EXCLUSIVE: Books as source material for comedy series projects have been hot the last few development seasons. Now, with book publishing undergoing h a digital revolution, digital books are making the leap to television too.
ABC has put in development an untitled single-camera comedy based on the Kindle Single memoir Keep Swinging by Rick Marin. This is the first Kindle Single to be optioned by Hollywood since Amazon launched its service for short stories, long-form journalism and opinion pieces in January 2011.
Former Everybody Loves Raymond executive producer Lew Schneider will co-write the TV adaptation with Marin for Conan O’Brien’s Conaco Prods., which is producing with Warner Bros. TV. The comedy centers on an artsy dad with zero interest in sports who is thrown into a new family dynamic and social life as he and his wife face a challenge for which they are woefully ill-equipped: a jock kid. Marin, Schneider, O’Brien, David Kissinger and Jeff Ross are executive producing.
In his memoir, Marin, the self-described “world’s most sports-challenged dad,” chronicles the rookie season of an indoorsy TV writer raising two alpha boys whose life turns around when he gets off the sidelines, puts on a jersey that’s three sizes too big and throws himself into the world of his kids’ sports. “This material was so personal and immediate – I was writing it on my phone during practices and games,” he said. “It was exciting to be able to get it out there so fast as a Kindle Single. Instead of waiting a year for it to be printed and shipped to bookstores, you’re published immediately. Ninety seconds after I finished writing it, it was up and people were already reading and responding to the story.”
In addition to Keep Swinging, which was published shortly before Father’s Day this year, Marin is the author of the traditional memoir Cad: Confessions Of A Toxic Bachelor. He is repped by Gersh. UTA-repped Schneider shared into two best comedy series Emmys for Raymond. He recently served as a consulting producer on TNT’s Men Of A Certain Age, created by fellow Raymond alums Ray Romano and Mike Royce.