MGM+ today announced a 10-episode series order for Emperor of Ocean Park, a thrilling, suspenseful take on author and law professor Stephen L. Carter’s best-selling novel, from executive producer/writer Sherman Payne (Charm City Kings, Shameless), John Wells Productions (JWP), and Warner Bros. Television. Damian Marcano (Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty) is set to direct multiple episodes. Set in the worlds of politics, Ivy League academia, and the beaches of Martha’s Vineyard, the series centers on Talcott Garland, an Ivy League law professor whose quiet life is shattered when his father, Judge Oliver Garland, dies of an apparent heart attack. The nature of the judge’s death is questioned by Tal’s sister, Mariah, a former journalist and inveterate conspiracy theorist, who believes that the judge, a failed Black nominee to the Supreme Court, met with foul play.
“Emperor of Ocean Park is much more than a murder mystery,” said Michael Wright, head of MGM+. “While it is an engrossing whodunit in its own right, it also explores important themes of middle-and-upper-class Black identity, making it an outstanding addition to MGM+’s slate of engaging and thought-provoking original series.”
“Stephen L. Carter’s best-selling novel set a new standard for stories about power, race, politics, and wealth,” said Sherman Payne, showrunner and executive producer. “It’s exceedingly rare to see Black people depicted in these settings and I believe viewers of all backgrounds will be entertained by our portrayal of the extraordinary Garland clan and the intrigue that engulfs them. I’m overjoyed to partner with John Wells Productions, Warner Bros., and MGM+ to bring this remarkable mystery to the screen.”
“We’re tremendously excited to be producing Sherman Payne’s thrilling adaptation of Emperor of Ocean Park, and to be associated with his talented team,” said John Wells, executive producer. “Bringing Stephen Carter’s novel to television has been a dream of ours, and we’re thankful to Michael Wright, Nancy Cotton, and everyone at MGM+ for giving us the opportunity to introduce audiences to the dangerous world of Judge Garland and his complicated, extraordinary family.”
Emperor of Ocean Parkis produced by JWP in association with Warner Bros. Television, where JWP is under an overall deal. John Wells, Sherman Payne, Damian Marcano, Shukree Tilghman, and JWP’s Erin Jontow will serve as executive producers. Payne, who will also serves as showrunner, wrote the first episode, which will be directed by Marcano. Payne is represented by WME, Entertainment 360, and McKuin Frankel Whitehead. Carter and the novel are represented by Lynn Nesbit from Janklow & Nesbit, and Bob Bookman. Marcano is represented by Rothman Brecher Ehrich Livingston and Joel Vander Kloot.
About John Wells Productions
John Wells Productions is the production company of writer, producer, and director John Wells. Most recently, Wells executive produced and directed the Emmy-nominated Maid for Netflix; Showtime’s Emmy-nominated Shameless; and the TNT drama series Animal Kingdom. Past television projects include NBC’s hit series ER, The West Wing, and Third Watch; the critically acclaimed Southland for TNT; the Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning Mildred Pierce for HBO; and the Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated China Beach.
JWP’s current slate of television projects includes The Accident, with Wells writing and directing; the action workplace drama HI-Surf: Rescue, written by Matt Kester; the psychological thriller series Doll, with renowned theatre and opera director Ivo van Hove; and an adaptation of the critically acclaimed suspense thriller Notes on an Execution, by Danya Kukafka with Kate Fodor writing.
The company currently has an overall deal with Warner Bros. Television.
Films produced by Wells include The Company Men, which was his feature directorial debut; Todd Haynes’ Far from Heaven and I’m Not There; Mark Romanek’s One Hour Photo; Todd Graff’s Camp; Fenton Bailey’s Party Monster; Robert Altman’s The Company; John Waters’ A Dirty Shame; Mary Harron’s The Notorious Bettie Page; Phyllis Nagy’s Mrs. Harris; Tom Kalin’s Savage Grace;Douglas McGrath’s Infamous; Jordan Scott’s Cracks; Andrew Neel’s Goat; Burnt, which he also directed; Bill Pohlad’s Love & Mercy; Carroll Ballard’s Duma; Peter Kominsky’s White Oleander; Neil Jordan’s The Good Thief; Andrzej Bartkowiak’s Doom; Tony Giglio’s Doom: Annihilation; Michael Mayer’s A Home at the End of the World; and Oscar-nominated August: Osage County, which Wells also directed, based on Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name.
About Warner Bros. Television
One of the entertainment industry’s most-respected providers of original programming since its founding in 1955, Warner Bros. Television delivers scripted dramas, comedies, limited series, and original movies for multiple platforms. As of April 2023, WBTV is producing more than 50 scripted series for Warner Bros. Discovery’s HBO Max, external streaming platforms, cable, and the five U.S. broadcast networks.
MGM+ is a premium linear channel and streaming service delivering a broad lineup of quality original series and docuseries, the latest movie releases, and classic film franchises—all available in the U.S. on TV, on-demand, online, and across devices. MGM+ is a destination for original premium content, with Original series including sci-fi horror series FROM; Emmy-winning series Godfather of Harlem; the Western adventure Billy the Kid; and cinematic dramatic series A Spy Among Friends, War of the Worlds, Rogue Heroes, and Belgravia. The network is also the home of acclaimed docuseries, including Emmy-nominated Laurel Canyon, Helter Skelter, Slow Burn, My Life as a Rolling Stone, NFL Icons, and Murf the Surf. Premium movies are also available, including No Time to Die, House of Gucci, Cyrano, and Licorice Pizza.
MGM+ will continue to be available nationwide through cable, telco, satellite, and emerging digital distribution channels, as well as through its MGM+ app, providing more movies than any other network with thousands of titles available for streaming. For more information about the current MGM+ lineup, go to [www.mgmplus.com ] or follow on [Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube].