May 25, 2024

TV series about Shohei Ohtani ex-interpreter’s gambling scandal in development at Lionsgate

The headlines are heading to the television screens.

Lionsgate Television is developing a scripted series based on the gambling scandal involving Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani’s former interpreter, the entertainment company announced Thursday.

The show will follow Ohtani’s rise, including his record-setting 10-year, $700 million contract with the Dodgers in December and the news months later that Ohtani’s then-interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, allegedly stole $17 million from the baseball icon to pay off gambling debts.

Los Angeles fired Mizuhara and he turned himself in to federal authorities in the wake of the allegations. Mizuhara recently agreed to plead guilty to charges of bank fraud related to the scandal, the U.S. Department of Justice announced. Mizuhara’s arraignment is scheduled for May 14.

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Tony Award winner Scott Delman and sports reporter Albert Chen will produce the series.

“With a strong track record of creating daring, boundary-pushing series, Lionsgate Television is the perfect partner to bring this unbelievable story to the screen,” Delman in a release. “In addition, Albert’s extensive sports journalism background will enable us to connect the dots to make sense of the startling turn of events we’ve seen play out on the world stage.”

Delman is known for his work on the television series “Station 11” and for serving as a producer on Broadway hits “The Book of Mormon” and “Death of a Salesman,” among others.

Chen wrote a book on sports gambling, “Billion Dollar Fantasy,” and served as a senior editor at “Sports Illustrated,” where he covered baseball.

“This is major league baseball’s biggest sports gambling scandal since Pete Rose — and at its center is its biggest star, one that MLB has hitched its wagon on,” Chen said in a release. “We’ll get to the heart of the story — a story of trust, betrayal and the trappings of wealth and fame.”

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(Photo: Michael Reaves / Getty Images)