In a competitive situation, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Carol Leonnig’s bestelling book Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service, described as the first definitive account of the scandals and security failures of the Secret Service, has been acquired to be adapted as a television series. A writer is not yet attached.
Thomas Tull, who financed the option based on his particular interest in the book and material, and Bobby Cohen (Jarhead, Now You See Me) will executive produce the series with Leonnig. Wynn Wygal will also produce.
Released in May 2021 by Random House, Zero Fail portrays both the steely resolve and sacrifices of many Secret Service agents who have committed their lives to protecting the nation’s security, as well as other senior agents’ arrogant misconduct and salacious scandals that the service sought to cover up. Spanning eleven presidencies, Zero Fail follows the missteps of the agency that began with the drunken outing the night before the Kennedy assassination, to the Service’s rebuilding and renewed commitment to never let another president die and its heroism in averting numerous tragedies. As the Service fails to modernize after 9-11, the book tracks the alarming security breaches that culminate in a Keystone Cops era for the Service during the Obama years. It ends with the intense politicization of the agency under President Trump, and the agents’ own tortured roles in the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th.
In 2015, Leonnig, a longtime investigative reporter with the Washington Post, won the Pulitzer Prize for her reporting on the long-hidden secrets of the Secret Service. Her recent bestseelling book, I Alone Can Fix It, written with fellow Washington Post journalist Phillip Rucker, chronicles the chaotic events that took place in the White House during Trump’s final year in office.
Leonnig is repped by Kassie Evashevski at Anonymous Content and Elyse Cheney of the Cheney Agency. The deal was negotiated by Dave Fierson of Klevan Longarzo Vance and Blumensaadt.