LeBron James joins forces with Starz for sitcom 'Survivor's Remorse'

NEW YORK - After LeBron James won his second NBA championship this year, he talked about the improbability of his journey -- ascending to world fame despite growing up with challenge after challenge in the inner city.

Now James plans to explore that theme as part of "Survivor's Remorse," a new show he's developing with Starz. While he won't star in the half-hour sitcom, he'll be one of the executive producers of the 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," the Miami Heat superstar said in a phone interview last week.

"When you make it out, everyone expects for -- 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 came to the NBA and is now a 28-year-old veteran.

James 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 is 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 the two 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.

Werner, James and Carter have worked together since 2011. They are part of Fenway Sports Group, and Werner is the chairman of the organization, which combines sports, media and entertainment. Werner said they were "delighted" to bring the show, which is in development but has no firm timetable to air, to Starz.

Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said the show would be different for the channel, whose original programming includes the recently launched "The White Queen."

"It's a contemporary piece, which we've been trying to find," he said. "But mostly it's an opportunity to bring us into a world where guys as producers and a terrifically talented guy as a writer who I think are going to take the audience on an interesting, fun and I would bet funny ride."

However, there will be serious subjects tackled in the show. Werner compared "Survivor's Remorse" to shows like "Roseanne," which dealt with difficult situations with humor interspersed with serious moments.

"Nobody's getting killed, nobody's dying from cancer on this show," Carter said. "It's light-hearted, but its real-life stories."

James said though it's been years, survivor's remorse is still something he feels.

"I live with that, knowing that I have to hold a huge burden and responsibility that a lot of people cannot even think about," he said.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments

More LeBron stories

LeBron James mural submitted for consideration by Cleveland Planning Commission LeBron James mural submitted for consideration by Cleveland Planning Commission

A LeBron James mural designed for the side of the Sherwin Williams building has been submitted for consideration by the city. 

Pictures from LeBron James Pictures from LeBron James' Welcome Home Rally in Akron

View pictures from WEWS photographers and submitted by our fans of the Welcome Home rally for LeBron James in Akron. 

'New' Cleveland Cavaliers ready to show talent, release preseason schedule

The Cleveland Cavaliers have been all over the sporting news world and are now preparing to show what they can do, releasing their preseason schedule.

Akron Zoo offers discounted admission same day as LeBron James Akron Zoo offers discounted admission same day as LeBron James' welcome home rally

Get out your LeBron jerseys, t-shirts and hats tomorrow so you can take advantage of the discounted admission at Akron Zoo. 

Cleveland Cavaliers planning to sign Andrew Wiggins, putting trade talks on hold, for now Cleveland Cavaliers planning to sign Andrew Wiggins, putting trade talks on hold, for now

Cleveland Cavaliers plan to sign number one overall pick Andrew Wiggins this week, quieting the rumors that the Cavaliers will trade Wiggins for Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Kevin Love. At least for now.

Cleveland native makes LeBron tribute video before his shocking return to the city Cleveland native makes LeBron tribute video before his shocking return to the city

Cleveland native Danny Wantz created a tribute video two months ago in hopes LeBron would come home to Cleveland. 

LeBron James to choose 6 or 23 as his number for the Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James to choose 6 or 23 as his number for the Cleveland Cavaliers

Now that LeBron has decided to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, should he stick with number 23 or move to number 6?

Clevelanders burned LeBron jerseys, Akron residents say they support him no matter where he goes Clevelanders burned LeBron jerseys, Akron residents say they support him no matter where he goes

Akron residents are welcoming back LeBron James to Northeast Ohio with the same attitude they had four years ago.

Cuyahoga County to discuss "LeBronomy" and the economic impact of LeBron James Cuyahoga County to discuss "LeBronomy" and the economic impact of LeBron James' return to Cleveland

LeBron's return to Northeast Ohio means more than NBA wins and losses, it means dollars and cents for Northeast Ohio.

LeBron returns to Cleveland | Fan Excitement Photo Gallery LeBron returns to Cleveland | Fan Excitement Photo Gallery

Users submit photos of their excitement about LeBron's return to Cleveland.