Charles Barkley is attached to produce his first scripted series, which is titled The Line. The series will be based on an exposé of the gambling scandal that nearly destroyed college basketball.
The story “will examine America’s loss of innocence through the eyes of two college basketball players: one who recognizes the hypocrisy of the system and uses it to his advantage by point shaving, and another who plays solely for the love of the game. The 1951 gambling scandal brought down the powerhouse team from the City College of New York (CCNY), one of the most diverse and successful basketball programs of the era.”
The series will be an adaptation of Charley Rosen’s 1999 bestseller Scandals of ’51, which documents the explosive real-life crime saga that rocked the nation after World War II. Barkley had this to say in a statement:
“I’m a big fan of Charley Rosen’s books, but ‘Scandals of ’51’ is especially timely to turn into a television series. It’s impossible to understand the present without knowing the past, and stories like this one — about cheating, racism and how easily amateur sports can be corrupted — are as true today as they were 70 years ago.”
The project is also being produced and written by Branyon Davis and Kevin A. Garnett, and producer Aron Phillips had this to say:
“Branyon has done an amazing job expanding on the world from Charley’s iconic book into a captivating and timely pilot. We knew we wanted to go big with our first scripted television project, and we’re excited to bring in a seasoned showrunner to pair with him and bring this story to life.”
The pilot’s script was adapted for the screen by Davis and Kevin A. Garnett, who met while they played football together at Stanford University.