Showtime has greenlit a pilot based on Ira Glass’ award-winning radio series “This American Life.”
Pay cabler had been working with Glass to hammer out a deal to bring “American Life” to the small screen for about a year. Glass will exec produce with Killer Films’ Christine Vachon.
Documentary-style skein will explore a single theme or topic through the use of first-person storytelling. As in the radio show, series will focus on unique personalities and human-interest stories.
“We’ve always thought of our job as making little movies for radio,” Glass said. “And as the radio show sounds like nothing else on radio, we believe the television version will be like nothing else on TV.”
“We feel like the perfect environment for this kind of show,” Showtime entertainment chief Robert Greenblatt said. “These stories are so out there — you wouldn’t find them on ’20/20′ or any other newsmag.”
Exec said the show, if picked up, would bow next year at the earliest. Production on the pilot is under way.
Hourlong radio show “American Life” debuted a decade ago on WBEZ Chicago and is distributed to more than 500 stations nationally. Glass has been honored with the Peabody and Dupont-Columbia awards.