Author and talk show host Tavis Smiley has signed an exclusive pod deal with Warner Bros. Television Group to develop scripted TV series from two of his books — one of which is an account of Michael Jackson’s last weeks.
Before You Judge Me: The Triumph and Tragedy of Michael Jackson’s Last Days will hit bookshelves in June of 2016 and will “examine the soaring highs and deep lows faced by the late pop star — his constant hunt for privacy in a life that was more public than almost any other, and the pressures he endured as someone whose fame made him socially fragile and almost unable to live,” according to a statement from Warner Bros.
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Smiley’s book My Journey with Maya, which recounts his friendship with Maya Angelou, is the other half of the Warner Bros. TV deal. Smiley and director Kenny Leon are currently developing the memoir into a stage play as well.
Earlier this year, Warner Bros. acquired the rights to another one of Smiley’s books examining the last days of an American icon: Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Final Year is currently in development with J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions.