Ken Kwapis To Produce & Direct Series Adaptation Of ‘Every Second Counts’ Based On Book

Adam Richman and Jenette Kahn’s Double Nickel Entertainment and Alexandra Beattie and Ken Kwapis’ In Cahoots are teaming to produce an adaptation of Donald McRae’s nonfiction book Every Second Counts: The Race To Transplant the First Human Heart, as a limited series.

BAFTA-winning scribe Nick Fisher (The Giblet Boys) is attached to pen the adaptation and Kwapis will direct.

Set in 1967, Every Second Counts focuses on charismatic South African heart surgeon Christiaan Barnard and his quest to perform the first heart transplant in history. The riveting true events tell a thrilling story of the high-stakes race between talented rival surgeons, set against the backdrop of Apartheid politics in the turbulent 60s. Ethical issues arise as Barnard’s heart transplant challenges long-held views about the distinction between life and death itself. The successful operation transforms Barnard into an international celebrity, but his fame comes at quite a cost, both personally and professionally.

Kwapis was a director and producer on NBC’s The Office, Fox’s The Bernie Mac Show, and HBO’s The Larry Sanders Show. On the film side, he directed the Warner Bros. film Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, New Line Cinema’s He’s Just Not That Into You and Broad Green Pictures’ A Walk In The Woods. He most recently served as a director on Amazon’s One Mississippi and Netflix’s Santa Clarita Diet.

Beattie produced Showtime comedy Happyish and NBC’s Outsourced, and most recently developed the Amazon animated show Joey Pigza, based on the award-winning book series by Jack Gantos.

Double Nickel’s Richman & Kahn produced Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino for Warner Bros,  and Focus Features’ The Book of Henry. They also produced A Kid Like Jake, in  association with That’s Wonderful Productions and Burn Later, set to premiere January 23 at Sundance.

Kwapis is repped by UTA, Code Entertainment, and Hansen Jacobsen Teller. Beattie is repped by UTA, Code Entertainment, and Myman Greenspan. Richman and Kahn are repped by Ben Reder at Reder & Feig.

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