6:30pm PT by Bryn Sandberg
Showtime Orders Pilot for Docuseries Based on Rolling Stone Stories
Rolling Stone's reporting is about to be fodder for a new nonscripted television project.
Showtime has ordered a half-hour pilot for a pop-culture focused docuseries in the vein of the magazine, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. Sources say the show would mine stories from the publication. Should it be ordered to series, it would join other TV extensions of a magazine brand including HBO's Vice and Amazon's New Yorker Presents.
The project hails from Left/Right, the production company behind the premium cable network’s political docuseries The Circus, with Rolling Stone's head of digital operations (and son of founder and publisher Jann Wenner) Gus Wenner as well as Banks Tarver and Ken Druckerman serving as executive producers.
Rolling Stone recently made headlines with its profile of drug warlord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera, written by actor Sean Penn after he secretly met up with the elusive fugitive in the Mexican jungle in October. The article raised a firestorm of legal and ethical questions and resulted in El Chapo’s capture by Mexican authorities. In an interview with Charlie Rose on CBS' 60 Minutes, Penn admitted that the article "failed" in its mission to kickstart a conversation about the war on drugs.
In 2014, Rolling Stone came under fire after running a since-discredited investigative story about rape on the University of Virginia campus. The magazine was hit with a $25 million defamation lawsuit from the fraternity implicated in the piece. Amid the fallout, Rolling Stone officially retracted the story last April, and managing editor Will Dana later left the publication.
The news of the project was first reported by WWD.