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Heroes’ producer takes Pirate’s Dilemma to TV

Matt Mason, author of hit book The Pirate’s Dilemma, is set to turn the pop culture tome into a US television series after securing the help of Heroes executive producer Jesse Alexander.

The Pirate’s Dilemma is a Wired-meets-Freakonomics tale of how youth trends reinvent pop culture and in turn become mainstream ideas with mass appeal. It looks at the ideas of piracy and how piracy leads to new business models. The book was released earlier this year.

Mason told TBI that he is in the process of turning the book into a 13x1hour series.

“I was talking to my agent about plans and when I was in LA I randomly got an email from Jesse Alexander saying he liked the book. So I checked out his blog and I thought I should talk to him and we went out for lunch and he had this vision for it,” he says.

Mason is currently working with talent agency CAA (where Alexander, who has exec produced Heroes, Lost and Alias, is also a client) after a number of production companies including Participant Films expressed an interest in the project.

“We’ve written treatments for 13 parts, we’ve got some really big ideas. Each episode is looking at weird ways that people use information. I’d like to use a lot of the people that feature in the book, so for example we’ll talk to David Mancuso, the founding father of disco and the Elvis of house music, who still lives in the village,” he says.

Mason believes the show could suit a number of networks including pay cable stations such as HBO or Showtime, The History Channel or music channel MTV.

“TV and the big screen are superior for getting this message across. The ideal people don’t spend $25 on a hardcover book but they do download TV shows. The average American reads one book a year.”