Director Rob Reiner is slated to direct and executive produce a cable television series. Deadline.com reports that the Spike TV project, “Basket Case,” is a comedic drama based on the best-selling novel by Carl Hiaasen.
The project will be written by Alex Taub of “Drop Dead Diva.” It’s about an investigative reporter who has difficulty with everything from authority to women. He’s demoted to the obituary section of the paper after a professional misstep, and from there tries to regain his credibility, the story says.
“Corruption, murder, and laughs. I can’t think of a more satisfying combination,” Reiner said. “Carl Hiaasen strikes the perfect balance. I’m so looking forward to entering his twisted world.”
The production is from FremantleMedia North America in association with Random House Television Productions and Castle Rock Entertainment. It’s the first scripted series sale for Random House, which started its TV division a year ago and has a first-deal look with FremantleMedia. Both Random House and FremantleMedia are owned by Bertelsmann AG.
"When it signaled a return to scripted series in April, Spike bet heavily on event series, which made up its entire spring scripted development slate," the Deadline report notes. "The deal for ‘Basket Case’ does not mean a change of course. ‘Though our primary focus has been on finding marquee limited event series, we have vowed that when an unbelievable opportunity for a series presents itself, we will be ready to pounce,” said Spike TV’s EVP Sharon Levy. ‘It doesn’t get much better than Hiaasen and Reiner for Spike.’”
Reiner, known early in his career for playing Meathead on “All in the Family,” went on to direct a string of successful films including “This Is Spinal Tap," “The Princess Bride” and “Misery.” On television, Reiner has guest-starred on shows such as “Hannah Montana” and “30 Rock” and directed episodes of Fox’s “New Girl.”
Hiaasen commented: “Among writers of satire, ‘Spinal Tap’ stands as a work of genius. I’m excited to see what Rob will do with my twisted little novel."