It was inevitable that a news story as high-profile and controversial as the college admissions scandal, which broke in March, would receive the TV treatment. Now there is confirmation that a college admissions scandal TV series is in development and if this doesn’t scream binge-worthy, what does? According toVariety, Annapurna TV has optioned the rights to an upcoming book based on the scandal, which will act as source material.
Titled Accepted and written by Wall Street Journal reporters Melissa Korn and Jennifer Levitz, the book will be published by Portfolio, a division of Penguin Random House. Tasked with adapting the highly-anticipated book for TV is D.V. DeVincentis, who is no stranger to court cases that draw conversation. He also wrote episodes of the FX limited series American Crime Story: The People v. OJ Simpson in addition to the films High Fidelity and Grosse Pointe Blank.
For those who haven’t been following the minute-by-minute coverage (or scrolling through old Olivia Jade YouTube videos), the scandal dates back to mid-March when dozens of people were charged in the largest college admissions cheating scam prosecuted in the United States, according to ABC News. Parents allegedly shelled out large checks and donations, ensuring their childrens’ acceptance into top universities, to William "Rick" Singer. Singer ran Edge College & Career Network LLC, aka "The Key," a for-profit college consulting firm. He allegedly started Key Worldwide Foundation, which was a fake charity where parents could send payments. Those charged came from elite and wealthy backgrounds including CEOs, real estate investors, as well as famous names like Full House actor Lori Loughlin, and Desperate Housewives actor Felicity Huffman.
Alleged crimes ranged from paying someone to take the SATS for a child or bribing test proctors to fix incorrect answers, to photoshopping photos of prospective students in order to fake an athletic skill for scholarship recruitment. Universities where students were admitted include Stanford, Yale, Georgetown, USC, and UCLA.
On April 8, the New York Times reported that Huffman and 13 others plead guilty to the charges against them. A week later, Loughlin and a dozen other parents plead not guilty, according to court documents obtained by the Times. As the cases continue on various paths for each defendant, the reverberations have been felt throughout pop culture; everywhere from Saturday Night Live to late night talk shows have offered their take on the shocking allegations.
Plus, some have already begun speculating about who would play Huffman and Loughlin in a movie or TV version of the reported events. On an episode of her E! late night show, Busy Tonight, host Busy Phillips remarked, "Who’s gonna star in the Lifetime movie about this if Lori Loughlin is locked up? I’m tech avail." But somehow even more pressing could be who will take on the roles of some of the celebrity kids at the center of the drama, including Loughlin’s daughters Isabella Rose and influencer Olivia Jade (whom the Internet has really had a field day with).
While details about the upcoming project, which has yet to find a network/streaming home, are still up in the air, it will be interesting to see what tone the series takes on. Will it be more of a courtroom drama? Or will the parody-worthy tabloid aspects be emphasized? The one thing for certain: viewers love a good scandal, especially when it comes to the current peak era of TV.
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