EXCLUSIVE: In a competitive situation, Jessica Rhoades’ Pacesetter and Alexander Tsekalo’s Sreda Global have secured the rights to David Hill’s praised 2020 book The Vapors for television, with The Loudest Voice executive producer/showrunner Alex Metcalf attached to pen the series adaptation.
A lifelong personal passion of Metcalf’s, The Vapors tells the unknown story of Hot Springs, Arkansas – America’s forgotten capital of vice. Home to healing waters, dozens of churches, and America’s original national park as well as illegal gambling, countless backrooms and brothels, and some of the country’s most bald-faced criminals. For decades, Hot Springs was a pocket of sin in the buckle of the Bible Belt. This is the story of gangsters gone good, believers gone bad and the growth of Black Broadway, supported by a burgeoning African-American middle class in the center of the Jim Crow South.
Metcalf, Rhoades, and Hill will executive produce; Rachel Polan will serve as Co-EP for Pacesetter. The project reunites Metcalf with Rhoades and Pacesetter, with whom he worked as a consulting producer on series Sharp Objects and Utopia, which Rhoades executive produced.
Tsekalo and Cory Lanier will executive produce for Sreda Global, the studio founded in 2019 by Tsekalo as an extension of the Russian TV production company Sreda which has produced more than 30+ series in the past decade, several of which have been licensed to Netflix and Amazon.
Metcalf’s TV credits also include UnReal on A+E/Lifetime, and Kingdom on DirectTV/Netflix.
In addition to her work on Amazon Prime Video’s Utopia and HBO’s Emmy-nominated Sharp Objects — both based on novels by Gillian Flynn — Rhoades recently served as an executive producer on season two of the Alexandra Cunningham-created series Dirty John.
Pacesetter has the upcoming HBO Max limited series Station Eleven from creator Patrick Somerville as well as two projects in development at NBC, Matched, from writer Rohit Kumar, and Sidekicks from writer Jordana Lewis Jaffe, along with The Venery of Samantha Bird, which is in development at Starz from writer Anna Moriarty, with Jessica Yu attached to direct.
Sreda Global’s slate of original series and features, overseen by Lanier, includes the formats Trigger and Alibi, set up at CBS Studios and Propagate Content, respectively. Some of their limited series projects include Impresario, written by Arash Amel, Night, an original Miles Chapman genre series and Back In The USSR, a comedic musical feature that Isaac Adamson is writing. Jon Jashni is a partner in and founding advisor to Sreda Global.
The deal was brokered by UTA. Metcalf is repped by UTA, Grandview, and attorney Logan Clare at Ziffren. Hill is repped by UTA and Jim Rutman at Sterling Lord Literistic. Pacesetter is repped by UTA and attorney Adam Cooper at Jackoway Austen Tyerman. Sreda Global is repped by Peter Nichols at Lichter Grossman and Alla Savranskaia of Greenberg Glusker.
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