EXCLUSIVE: In a competitive situation, ABC has landed August Snow, a drama starring and executive produced by Keegan-Michael Key. It hails from Godfather of Harlem co-creator/executive producer Paul Eckstein, Imagine Television Studios and CBS Studios where Imagine has a deal. Written by Eckstein based on Stephen Mack Jones’ “August Snow” novels, the drama has received a script commitment plus penalty.
August Snow (Key) is a biracial former detective who grew up in Detroit’s Mexicantown. After a distinguished military career, he joined the force like his father, only to be drummed out by a conspiracy led by corrupt cops and politicians. August hit back, winning an $18 million wrongful dismissal lawsuit, then packed his bags to travel the world. The series will open with August returning home to the city he has deep affection for in search of himself and reconnecting with his roots while also facing enemies on both sides of the law. August becomes a private investigator, a Robin Hood from the hood, gathering a group of unexpectedly talented misfits to help him solve cases, invests his money to help reinvigorate his city in despair, and save himself along the way.
Michigan native Key, who is biracial, and Eckstein executive produce with Brian Grazer and Samie Kim Falvey for Imagine TV Studios, Gaspin Media’s Jeff Gaspin and Tony Sabistina as well as Key’s producing partner Elle Key. Jones serves as a consulting producer. James Seidman and Nicole Scott will oversee the project for Imagine.
Published in 2017, “August Snow” is Jones’ first novel and the first book in a trilogy for which he won the Nero Award for excellence in mystery writing, as well as the Hammett Prize awarded by the International Association of Crime Writers for excellence in crime writing.
Gaspin Media acquired the book, partnered with Keegan-Michael and Elle Key, and brought the project to Imagine.
Keegan-Michael Key is coming off starring roles in two major holiday movie musical releases, Netflix’s The Prom and Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey. He also co-starred in streamer’s Dolemite is My Name. His last live-action series regular role was in the Netflix comedy Friends From College.
Key co-created and headline, alongside Jordan Peele, Comedy Central’s influential sketch series, Key & Peele, which won an Outstanding Variety Sketch Series Emmy Award as well as a Peabody Award. He also hosted Game On! on CBS and Nat Geo’s Brain Games and voiced Disney’s animated hits Toy Story 4 and The Lion King. Key is represented by UTA and attorney Dave Feldman.
Eckstein is the co-creator/executive producer of Epix’s breakout drama series Godfather of Harlem. Prior to that, he was a writer-producer on Of Kings & Prophets for ABC and Narcos for Netflix. He is repped by Rain Management Group and Jackoway Austen Tyerman.
This broadcast development season, Imagine TV Studios also has drama Family History in the works at NBC. The company’s current series slate includes Joe Exotic, starring Nicolas Cage, which is in development at Amazon Studios, as well as Wu-Tang: An American Saga for Hulu, Why Women Kill for CBS All Access, Swagger for Apple and Outliers for HBO Max.
Gaspin Media is behind First Ladies, starring Viola Davis, at Showtime, Rhythm + Flow at Netflix, and a documentary feature for Netflix. Additionally, Gaspin Is executive producer on ABC’s To Tell the Truth and Spectrum/Fox’s LA’s Finest. Gaspin Media, whose scripted television division is headed by Sabistina, is currently in an overall deal with AGC Television.
Stephen Mack Jones was represented on behalf of Stephany Evans at Ayesha Pande Literary by Hotchkiss Daily & Associates.
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