JJ Abrams to Produce Michael Jackson Limited Series With Tavis Smiley

Warner Bros developing adaptation of Smiley’s “Before You Judge Me” book

Last Updated: June 20, 2016 @ 12:37 PM

Warner Bros TV and JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot have teamed up to develop an adaptation of Tavis Smiley’s upcoming book “Before You Judge Me: The Triumph and Tragedy of Michael Jackson’s Last Days.”

The novel, which will be published Tuesday, is described as a novelistic rendering of the final months in the life of one of the most iconic figures in modern popular culture. The book examines the soaring highs and deep lows faced by the late pop star — his constant hunt for privacy in a life that was more public than almost any other, and the pressures he endured as someone whose fame made him socially fragile and almost unable to live.

Smiley, Abrams, Ben Stephenson and David Brewington will serve as executive producers on “Before You Judge Me,” which will be produced by Bad Robot Productions and Tavis Smiley TV & Film in association with WBTV.

It was previously announced that the three companies are developing an event series based on Smiley’s book “Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Final Year.”

Smiley signed an overall multi-year deal with WBTV, to develop the Jackson biopic as well as “My Journey with Maya,” about the author’s 30-year friendship with poet Maya Angelou.