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The creators of Big Love and Getting On are tackling T.C. Boyle’s novel The Tortilla Curtain as their next TV project.
Will Scheffer and Mark V. Olsen will adapt the book for MGM Television, which plans to shop it as a premium series. No outlet is attached yet.
Published in 1995, The Tortilla Curtain is a darkly comedic story about immigration, told through the lens of a liberal white couple living in an upscale development in Topanga Canyon, Calif., and an undocumented Mexican couple living in the ravine below. Their lives become intertwined when the white man hits the Mexican man with his car and then flees the scene.
“Will and Mark are two of the most talented writers in our business,” said Steve Stark, president television production and development at MGM. “Their knack for tackling fresh takes on provocative subject matters blew us away when they first sat down with us to talk about their vision for Tortilla Curtain.”
Scheffer and Olsen will serve as showrunners. Alex Hertzberg of Hertzberg Media and Nice Media Studio’s Sam Sokolow (Genius) are executive producing. MGM Television is producing the series and will supervise the writing of the pilot in-house. The studio will also handle international distribution.
The project represents one of Scheffer and Olsen’s first ventures outside of HBO, where they’ve had an overall deal since 2006. The duo are also working on a Netflix project called Churchmen.
“This is a dream project for us. The material is beyond timely, the themes are rich and profound, and collaborating with MGM, Sam and Alex has been a joy,” said Scheffer and Olsen. “We are truly honored to work on such exceptional source material.”
MGM’s current scripted series include The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu, Fargo — whose fourth season will likely air in 2020 — and Vikings, which is set to end its six-season run on History next year. It also has Get Shorty at the MGM-owned Epix and Condor on AT&T’s Audience Network.
Scheffer and Olsen are repped by CAA and Schreck Rose; Boyle by CAA and Georges Borchardt Inc. Literary Agency; HertzbergMedia by Myman Greenspan; and Sokolow/Nice Media by CAA and Joel Vanderkloot.
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