NBC takes up ‘Smoking’

Peacock to 'Thank' satire

NBC is lighting up a TV spin on “Thank You for Smoking.”

Rick Cleveland (“Six Feet Under”) is aboard to write and exec produce the small-screen version of the indie pic. David O. Sacks, who produced the film, will exec produce the TV take via Room 9 Entertainment and NBC U Television Studio.

Christopher Buckley, who wrote the book on which the movie was based, will serve as a consulting producer.

Peacock version of “Smoking” is being developed as a single-camera laffer focusing on Nick Naylor, the superstar spin doctor who, as played by Aaron Eckhart in the movie, did PR for big tobacco. TV take will pick up where the feature left off, with Naylor running his own firm.

“The idea is that there’s a never-ending array of clients he could have,” Sacks told Daily Variety. “But it has to be something where Nick is on the wrong or unpopular side of things.”

Potential clients could include fast-food companies, environmental polluters or politicos caught with their pants down.

“The reason the movie resonated so much was that it wasn’t about just one particular issue,” Sacks said. “It’s about PR as a culture, about the way we spin issues.”

As in the movie, the small-screen “Smoking” will show Naylor balancing his conflicting responsibilities as a PR person and as a dad.

Original “Thank You for Smoking,” released earlier this year by Fox Searchlight, has grossed nearly $25 million in the U.S.

In addition to the TV version of “Smoking,” Room 9 is also developing the feature “Dali and I: The Surreal Story.” Andrew Niccol is attached to direct, with Sacks, Daniel Brunt and Michael R. Newman producing.

Sacks is repped by the Rothman Brecher Agency. Cleveland is repped by CAA.

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