MGM Television is teaming with Emmy-nominated creator/showrunners Will Scheffer and Mark V. Olsen (HBO’s Big Love, Getting On) to adapt T.C. Boyle’s PEN/Faulkner Award winning, landmark immigration-themed novel The Tortilla Curtain as a premium series, from HertzbergMedia and Nice Media Studios.
Written by Scheffer and Olsen, Tortilla Curtain the series is a darkly comedic look at immigration through the lens of a liberal white couple living in an upscale housing development atop Topanga Canyon and the undocumented Mexican couple living in the ravine below. Their lives become forever enmeshed when the white man hits the Mexican man with his car and flees the scene.
HertzbergMedia’s Alex Hertzberg and Nice Media Studio’s Sam Sokolow will executive produce.
MGM Television will produce the series and will supervise the writing of the Tortilla Curtain pilot in-house. MGM will internationally distribute. Lindsay Sloane, MGM’s Senior EVP, Television Production and Development, will oversee the series for MGM Television.
Prophetically published in 1995, the novel is about middle-class values, illegal immigration, xenophobia, poverty, and environmental destruction. It is the most successful of all of T.C. Boyle’s works, and has been part of the curriculum of hundreds of schools around the world since its publication. In 1997, it was awarded the French Prix Médicis Étranger prize for best foreign novel.
“Will & Mark are two of the most talented writers in our business. Their knack for tackling fresh takes on provocative subject matters blew us away when they first sat down with us to talk about their vision for Tortilla Curtain,” says MGM’s President of Television Production & Development Steve Stark.
“This is a dream project for us. The material is beyond timely, the themes are rich and profound, and collaborating with MGM, Sam and Alex has been a joy,” said Scheffer and Olsen. “We are truly honored to work on such exceptional source material.”
Together with Churchmen at Netflix, this represents one of Scheffer and Olsen’s first ventures outside of HBO where they have been under an overall deal since 2006.
The project represents an expansion into producing for Hertzberg alongside his longtime management/film and television packaging business. Sokolow, a two time Emmy nominee, is currently an executive producer on Nat Geo’s Genius, a third season of which is due to premiere this year.
Boyle is the author of 28 books of fiction, including his upcoming novel Outside Looking In, to be published on April 9.
Scheffer & Olsen are repped by CAA and Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham; T.C. Boyle repped by CAA and Georges Borchardt, Inc. Literary Agency ; HertzbergMedia is represented by Bob Myman of Myman Greenspan Fox Rosenberg Mobasser Younger & Light LLP; Sam Sokolow/Nice Media Studios is represented by CAA and Joel Vanderkloot.