Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


Michael Jackson TV series: J.J. Abrams and Tavis Smiley team up

Posted on

MJ Kim/Getty Images

An event series about the final days of Michael Jackson might moonwalk its way to your TV screen. Tavis Smiley is working with J.J. Abrams’ production company to adapt his book about Jackson into an event television series, Warner Bros. announced Monday. A network has not yet been attached.

Smiley’s book, Before You Judge Me: The Triumph and Tragedy of Michael Jackson’s Last Days, is described as a “taut novelistic rendering” of Jackson’s life in the months leading up to the iconic pop singer’s death in 2009. The novel focuses largely on Jackson’s complicated social presence late in life, delving into his search for privacy and his public perception.

Plans to adapt Smiley’s work for television were first announced last September. That announcement also included news that Smiley’s novel about Maya Angelou, My Journey with Maya, would be the next of Smiley’s biographies to be adapted with help from Abrams.

This marks the second time that Smiley and Bad Robot Productions (Abrams’ company) have teamed up to adapt one of Smiley’s books into a series. Last year, it was announced that they would work together to turn Smiley’s novel about Martin Luther King Jr. into an event series.

Before You Judge Me: The Triumph and Tragedy of Michael Jackson’s Last Days will be released on Tuesday by Little Brown and Co.