'Joe Exotic' Series Starring Kate McKinnon as Carole Baskin Ordered at NBC

A Joe Exotic scripted series has been ordered at NBC, and while the title role has yet to be cast, it has been announced that SNL star Kate McKinnon will be playing Carole Baskin. According to TVLine, the limited series will follow Baskin as she learns about Exotic using his zoo to breed big cats for profit, which does not sit well with her.

"She sets out to shut down his venture, inciting a quickly escalating rivalry," an official synopsis reads. "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." While the show will feature real-life people from Netflix's massively popular docu-series, Tiger King, it will actually be based on Wondery's Joe Exotic podcast. In addition to starring the series, McKinnon will also serve as an executive producer. Etan Frankel (Shameless, Animal Kingdom) will write the show, and will also serve as an executive producer.

Baskin runs Big Cat Rescue, a non-profit animal sanctuary that is based near Tampa, Florida. Exotic was the owner and operator of a private zoo in Oklahoma. The two quickly became enemies, due to Baskin mounting a crusade to stop Exotic from profiting off of what she saw as taking advantage of the animals in his care. Exotic has regularly stated that, from his perspective, he saw little difference in what he was doing and what Baskin does.


In September 2018, Exotic was arrested and charged with two counts of hiring someone to murder Baskin, eight counts of violating the Lacey Act for falsifying wildlife records, and nine counts of violating the Endangered Species Act for killing five tigers and for selling tigers across state lines. The investigation against Exotic was so extensive that is was a joint operation between the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, and the U.S. Marshals Service. In January 2019, he was sentenced to 22 years in prison. He has been held at FMC Fort Worth since March 2020.