LeBron James is developing a new cable television show called “Survivor’s Remorse,” which will portray a young athlete’s journey from inner-city struggles to stardom.
James, the Miami Heat supernova widely considered the world’s best player, will be one of the executive producers of the Starz network show, which will explore the lives of two men from the streets who attain fame — one is an NBA star and one is not — and how they deal with friends and families in the wake of that success.
“I think the main thing for me is, first of all, making it out of a place where you’re not supposed to. You’re supposed to be a statistic and end up like the rest of the people in the inner city — [and] being one of the few to make it out and everyone looking at you to be the savior,” James said in a phone interview last week with ESPN.
“When you make it out, everyone expects–they automatically think that they made it out and it’s very tough for a young, African-American 18-year-old kid to now hold the responsibility of a whole city, of a whole community. I can relate to that as well,” said James, who was 18 when he entered the NBA.
James, 28, is developing the show with his longtime friend and business partner, Maverick Carter; Tom Werner, the producer behind classic shows like “Roseanne” and “The Cosby Show”; and actor Mike O’Malley, who will be an executive producer and the show’s writer. Paul Wachter will also be an executive producer.
“It’s definitely not an autobiographical series about my life or LeBron’s life; it’s fictional characters living in a fictional world,” said Carter, before adding with a laugh: “LeBron is actually too famous, he would screw the show up if I tried to make a show about him.”
The show is based in North Philadelphia instead of Akron, Ohio, where James and Carter are from: “More people can relate to it,” explained Carter of Philadelphia.
Still, Werner said the inspiration for the series started in part with conversations he had with Carter, and later James, about their lives.
“I think the juxtaposition of great wealth — and then you go back to your home in Akron and the neighborhood that you come from — the chasm is a fairly big one, and I think it’s some very interesting story material,” he said.