NBCUniversal has reversed its decision, made in August, to air the series across its platforms including NBC and USA Network, opting instead to air solely on the streamer.
Deadline understands that the decision came after Susan Rovner, Chairman, Entertainment Content, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, who joined after the series was purchased, and her team saw scripts and heard more about the producers’ vision of the show, which is more suited to the streaming environment than traditional broadcast television.
Based on the second season of Wondery’s Over My Dead Body podcast, McKinnon will play Carole Baskin, a big cat enthusiast, who learns that fellow exotic animal lover Joe “Exotic” Schreibvogel, played by Cameron Mitchell is breeding and using his big cats for profit. She sets out to shut down his venture, inciting a quickly escalating rivalry. But Carole has a checkered past of her own and when the claws come out, Joe will stop at nothing to expose what he sees as her hypocrisy. The results prove dangerous.
The show comes from UCP and is written and exec produced by Etan Frankel via his overall deal. McKinnon will also executive produce along with Wondery’s Hernan Lopez, Marshall Lewy, and Aaron Hart.
Justin Tipping, who recently direct the pilot of Showtime’s Flatbush Misdemeanors, will direct the first four episodes, including the pilot.
The limited series is one of two high-profile projects about the strange cast of characters, popularized by the Netflix docuseries, with the other in development at Amazon with Nicolas Cage as Joe Exotic.
Joe Exotic is one of two high-profile scripted series adaptations of the stranger-than-fiction true story, along with one starring Nicolas Cage as Joe Exotic.
“Joe Exotic is shaping up to be a bold and provocative drama and perfectly suited for Peacock, where we can push the envelope and truly bring the story to life in a way that we would be unable to do on broadcast television,” said Rovner. “Moving Joe Exotic to Peacock exclusively is just one example of the strengths of our new structure, which gives us the ability to let the art dictate the platform and not the other way around.”