said Gethers. "What makes it particularly gratifying is that, not only is the show based on the work of one of Alfred A. Knopf's most beloved authors, we get to partner with Rob Reiner and Castle Rock. It's a dream combination for us."
For Spike, Basket Case comes as the male-focused cabler is eyeing a return to scripted fare. The network announced in April that it was developing five event series in its effort to return to original scripted programming following the end of comedy Blue Mountain State and 2007 event series The Kill Point. The network also has a six-part King Tut event series in the works.
The project marks the first sale under FMNA's first-look deal with Random House, with Levine leading the newly launched Random House Television unit.
Random House TV and Taub are repped by UTA; Reiner is with CAA.