EXCLUSIVE: It’s an epidemic sweeping this nation — the opioid problem that has thrown families and the U.S. health care system into crisis. Now, di Bonaventura Pictures Television, Relevant Entertainment and The Levinson Fontana Company are developing an original dramatic TV series based on the story of the pharmaceutical company at the center of the crisis and the family behind it. Barry Levinson, who will direct, said, “Hopelessness and despair should not become a signature characteristic of America in the 21st Century.”

Every day, about 115 Americans die after overdosing, and the economics of opioid misuse is costing American taxpayers roughly $78.5 billion a year, according to the CDC.

The currently untitled series will be have Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Michael Menchel (One Chance, Only the Brave), Levinson, Tom Fontana and Jason Sosnoff on as executive producers. Harriet Ryan, lead investigative journalist for the Los Angeles Times who has been covering the subject, has joined the creative team as a consultant.

“This is the powerful story of the company and the family at the root of the crisis who simply treat this problem as business as usual,” said Menchel.

Added di Bonaventura, “We have an exceptional creative team in the Levinson Fontana Company poised to do justice to such timely subject matter. Harriet will help us bring real-life insight into this epidemic our nation is gripped by.”

Levinson is repped by WME; di Bonaventura is repped by CAA.