NBC has put in development a miniseries about the life of iconic late-night talk show host Johnny Carson. Based on Bill Zehme’s upcoming biography Carson The Magnificent: An Intimate Portrait published by Simon & Schuster, the project will cover Carson’s 30-year run (1962-92) as host of The Tonight Show, as well as his childhood growing up in Nebraska, his often secluded off-camera life and friendships he made throughout his career as one of the most beloved TV personalities of all time. Casting the role of Carson is expected to begin soon. The Johnny Carson miniseries is part of NBC’s push in the longform arena. Another such project, a miniseries about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has become the focus of controversy. The network’s other miniseries/limited series in the works include a four-hour updated remake and resetting of Rosemary’s Baby; a new version of Stephen King’s Tommyknockers; Plymouth, the story of the landing of the pilgrims, produced by The Bible‘s Mark Burnett; and AD: After The Bible, a limited series sequel to hit The Bible, with Burnett.
EXCLUSIVE: Heeeeeeere’s a feature film project that has potential. John McLaughlin and producer Tom Thayer have teamed up with the estate of Johnny Carson on a feature film about the life of the venerable Tonight Show host. The film will be scripted by McLaughlin, who wrote the Darren Aronofsky-directed Natalie Portman-starrer Black Swan and most recently adapted the Sacha Gervasi-directed Hitchcock from Steve Rebello’s book. Thayer produced that movie, which stars Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren, and he will produce the Carson project. They’ll shop McLaughlin’s script to buyers right after the holidays.