MGM Television has closed a deal with Emmy Award-nominated creator/showrunners Will Scheffer and Mark Olsen (HBO‘s Big Love, Getting On) to adapt T.C. Boyle’s PEN/Faulkner Award-winning, landmark immigration-themed novel The Tortilla Curtain as a premium series. Prophetically published in 1995, the novel is the most successful of all of T.C. Boyle’s works, and has been part of the curriculum of hundreds of schools around the world since its publication.
The Tortilla Curtain is a darkly comedic look at immigration through the lens of a liberal white couple living in an upscale housing development atop Topanga Canyon and the undocumented Mexican couple living in the ravine below. Their lives become forever enmeshed when the white man hits the Mexican man with his car and flees the scene.
“Will & Mark are two of the most talented writers in our business. Their knack for tackling fresh takes on provocative subject matters blew us away when they first sat down with us to talk about their vision for Tortilla Curtain,” says MGM’s President of Television Production & Development Steve Stark.
“This is a dream project for us. The material is beyond timely, the themes are rich and profound, and collaborating with MGM, Sam and Alex has been a joy,” said Scheffer and Olsen. “We are truly honored to work on such exceptional source material.”
Together with Churchmen at Netflix, this represents one of Scheffer and Olsen’s first ventures outside of HBO where they have been under and overall deal since 2006.
Boyle is the author of 28 books of fiction, including his upcoming novel Outside Looking In (publishing on April 9, 2019.)
HertzbergMedia’s Alex Hertzberg and Nice Media Studio’s Sam Sokolow will executive produce. This represents an expansion into producing for Hertzberg alongside his longtime management/film and television packaging business. Sokolow, a two-time Emmy nominee, is currently an executive producer on Nat Geo’s Genius, a third season of which is due to premiere in 2019.
MGM Television will produce the series and will supervise the writing of the Tortilla Curtain pilot in-house. MGM will internationally distribute. Lindsay Sloane, MGM’s Senior Executive Vice President, Television Production and Development will oversee the series for MGM Television.