LOS ANGELES – The popular cable channel TLC today announced that it will soon begin filming a reality series starring George Zimmerman and his immediate family, tentatively titled “Killing it with the Zimmermans.” TLC executives said that the concept of building a show around Zimmerman—who was acquitted of murder charges in the killing of Trayvon Martin in July—has “been under consideration for several months,” but that Zimmerman’s recent run-ins with law enforcement have demonstrated “serious ratings potential.”
Eileen O’Neill, president of the TLC and Discovery networks, said that she believes the “everyday life” of George Zimmerman will prove to be “very compelling television.” “Our viewers will love riding along with Zimmerman as he recklessly ignores speed limits or threatens his family with a gun,” O’Neill said. “Think The Wire meets Family Matters, only with fewer black people.”
O’Neill hopes that, “for drama’s sake,” Zimmerman continues “pushing the bounds of the law.” “George has a remarkable track record of just barely not going to prison,” O’Neill explained. Indeed, Zimmerman has faced several legal troubles in recent years. In 2012, he admitted to shooting and killing an unarmed African American teenager, Trayvon Martin, but claimed that he had done so in self-defense—a crime for which he was acquitted in July. Since avoiding a life-sentence in that case, Zimmerman has been pulled over for speeding twice, and earlier this week was detained by Florida police after threatening his estranged wife and her father with a gun, although Zimmerman’s wife now says she will not press charges.
“What a character!” O’Neill said. “It takes guts to just barely get away with killing a kid, and then turn right around and threaten to kill your wife. It’s exactly that kind of maverick personality that TLC loves to feature.”
Industry insiders say that TLC is also secretly planning to film several cross-over episodes in which Zimmerman “hangs out” with other TLC reality-show stars. “Ideally, with George, we’d capture the first-ever reality-show murder,” said one source who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of African Americans on TLC, but it’s always possible we can coax him into shooting Honey Boo Boo, which we think would bring great joy to America.”