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NASCAR Pacts with Mark Burnett, Roma Downey For Scripted Drama Series (EXCLUSIVE)

Producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey are putting pedal to the metal in a deal with NASCAR to develop a scripted series set against the backdrop of the auto racing franchise.

The plan is to craft a drama series that draws on stories of the drivers and teams in the nation’s most popular motor sports brand. NASCAR is known for the by-the-bootstraps stories of many of its star drivers.

Burnett and Downey will exec produce the series with Zane Stoddard, NASCAR’s VP of entertainment marketing and content development. The pair are just starting to shop for a writer to tackle the concept. The series will be produced through Burnett and Downey’s United Artist Media Group banner.

“Mark and Roma are two of the biggest, most well-respected names in Hollywood,” Stoddard said. “They share our vision for this project and we are very excited to collaborate with them on the show.”

Burnett and Downey said they were drawn to the project by the inherent drama of racing and the wealth of material from its more than 60-year history. The fact that NASCAR is such a popular sport and family entertainment event in heartland areas of America was also a plus for Burnett, the producer behind “The Voice,” “Shark Tank” and “Survivor,” and Downey, who has helped drive the company’s push into scripted programming.

“From the first time we got to attend NASCAR, we fell in love with their racing world. The teams, the drivers, the fans — it’s an electric atmosphere and is quintessentially American,” said executive producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett.

In 2013 NASCAR cut an eye-popping $8.3 billion, 10-year TV rights pact with NBC and Fox.

(Pictured: Mark Burnett, Roma Downey, Zane Stoddard)

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