Jack Black’s Production Company and Reveille Option Rights to Adapt A.J. Jacobs’ MY LIFE AS AN EXPERIMENT into Half-Hour Comedy Series

     July 12, 2010

Jack Black’s Electric Dynamite Productions and Reveille have optioned the TV rights to A.J. Jacobs’ best-selling non-fiction humor book My Life as an Experiment* (which is being released in paperback today; you should pick it up).  Deadline reports that it’s being set up as a half-hour comedy series, which centers on Jacobs’ bizarre behavioral experiments where he immerses himself in a belief system or cultural trend.  Examples in Experiment include outsourcing his entire life to a company in India, living by George Washington’s “Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation” (all 110 of them), and refusing to multitask (which is far more difficult than you think).

Hit the jump for what Jacobs had to say about his bizarre life possibly being transformed into a half-hour TV comedy.

Here’s what Jacobs, who works as the Editor-at-Large for Esquire Magazine, said regarding the optioning of the rights:

“I’m being radically honest when I say I’m thrilled to be working with Reveille and Jack Black, and I’m looking forward to helping them transform these stories from my life into a series.”

The “radically honest” quip comes from his experiment in radical honesty, where you not only abstain from lying, but you remove any filter whatsoever.  You basically act like the people in The Invention of Lying.  While I think an adaptation of his book would work far better as a 30 Days-style documentary series, it does have the potential for comedy.  I’d certainly be more interested in seeing this adapted than the awful Twitter feed Shit My Dad Says (this fall on CBS!)

While the experiments from this book are around a month long, Jacobs has written two books of year-long experiments.  His first book, The Know-It-All, followed his mission to read to entire Encyclopedia Britannica in one year (one of his major takeaways: Rene Descartes had a thing for cross-eyed women).  His follow-up, The Year of Living Biblically, had him following every rule in the Bible.  He has a particularly amusing anecdote about stoning adulterers.  Both books have been optioned to be adapted into feature films.

If you can’t already tell, I’m a big fan of the guy’s work and I hope that the adaptation does it justice.

*I’m guessing the book was re-titled in between its hardback and paperback publishing since I own the hardcover and it’s titled “The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment” whereas the book is now titled “My Life as an Experiment: One Man’s Humble Quest to Improve Himself“.

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