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One of the twistiest true-crime stories of recent years will be developed as a scripted drama series at Lionsgate TV. The studio has optioned rights to a book proposal by journalist and author Matthew Lysiak about the Murdaughs.
Alex Murdaugh, an attorney from a prominent family in South Carolina legal circles, was arrested on charges of insurance fraud in September after allegedly paying for a former client to kill him so Murdaugh’s son Buster could collect on a life insurance policy. Murdaugh survived the alleged hit attempt, however.
The charges came three months after Murdaugh’s wife, Maggie, and son Paul were murdered at the family’s hunting lodge.
The saga has been the subject of stories in The New York Times and on NBC’s Today as well as at least one podcast. HBO Max is at work on a documentary series about the case, and now Lionsgate is developing a scripted project.
Lysiak is writing a book called Money, Mayhem and Murder in South Carolina: The Murdaugh Family Saga. The TV project is going by the title The Murdaugh Murders; Sharlene Martin (Home Before Dark), Judith Verno (Masters of Sex) and Helen Verno (Love and Death) will executive produce. Helen Verno has an overall television deal with Lionsgate. The studio’s Claire Wendlandt is overseeing development.
The Murdaugh project marks the second collaboration between Martin and Lysiak after Apple’s Home Before Dark. That show was inspired by Lysiak’s daughter Hilde and her work as a young journalist; Martin executive produces and Matthew Lysiak is a consulting producer.
Lysiak is also the author of Newtown: An American Tragedy and The Drudge Revolution.
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