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NBC green lights comedy based on Ben Simmons’ family produced by LeBron James’ company

Kurt Helin
NBC Sports

LeBron James and Ben Simmons are close — they share an agent, but it’s more than that. They have bonded.

And now they’re working together off the court as well — and not just in the weight room.

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LeBron’s production company will produce a comedy based on Simmons’ family life, called “Brotherly Love.” Nellie Andreeva of Deadline.com broke the story.

NBC has given a script commitment plus penalty to Brotherly Love, a single-camera comedy from 2018 NBA Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons, NBA superstar LeBron James and his SpringHill Entertainment as well as former “Fresh Off the Boat” co-executive producer Kourtney Kang.

Written by Kang’s brother, Patrick Kang, and Michael Levin, Brotherly Love is inspired by the life of Ben Simmons and centers on a unique sibling relationship within a multi-ethnic family. Together, they pursue their dreams while navigating life in the spotlight in Philadelphia, a passionate city where sports is in your blood, and your blood is always boiling.

What “script commitment plus penalty” means is NBC is all in on this. Plenty of scripts for a pilot get picked up then either never get made, or the pilot gets made but the network doesn’t like it/it doesn’t test well and so it never gets aired. However, Kang and LeBron have the leverage to force a penalty out of the network — usually a very substantial one — if the show’s pilot never gets made and aired. So, it will. All of this just makes it more likely the show will get a serious chance to survive. It’s got a real shot (insert your own joke here about its shot is better than Simmons’).

LeBron and business partner Maverick Carter at the heart of SpringHill Entertainment, which currently produces “The Wall” on NBC, “The Shop” on HBO (which also stars LeBron), and has produced several documentaries on YouTube, Starz, and other networks.

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