EXCLUSIVE: In a competitive situation with multiple bidders, Cobra Kai creators Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg and Josh Heald’s Counterbalance Entertainment and Sony Pictures Television, where the company is under an overall deal, have acquired rights to Marc Fisher’s Washington Post article “Powerball mystery: Someone in this tiny town won $731 million. Now everyone wants a piece of it.” The story will be developed into a half-hour comedy and a search for a writer is currently underway.
The article, published in mid-July, chronicles the aftermath of a Powerball ticket sold in the small town of Lonacoming, MD (population 1,200), winning $731 million. Maryland is one of seven states that allow lottery winners to remain anonymous, and the lucky Lonacoming group, who call themselves “Power Pack,” took advantage of that when they eventually claimed their reward four months after hitting the jackpot. The news turns this small town upside down as the residents work to uncover the mystery of who won the ticket. Nine months later, the mystery has not been solved.
The article was added to Storied Media Group’s IP subscription platform StoryScout. With seven interested buyers, StoryScout subscriber Sony Pictures TV won the bidding, optioning the story, which somewhat echoes the 1998 movie Waking Ned Devine — on behalf of Counterbalance to develop and produce.
Hurwitz, Schlossberg and Heald executive produce, along with Counterbalance’s head of development Dina Hillier.
Storied Media Group represents the Washington Post and conducted the auction on their behalf. The company’s other notable clients include NPR, New Republic, USA Today, Financial Times and The Guardian.
Hurwitz, Schlossberg and Heald are the creators, executive producers and showrunners of Netflix’s Emmy-nominated hit series Cobra Kai. Season 3 of the Karate Kid sequel reached the top of Netflix’s viewing list in 28 countries and topped the Nielsen streaming chart. The series will return for a fourth season in December and Netflix recently announced a Season 5 pickup.
Heald penned the Hot Tub Time Machine franchise for MGM, and Hurwitz and Schlossberg were behind New Line’s popular Harold & Kumar film franchise, as well as hit comedies Blockers and American Reunion. In addition to Cobra Kai, the production company is developing other projects under their overall deal at Sony Pictures TV. This summer the team released the road-trip comedy Plan B for Hulu. The company will also produce a feature film adaption of History’s series Ancient Aliens with Legendary, with Heald set to direct.
Heald, Hurwitz and Schlossberg are repped by CAA. Heald is repped by attorney Howard Abramson of Behr Abramson Levy. Hurwitz and Schlossberg’s attorney is Adam Kaller of Hansen, Jacobson, Teller.