In a competitive situation, CBS All Access, CBS’ SVOD and live streaming service, has landed for development 8 Fights – The Life of Muhammad Ali, a limited event series about the boxing great. The project hails from Morgan Freeman and Lori McCreary’s Revelations Entertainment and CBS TV Studios where it had been in development as part of the studio’s major ramp-up of premium cable/streaming content.
Written by Dan Kay based on Jonathan Eig’s recently published biography Ali: a Life, the series will chronicle eight distinct moments in the life of Ali, with each episode framed by one fight from his boxing career. The focus will be on the internal fight — the drama outside the ring – which will explore the struggle going on in the heart and mind of one of the most consequential and controversial figures of the 20th century.
Kay executive produces with Freeman, McCreary and Beth Miyares for Revelations. Erica Shelton is a consulting producer as part of her overall deal with CBS TV Studios.
The pitch for the project drew interest from multiple outlets, with sibling CBS All Access stepping up to land it. So far, the vast majority of CBS All Access’ pickups have been straight-to-series, largely based on a finished script. Because 8 Fights was a pitch, it has a script-to-series commitment, with a straight-to-series order contingent on the script.
Revelations is behind such projects as Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-nominated film Invictus, CBS’ Madam Secretary, Science Channel’s Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, and Nat Geo’s The Story of God with Morgan Freeman and The Story of US with Morgan Freeman.
CBS TV Studios has gone from zero to 13 premium cable/streaming series in the past three years. Its portfolio in the space includes American Vandal, Insatiable, Unbelievable and Dead To Me at Netflix, Your Honor and Cartoon President at Showtime, Star Trek: Discovery, The Good Fight, No Activity, The Twilight Zone, $1 and Strange Angel — all at CBS All Access — and Carpool Karaoke at Apple Music.