FX is looking to sink a slam dunk with news of their latest limited series. The network has put in a straight-to-series order for The Sterling Affairs, which pulls its story from the ESPN30 For 30 podcast centered around the real-life story of former Los Angeles Clippers owner, Donald Sterling’s, fall from grace. As if a drama surrounding the ex-basketball team owner wasn’t binge-worthy enough, the network also announced that the Emmy Award-winning Laurence Fishburne will star opposite the two-time Academy Award nominated Jacki Weaver.
Penned by Gina Welch (FEUD: Bette and Joan), The Sterling Affairs will chronicle the much talked about run of coach Doc Rivers and the LA Clippers’ quest for a championship win. In 2014, when the team was on their rise to the top and preparing to face off against the Golden State Warriors during the first round of the playoffs, the team’s owner, Sterling, was about to have some of his darkest secrets revealed. The now-disgraced owner was caught on tape making a slew of racially offensive remarks which rightfully sparked outrage throughout both the basketball community and within the team itself. What followed was an avalanche of controversy, leading Sterling to eventually step down from his position and sell the team. Along with his racist comments, trouble was also brewing at home for Sterling whose wife of more than 60 years, Shelly Sterling, and his mistress, V. Stiviano, were playing a power-based game of tug of war.
Fishburne has been tapped as the courageous and driven former Clippers Head Coach, Doc Rivers, with Weaver set to play the tough-as-nails and determined, Shelly Sterling. The original podcast was hosted by Ramona Shelburne who will also serve as an executive producer alongside Welch, Nina Jacobson, Color Force’s Brad Simpson, and Kevin Bray who is also slated to direct the first set of episodes. Color Force’s Nellie Reed will produce alongside Rembert Browne.
Accompanying the show’s announcement, FX’s President of Original Programming, Nick Grad shared his excitement about bringing the unbelievable true story to the small screen. Singing the praise of the show’s scribe, Welch, Grad said that the writer has done “a tremendous job of adapting this story for FX.” He also commented on “the historic resolve and grace of Doc Rivers and the Clippers players during this shocking event,” stating that the entire team backing the project will make them proud by digging in even further beyond Shelburne’s original story.
While no other casting announcements have been made at this time, the team behind FX’s The Sterling Affairs already has two MVPs on their roster. With the ball in Fishburne and Weaver’s hands at the top of the first quarter of this production, we know we’re in for a treat.