In what we’re hearing was an extremely competitive situation, Magnet Management and Condé Nast have secured the rights to an article published in The New Yorker this week, “We Live in the Pop-Culture World That Lou Pearlman Created” by John Seabrook. The plan is to develop a LOU PEARLMAN LIMITED SERIES based on the life of Pearlman, who after creating numerous popular boy bands, including the Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync, was sent to prison for conning investors. Pearlman died in prison in Miami on August 19.
The article details Pearlman’s rise from a blimp business owner into one of the music industry’s most successful moguls. Pearlman reinvented the music business by “creating a factory system” in Orlando through which he auditioned young, diverse singers and sutured together numerous bands – several of which became international sensations. Along the way, Pearlman became extraordinarily wealthy – but behind his music empire, he was also building a network fraudulent business schemes which eventually caught up to him. Pearlman was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison with the judge offering “to reduce his sentence by one month for every million he paid back.”
No word yet on which network would potentially host the series, but the appeal of Pearlman’s story – one that begins back to the late 1980s and strides through the pop culture defining days of the 1990s – is undeniable, especially given the recent trend towards nostalgia-influenced programming. The limited series is certainly in vogue, with shows like Fargo and American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson bringing the format further into the mainstream, with audiences and critics alike responding positively.
Josh Lyons | Managing Editor