September 10, 2013 12:30pm PT by Michael O'Connell, Lesley Goldberg
Showtime Developing Basketball Drama With L.A. Lakers, Ron Shelton
Showtime could be taking it to the courts with their next drama. The Hollywood Reporter has learned that the cable network is developing a one-hour drama focused on a professional basketball team.
Set to write, executive produce and, should it go to pilot, direct is Ron Shelton. The sports-centric filmmaker's most notable movies include Bull Durham, Tin Cup and White Men Can’t Jump. Serving as executive producers alongside him on the project are several members of the L.A. Lakers family, including assistant coach Kurt Rambis, retired coach Phil Jackson and team execs Jeanie Buss and Linda Rambis -- the latter two doing so under their shingle Street Reason Entertainment.
The untitled project is a behind-the-scenes look at a professional team, focusing on the family that owns the franchise. Brett Tomberlin of IDW and Ubiquity Studios will also executive produce, as will Brian Gilbert and Andrew Trapani of Nine/8 Entertainment.
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For Showtime, the untitled basketball drama comes as the premium cable network recently renewed Hollywood fixer drama Ray Donovan for a second season and as it prepares to launch freshman drama Masters of Sex later this month with the return of Homeland. With Dexter signing off this month after eight seasons and The Borgias having come to an end after four seasons, Showtime has drama pilots The Vatican with Friday Night Lights favorite Kyle Chandler, marriage drama The Affair starring Fringe's Joshua Jackson and horror drama series Penny Dreadful with Josh Hartnett and Eva Green in the works.
The series would mark a scripted extension of the network's already sizable sporting catalog. Showtime recently added 60 Minutes Sports to a roster that already includes Inside the NFL, baseball doc series The Franchise, All Access, Jim Rome on Showtime, Showtime Championship Boxing, ShoBox: The New Generation and ShoMMA.
Showtime Entertainment president David Nevins has been vocal about building the network's sports brand being a personal priority.
Shelton is repped by John Mass at Oasis Media Group and attorney Don Steele. Buss, Jackson, Rambis and Tomberlin are repped by Alexa Pagonas of Michael Black Management. Nine/8 is repped by Allison Binder of Stone, Meyer, Genow, Smelkinson & Binder. Todd Berger of Creative Media brokered the project.