Host Sarah Koenig will exec produce alongside LeBron James.
Serial season three is getting the TV treatment.
HBO is developing an untitled limited series based on the 2018 third season of the podcast that explored the criminal justice system at work in Cleveland. Host Sarah Koenig will exec produce alongside LeBron James and his SpringHill banner.
The untitled drama will follow a young cop and the man he’s accused of beating as the potential series illuminates the flawed inner-workings of a middle-American courthouse and how the system impacts everyone it touches, from cops, lawyers and citizens accused of and victimized by crimes.
Shola Amoo, who wrote and directed the award-winning feature The Last Tree, is on board to pen the script. Koenig, Emmanuel Dzotsi and Alissa Shipp will oversee for Serial Productions. James and his SpringHill partner Maverick Carter, as well as the company’s Jamal Henderson and Eric Oberland will oversee for the company.
Former Cinemax president and head of HBO miniseries Kary Antholis will also exec produce via his Crime Story Media banner. Antholis retired from HBO in March 2019 after a 25-year run. He founded Crime Story Media that same year. The company’s first major podcast series, Jury Duty: The Trial of Robert Durst, debuted last year.
This is not the first time that Serial has been optioned for television. Season one of the breakout podcast became the subject of a bidding war after it broke out in 2015. It landed at Fox 21 with Phil Lord and Christopher Miller attached to adapt the Adnan Syed case for television. The podcast drew national attention to Syed’s case and inspired a wave of other true crime dramas in both the TV and podcasting space.
Serial season three is the latest project from Serial Productions to land at HBO. The companies are also developing podcast Nice White Parents for TV with Issa Rae and Adam McKay. That project also landed at HBO following a multiple-outlet bidding war. Serial Productions also has podcast S-town in the works as a feature from Thomas McCarthy and Participant.
For James and SpringHill, meanwhile, the Serial drama is the company’s latest TV foray. The production banner also was behind Netflix’s Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker and recently inked a scripted TV development deal with ABC. Since its founding in 2007, SpringHill has produced series including Starz’s Survivor’s Remorse, Netflix’s Top Boy, NBC unscripted game show The Wall and has feature film Space Jam: A New Legacy in the works at Warners with the Lakers favorite attached to star.
Amoo is repped by CAA and Curtis Brown. Serial Productions is with UTA; SpringHill is with WME and Ziffren Brittenham; and Crime Story is with WME.