Show finds golfer in witness protection program

Scribes Carl Hiaasen and Mike Lupica are teaming on a pilot script for an untitled HBO series about a Florida-based pro golfer forced to enter the witness protection program.

It is the first collaboration between Hiaasen, the Miami Herald columnist-author, and Lupica, the Daily News sports columnist-author. The longtime friends were pressed by their mutual ICM agent Esther Newberg to hatch a series.

“Mike’s a golf fiend and the culprit who encouraged me to rediscover the game after 32 years and keep a journal that formed the basis for my book, ‘The Downhill Lie,’” Hiaasen said. “We thought Florida was a great backdropto superimpose seedy freaks and scumbags, something that appealed to me instantly because they have generated the inspiration for so much of my work.”

Lupica said he has received plenty of Hollywood overtures to write scripts but felt this was the best sports idea that came his way.

“I’d get called to Hollywood and be asked to write sports films like ‘one Super Bowl team gets kidnapped and the other has to rescue it,’” Lupica said. “Carl and I have gone into this with one mandate: To write something we want to watch.”

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