Listen up, all you cool cats and kittens. If you were looking forward to seeing Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon as Carole Baskin from Netflix’s Tiger King in the new scripted series, Joe Exotic, I have some bad news for you, at least if you are an old school TV subscriber. If you want to watch the new TV project, you're going to need to add a streaming service to your bill.
Joe Exotic, starring the Ghostbusters star and John Cameron Mitchell, will stream exclusively on NBCUniversal’s Peacock, according to Deadline. The bad bit of this news is that this actually reverses the company’s decision made back in August to air the series across its platforms including NBC and USA Network, opting to now air the series solely on the subscription streaming service.
The decision reportedly comes after Susan Rovner, Chairman, Entertainment Content, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming (who joined after the Kate McKinnon series was purchased) and her team saw scripts and heard more about the producers’ vision for the show. Following that, it was reportedly believed to be more suited for the streaming environment rather than traditional broadcast television. In addition to the report, Rovner explained the decision to move Joe Exotic to Peacock in a statement:
Joe Exotic is shaping up to be a bold and provocative drama and perfectly suited for Peacock, where we can push the envelope and truly bring the story to life in a way that we would be unable to do on broadcast television. Moving Joe Exotic to Peacock exclusively is just one example of the strengths of our new structure, which gives us the ability to let the art dictate the platform and not the other way around.
Joe Exotic is based on the second season of Wondery’s Over My Dead Body podcast. Kate McKinnon will play big cat enthusiast Carole Baskin, while Cameron Mitchell will play the Tiger King himself, Joe Exotic. In the series, Carole “learns that her fellow exotic animal lover” Joe Exotic is breeding and using his big cats for profit. She then sets out to shut it down, which will incite a rivalry between the two. However, as most know by now, Carole has a dark past of her own and “when the claws come out,” Joe will stop at nothing to expose her.
The good news? This limited series is one of multiple projects about the Tiger King folk, popularized by the Netflix docuseries. Another is in development at Amazon with Nicolas Cage as Joe Exotic. At one point, Ryan Murphy was planning a series with Rob Lowe portraying the Tiger King. Despite the docuseries coming out over a year ago, the hype is still there and will undoubtedly remain while these series are being developed. Though it will be interesting to see how the story is portrayed in fiction, since Kate McKinnon and Nicolas Cage evoke different types of performances.