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Discovery to air Kevin Spacey-produced Unabomber drama

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AP Photo/John Youngbear

Discovery wants to take you on the hunt for the Unabomber.

The network announced on Thursday that it will air Manifesto, a scripted drama that will detail how the FBI took down Ted Kaczynski, a.k.a. the Unabomber, the infamous Harvard-educated mathematics prodigy turned domestic terrorist who killed three people and injured 23 others with a series of bombs that he built and detonated from the late ’70s through the mid-’90s. 

The show, from executive producers Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti (House of Cards), will unspool the saga from the point of view of FBI profiler Jim “Fitz” Fitzgerald, whose unconventional focus on linguistics helped to crack the case, which resulted in Kaczynski’s arrest in 1996. Fitzgerald theorized that the answers to the Unabomber’s identity were contained in the language of The Manifesto, a 35,000-word document that detailed Kaczynski’s philosophies and advocated for a revolution against the “industrial-technological system.”

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To stop this reign of terror, it would take someone with an unconventional style,” reads the network description of the show. “But could this maverick way of doing things cause even more tension from within? And potentially throw off the entire case? In the end, Fitzgerald trailblazed a career that would lead him to become one of the most decorated profilers in the history of the FBI and would later go on to become an expert in the field of forensic linguistics. But the road to get there wasn’t as easy as it looked.”

News of the project, whose pilot is being written by Andrew Sodroski, first leaked back in December. Manifesto is expected to debut on Discovery Channel early next year.

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