Heat's Dwyane Wade sells TV sitcom project about his career, fatherhood to Fox

Wednesday November 20th, 2013

(Issac Baldizon/Getty Images) Dwyane Wade is averaging 16.7 points, 5.2 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game. (Issac Baldizon/Getty Images)

Dwyane Wade has sold a a half-hour situation comedy about his life as an NBA All-Star and a father of two boys to Fox.

The proposed show -- titled Three the Hard Way -- will be based on A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger That Basketball, Wade's best-selling book that was released last year. The show's protagonist -- "NBA superstar Daryl Wade" -- will be joined by an "eccentric entourage" that helps him raise his two sons.

The Hollywood Reporter has the full pitch and details on the writers and producers involved.

The Sony Pictures Television entry -- titled Three the Hard Way -- is inspired by the life of the three-time NBA champion and gold medalist and centers on superstar Daryl Wade and his entourage of eccentric friends who find themselves parenting by committee after he gets full custody of his two young sons. It's a recipe made for disaster but no matter how misinformed, misguided or unfit Team Wade may be, they have a trump card that can't be cut lose: love.

Burn Notice's Ben Watkins will pen the script and executive produce alongside Wade and his newly launched ZZ Productions banner, Mandalay Sports Media's Mike Tollin (Coach Carter, Arli$$), Perfect Storm Entertainment's Justin Lin, head of TV Danielle Woodrow and CEO Troy Craig Poon.

The show's title plays off of Wade's self-appointed "Three" nickname, his jersey number and his championship ring total, and the premise of the pitch draws directly from real life events. Wade and his ex-wife engaged in a protracted dispute over the custody of his sons, Zaire and Zion, a dispute that Wade eventually won. Both boys appear on the cover of Wade's book and they posed with Wade on the cover of Ebony magazine over the summer to pay tribute to Trayvon Martin, a Florida teenager who was shot to death in February.

Wade, a nine-time All-Star, has been honored by the National Fathers Day Committee with a "Father of the Year" award and he's lent his name and support to president Barack Obama's "This Is Fatherhood" campaign. This show concept is just the latest piece of the puzzle, and it's hard not to marvel at Wade's ability to turn what was an off-court nightmare into a profitable, reputation-enhancing endeavor.

RELATED: Phil Jackson, Jeanie Buss to produce pro basketball TV show for Showtime

Both the book and the prospective television show amount to a fixer's masterpiece; you can almost hear Olivia Pope shouting "change the narrative" when you read the show's summary. As recently as July, Wade's ex-wife was sitting on a Chicago sidewalk holding a sign that accused Wade of leaving her "on the streets." Her lone voice, although it does draw national attention on occasion, certainly can't influence perception the way Wade's multi-channel multimedia efforts and network of influential associates can.  To be clear: a vanity project can simultaneously be good for one's image and good for society. For years now, Wade and teammate LeBron James have committed to making fatherhood a cool and honorable thing to do in interviews, commercials and on social media. Will this show wind up on the air and will it actually be must-see TV for basketball fans? Who knows, on both counts. Even if the show flops or never sees the light of day, Wade emerges as a winner here simply because his platform as a role model is so massive. He could be talking about anything, with millions of ears listening to him, and he's chosen an indisputably necessary message to make his own.

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