Tavis Smiley to Team with JJ Abrams to Produce Michael Jackson Event Series

Posted by at 9:49 am on June 21, 2016

michael_jacksonTavis Smiley and J.J. Abrams are gonna be startin’ somethin’. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions is set to develop a new event TV series based on Smiley’s new book “Before You Judge Me: The Triumph and Tragedy of Michael Jackson’s Last Days.”

Warner Bros. TV, where both Smiley and Bad Robot are based for TV projects, is the studio attached; it hasn’t yet been sold to a network. “Before You Judge Me,” which Smiley wrote with David Ritz, is set to be published on June 21. The book looks at the final months of the King of Pop’s life. According to Warner Bros., the book “examines the soaring highs and deep lows faced by the late pop star ­– his constant hunt for privacy in a life that was

It’s the second collaboration between Smiley, Bad Robot and Warner Bros. TV: The three entities are also developing an event series based on another Smiley/Ritz book, “Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Final Year.” Smiley, Abrams, Ben Stephenson and David Brewington are executive producers on “Before You Judge Me.”

Warner Bros. TV struck a development and production pod deal with Tavis Smiley TV & Film in October. Under the deal, Smiley is also adapting his book (also written with Ritz) “My Journey with Maya,” about his 30-year friendship with poet Maya Angelou. Smiley, of course, is known for his PBS talk show “Tavis Smiley” and his public radio series “The Tavis Smiley Show.”

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