Los Angeles Lakers basketball star Shaquille O’Neal has signed on with Crystal Beach Entertainment to executive produce a drama pilot for Fox Broadcasting.
Besides taking producing duties, O’Neal will also serve as narrator for the drama, tentatively titled “The Shaq Diaries,” which has been described as a “White Shadow” set in college based loosely on O’Neal’s life.
Crystal Beach, which is headed by producers Robert Lieberman and Chris Kobin and actress/producer Marilu Henner, has a production deal with Columbia TriStar Television. Lieberman will also exec produce the O’Neal pilot as well as direct.
Crystal Beach also has several TV movie and pilot commitments in various stages of development with Columbia TriStar and its executive veepee of movies and miniseries Helen Verno.
“The Blair Family Story” will star Henner in the fact-based story of a family split apart by social services after the father has become a suspect in the attempted molestation of one of his daughters.
In addition to its Col TriStar projects, Crystal Beach also has a deal with Spygaze Pictures for a telepic with CBS. “Sight Unseen” stars Henner in the true story of a waitress whose visions helped police apprehend a serial killer. Henner and Kobin will executive produce along with Ed Asner and Donald Wrye, with Bradford May directing. The script is by Paul Eric Myers.
On the drama front with Col TriStar, Crystal Beach has a mystery drama set in the music world that they’re hoping to place at ABC as a midseason show for the 1997-98 season. It’s titled “Rock and Roll Murder Mystery.” Lieberman will direct the project with a script from Larry Cohen and Michael Gore.
Lieberman also has a commitment from CBS for a pilot. He directed the Eye web’s November sweeps epic “Titanic.” Lieberman’s theatrical directing credits include Disney’s “D3: The Mighty Ducks” and “Fire in the Sky.”
Kobin joined Crystal Beach as a senior VP of production from Quince Prods., where he co-produced the upcoming ABC telefilm “Payback,” starring Mary Tyler Moore and Ed Asner.
Elizabeth Careny continues as Crystal Beach’s vice president of production and Daron McAfee serves as veepee of development.