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Exclusive: Lifetime developing Johnny Depp TV project

US cable network Lifetime is developing a period drama series from Johnny Depp’s Infinitum Nihil and GK-TV, TBIvision has learnt.

The series is the first significant move into television production for the Pirates of the Caribbean star and is being produced with GK-TV, the television arm of GK-Films run by former Lionsgate international boss Craig Cegielski.

The period drama follows the story of William Wilkerson, the founder of the Hollywood Reporter. Wilkerson, who founded the trade paper in 1930 after losing a lot of money in the Wall Street crash, also owned The Flamingo Hotel and nightclub Ciro’s and eventually became indebted to the mafia as a result of his compulsive gambling.

“He was the original Don Draper,” says Cegielski. “He eventually became the conduit between the mob and Hollywood.”

The series is currently at script stage and is being written and produced by Stargate executive producer Rob Cooper. Although Depp is not attached to star, he may make a cameo appearance.

Infinitum Nihil was set up in 2004 and is run by Depp’s sister Christi Dembrowski and has produced movies including forthcoming Hunter S. Thompson adaptation The Rum Diary, which was also produced in association with GK-Films.

It is the Lifetime’s latest deal with a high profile star following the launch of cancer awareness telemovie Five, which was directed by Jennifer Aniston, and interview series The Conversation, which is produced by Demi Moore.