Captivating millions of people on TV isn’t anything new for Miami Heat forward LeBron James, but the reigning NBA MVP and champion is looking to expand his audience with a different small-screen venture: a half-hour sitcom.
No, he wouldn’t be starting in it, but King James developing with Starz “Survivor’s Remorse,” a sitcom about the trials and tribulations of fame seen through the lens of two men from the streets, one of which becomes an NBA star, the other acquires his notoriety some way else. James will be an executive producer.
"I think the main thing for me is, first of all, making it out of a place where you're not supposed to. You're supposed to be a statistic and end up like the rest of the people in the inner city -- [and] being one of the few to make it out and everyone looking at you to be the savior," James said in a phone interview last week.
"When you make it out, everyone expects -- they automatically think that they made it out and it's very tough for a young, African-American 18-year-old kid to now hold the responsibility of a whole city, of a whole community. I can relate to that as well," said James, who as only 18 when he entered the NBA.
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James is developing the show with his longtime friend and business partner Maverick Carter; Tom Werner, who produced "Roseanne" and "The Cosby Show"; and actor Mike O'Malley, who will be an executive producer and is the show's writer. Paul Wachter will also be an executive producer, according to ESPN.
The show is based in North Philadelphia instead of Akron, Ohio, where James and Carter are from—"More people can relate to it," explained Carter—and will take on difficult subject with a light-hearted approach.
"It's a contemporary piece, which we've been trying to find," Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said. "But mostly it's an opportunity to bring us into a world where guys as producers and a terrifically talented guy as a writer who I think are going to take the audience on an interesting, fun and I would bet funny ride."