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ABRAMS, SMILEY TAKE JACKSON BOOK TO TV

J.J. AbramsBad Robot will produce a TV adaptation of Tavis Smiley and David Ritz’s book on Michael Jackson for Warner Bros. TV. The book, Before You Judge Me: The Triumph and Tragedy of Michael Jackson’s Last Days, is being published today by Little, Brown and Co.

No network is yet attached. Warner Bros. will be shopping the “event series”—as they call it—to broadcast, cable  and streaming services. Smiley, Abrams, Ben Stephenson and David Brewington are the executive producers. Smiley and Abrams have had a Martin Luther King Jr. book adaptation in development for more than a year.

Smiley, a longtime MJ fan who had planned to catch Jackson’s shows in London at the O2 Arena, approached the non-fiction work as a novel, attempting to “get inside Jackson’s head,” he told USA Today. Smiley and Ritz interviewed Quincy Jones, Berry Gordy, Jackson’s sister Janet and others plus reviewed trial transcripts and other documents to chronicle the last 16 weeks of Jackson’s life.

 

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