Fox 21 TV, Littlefield Option Opioid-Crisis Book ‘Dopesick’

Fox 21 Television Studios and The Littlefield Co., said they have optioned author Beth Macy’s book on the opioid crisis, Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America.

There was a competitive bidding process to develop the book for television.

“Every once in a while, you come across a piece of material that is that rare diamond in that it’s an incredibly arresting story, and, even more, is timely and important,” said Bert Salke, president of Fox 21 Television Studios. “Beth’s dissection and thoughtful emotion in detailing the opioid crisis that now plagues our country, is as compelling a story as I have seen. Warren and Fox 21 are truly excited to build the perfect team, beginning with identifying the perfect writer to bring this series to life. It’s a huge priority.”

Macy and Warren Littlefield, the former NBC head now principal of The Littlefield Co., will be executive producers of the project. Peter McGuigan and Rickie Kern will be producers.

“Beth has written a book that holds up a mirror to where America is right now and why. Through deeply emotional true stories and an understanding of the systems that failed us, Beth has painted a powerful and important portrait of our country,” said Littlefield. “Until America better understands the issue it will remain a place where getting addicted is much easier than securing addiction treatment. Television can shine a klieg light on this. We look forward to working closely with Beth and our Fox 21 partners to bring this property to life on television.”

Fox 21 is responsible for shows including Homeland and The Americans. The Littlefield Co. is involved with The Handmaid’s Tale and Fargo.

Macy’s Dopesick was published by Little, Brown and Co. and is No. 5 on the New York Times best seller list. She is a journalist and author based in Virginia and has won more than a dozen national awards.

“I write it the only way I know how — by witnessing the epidemic’s landing in three Virginia communities over two decades and getting to know the people on the front lines,” Macy said. “From distressed small communities in central Appalachia to wealthy suburbs, from disparate cities to once idyllic farm towns, it’s a heartbreaking trajectory that explains how the national crisis became so entrenched. This book illuminates the persistent and often conflicting gaps in the treatment and criminal-justice landscapes while shining a hopeful light on the heroes battling the worst drug epidemic in American history.”

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.