USA Network has given a pilot order to The Tap, an hourlong period drama from Rob Reiner and Royal Pains co-creator/executive producer Andrew Lenchewski set at the most famous secret society in American college history, Yale’s Skull and Bones.
Written by Lenchewski and Aaron Tracy (Sequestered), The Tap was originally set up at USA in 2014 as a spy thriller, involving the CIA installing a mole in Skull and Bones. The Tap, as greenlighted to pilot by USA, takes place at Yale University circa 1969, during the height of America’s cultural and political revolution — a time when the campus is being upended by antiwar protests, race riots and the arrival of its first female students. There, three students struggle to find their true identities, including the ambitious and self-consciously conservative Jay, who desperately aspires to join the powerful secret society of Skull and Bones; Michelle, a strong minded feminist who has difficulty finding her community at the predominantly male institution; and Gloria, a student who’d prefer to focus on her education rather than involve herself in racial politics.
Reiner executive produces with his producing partner Alan Greisman, Lenchewski and Charlie Ebersol (The Profit), with Tracy co-exec producing. Ebersol’s dad, former NBC Sports Chairman Dick Ebersol, attended Yale during the 1960s. Universal Cable Prods, where Lenchewski has been under an overall deal, is producing.
Yale’s Skull and Bones society has produced a slew of top U.S. political and military leaders, including President George W. Bush, who was at Yale and a Skull & Bones member in the 1960s, and James Jesus Angleton, a top CIA official during the 1960s. The society has been the subject of a numerous conspiracy theories, including one that the society it controls the CIA.
The Tap is the second USA pilot ordered this year, joining Damnation.
Reiner, Greisman, Lenchewski and Tracy are with CAA, Ebersol is with WME.