J. J. Abrams TV Series In Development About Michael Jackson’s Final Days

Michael Jackson is the source of more than one conversation in media this week. This Saturday, June 25, marks 7 years since his death. Unfortunate news has come out today around documents from a 2003 child sex abuse investigation at Neverland Ranch which don’t paint a pretty picture of . But it may be the complicated and intricate life of the mega pop star that would make good TV.

J. J. Abrams and his production company Bad Robot seem to think so. A TV event series is in development at Bad Robot adapting Tavis Smiley’s book Before You Judge Me: The Triumph and Tragedy of Michael Jackson’s Last Days, which comes out today (Tuesday, June 21). Smiley, a TV/radio personality in addition to author will be aiding in the television adaptation.

The book’s official synopsis is below:

A powerful chronicle of the sixteen weeks leading up to King of Pop Michael Jackson’s death. Michael Jackson’s final months were like the rest of his short and legendary life: filled with deep lows and soaring highs, a constant hunt for privacy, and the pressure and fame that made him socially fragile and almost–ultimately–unable to live.With the insight and compassion that he brought to his bestselling telling of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s final year, Tavis Smiley provides a glimpse into the superstar’s life in this emotional, honest, yet celebratory book. Readers will witness Jackson’s campaign to recharge his career–hiring and firing managers and advisors, turning to and away from family members, fighting depression and drug dependency–while his one goal remained: to mount the most spectacular series of shows the world had ever seen. ‘Before You Judge Me’ is a humanizing look at Jackson’s last days.

No news yet about when the show might air and there will certainly be mass opinion on who should or could play the icon on-screen. Joseph Fiennes already received plenty of flack when he was cast to play Jackson in the TV movie Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon. As both British and white it did feel like a strange decision, though he and the filmmakers have defended it by stating the film is meant to be satirical.

Any portrayal of Jackson is sure to be controversial, but with of The People vs O.J. Simpsons: American Crime Story this year, there is sure to be more orders of these biographical TV events.

Here’s a reminder of the height of Michael’s talent, even if he would go on to be a controversial and tragic figure later:


Would you watch a show about Michael Jackson’s last days alive?


“Only the meek get pinched. The bold survive.” – Ferris Bueller