J.J. Abrams and Tavis Smiley are teaming up to turn the late Michael Jackson‘s last days into a TV series. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions will develop Smiley’s new book Before You Judge Me: The Triumph and Tragedy of Michael Jackson’s Last Days for Warner Bros. Television, Variety reported. No networks are currently attached.
Before You Judge Me, which hits shelves via Little Brown and Company Tuesday, explores the sixteen weeks leading up to Jackson’s death. The book, co-penned by David Ritz, takes a close look at the King of Pop‘s constant search for privacy in the face of unbroken stardom.
News of Smiley’s book possibly becoming a TV property broke last October, when Smiley inked a development deal with Warner Bros. that also included his other book, My Journey With Maya. Though the MJ series was originally expected to debut this year, no additional details regarding its development have been released until Abrams joined the project this week.
Michael Jackson died in 2009 at his home in the Holmby Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles from apparent propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication. Conrad Murray, Jackson’s personal doctor, was ultimately convicted of involuntary manslaughter for his role in Jackson’s death, with USA Today reporting he served two years in prison.
No matter how anyone feels about J.J. Abrams and Tavis Smiley, the potential surrounding this series is much (so much) more promising than the brain-boggling announcement in January that Joseph Fiennes would be playing Jackson in a forthcoming British TV movie. What the hell was that about?