The Joe Exotic Miniseries Starring Kate McKinnon Is Coming to NBC, Peacock and USA

UCP's miniseries about Joe Exotic has received a straight to series order at NBC, Peacock, and USA. Here's everything we know about the upcoming show!

By Lauren Piester Aug 25, 2020 6:41 PMTags
Watch: Kate McKinnon Playing Carole Baskin in Scripted "Tiger King" TV Show

The Tiger King miniseries finally has a home. Or three homes. 

While the real Joe Exotic is still in prison, the scripted TV show Joe Exotic has received a straight-to-series order and will officially be airing on NBC, Peacock, and USA. It was reported earlier this year that Kate McKinnon will star as Carole Baskin, but now we've got new details about the upcoming limited series.

Per Universal Content Productions, the series follows "Carole Baskin, a big cat enthusiast, who learns that when fellow exotic animal lover Joe "Exotic" Schreibvogel is breeding and using his big cats for profit, she sets out to shut down his venture, inciting a quickly escalating rivalry. But Carole has a checkered past of her own and when the claws come out, Joe will stop at nothing to expose what he sees as her hypocrisy. The results prove dangerous."

Joe himself has not yet been cast, but it's clear there are plenty of celebs who might be willing to kill for the role. 

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Tiger King Stars: Where Are They Now?

McKinnon will also serve as executive producer, and the series will be written by Etan Frankel, a writer known for Shameless and Sorry For Your Loss

The show is actually based on the Wondery podcast Joe Exotic as opposed to Tiger King, the Netflix docuseries. The podcast and the docuseries were both released back in March, right around when the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S. Tiger King became a sensation and its subjects—a group of animal lovers and private zoo owners with extremely colorful lives—became viral stars, for better or worse. Carole Baskin is even in talks for Dancing With the Stars, sources tell E! News

Keep up with everything we know about the miniseries below! 

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Joe Exotic and his gang of misfits have found mega fame with their Netflix docuseries, but he was first introduced to the world on Wondery's second season of the podcast Over My Dead Body. The story that the writers at Wondery weaved will be the basis of the new series produced by UCP studios. Together, Wondery's Hernan Lopez and Marshall Lewy will executive produce the limited series with the help of their star, Kate McKinnon. Etan Frankel will write and executive produce the series, and it will air on Peacock. 

Based on True Events

Per UCP, "Joe Exotic is a limited series based on true events following Carole Baskin (McKinnon), a big cat enthusiast, who learns that when fellow exotic animal lover Joe "Exotic" Schreibvogel is breeding and using his big cats for profit, she sets out to shut down his venture, inciting a quickly escalating rivalry. But Carole has a checkered past of her own and when the claws come out, Joe will stop at nothing to expose what he sees as her hypocrisy. The results prove dangerous." 

Kate McKinnon as Carole Baskin

UCP confirmed the Saturday Night Live star will be playing the divisive Carole Baskin in the limited series. In a statement, Carole called McKinnon "a wonderful actress" and requested that the show use only CGI tigers instead of real ones. 

John Cameron Mitchell as Joe Exotic

Shrill star John Cameron Mitchell, who rose to fame by writing and starring in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, will play the titular eccentric zoo owner who has it out for Carole Baskin. 

"I'm thrilled to take on the role of this modern folk antihero," Mitchell said in a statement. "Joe and I are the same age and like him, I grew up queer in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas so I feel like I know a little bit about this guy and his desperate attempt to conquer an inhospitable world."

Kyle MacLachlan as Howard Baskin

On July 6, it was revealed that Twin Peaks star Kyle MacLachlan will portray Howard Baskin in the Joe Exotic miniseries.

Dean Winters as Jeff Lowe

As for who will play Joe's backstabbing friend and fellow big cat enthusiast Jeff Lowe? That will be none other than Oz's Dean Winters.

William Fichtner as Rick Kirkham

Initially, Dennis Quaid was cast to play producer Rick Kirkham. However, due to a scheduling conflict, The Parent Trap actor had to exit the series. In July 2021, it was announced that Mom's William Fichtner would step into the role.

Brian Van Holt as John Reinke

In May 2021, it was revealed that Cougar Town's Brian Van Holt was cast as John Reinke in the Joe Exotic miniseries. As fans of the Tiger King saga well know, John was the manager for Joe's zoo, a loyal employee until things got too out of hand.

Nat Wolff as Travis Maldonado

The Peacock series began rounding out its cast when it tapped Nat Wolff to play one of Joe's husbands, Travis Maldonado, who passed away in 2017 due to an accidental suicide. Nat confirmed the casting news on Instagram, writing, "Couldn't be more excited to go on this wild adventure with this talented group of people!"

Sam Keeley as John Finlay

On Tuesday, June 1, the second of Joe's husbands was announced. Specifically, Sam Keeley will be joining Joe's throuple as John Finlay, who was often shirtless and had a headline-making smile in the Netflix docuseries.

In regard to his new role, Sam took to his Instagram story and said he was "very excited to be apart of this."

Lex Mayson as Saff

A newcomer, named Lex Mayson, will portray Saff, an employee of Joe's who lost their arm after a brutal tiger attack.

Joel Marsh Garland as James Garretson

Following his work on Orange Is the New BlackJoel Marsh Garland is set to play James Garretson, Joe's friend-turned-FBI informant, in the upcoming series.

Who Will Play Doc "Baghavan" Antle?

Will FerrellJim Gaffigan and John C. Reilly are a few of the names that fans believe would be excellent in the role of the mysterious Doc AntleJustin Long personally nominated Jim Gaffigan, telling Dax Shepard they can "sit next to each other at the Oscars."

Justice For Don Lewis

Depending on the timeline, there could be new evidence brought to light in the disappearance of Carole's husband Don Lewis. The Hillsborough County sheriff wrote on Twitter, "Since @netflix and #Covid19 #Quarantine has made #TigerKing all the rage, I figured it was a good time to ask for new leads." If this happens, the show could have new info to inspire their script. 

E!, UCP, NBC, Peacock, and USA are all part of the NBCUniversal family.