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With Lincoln headed for the big screen, another American President could be making an appearance on the small screen. NBC is developing a drama series examining the life of George Washington from The King’s Speech writer David Seidler based on the book Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow.
The series would give a private and intimate look at Washington the man rather than the legendary figure. It will reveal things few people know about a “flawed and troubled character who overcame his flaws to become one of the foremost leaders of this nation”, according to Barry Levinson who will direct the pilot. David Seidler has already successfully written a moving portrait of the private side of a king, so he may well be the right man to capture the essence of a president. At 75, he was oldest man to win a Best Screenplay Oscar when he picked up his statue for The King’s Speech (Woody Allen took the record from him the next year), and this project would make him the oldest show creator to develop his first series, according to Deadline.
Seidler and Levinson will both executive produce the project along with Tom Fontana. NBCU International Prods.’ Carnival Films and Television, the company behind Downton Abbey, will have their managing editor Gareth Neame also executive producing, and Jason Dosnoff of Levinson’s Baltimore Pictures rounds out the EPs.
Chernow’s book won the Pulitzer and made best-seller lists, so there it definitely some interest out there in Washington. How well a Pulitzer prize-winner will translate the screen is another matter, even with a great writer on the job. And then there's the question of who will play Washington - it would be a plum role for some lucky actor. TV Blend will keep you updated on the project.