milo ventimiglia evel knievel series

Milo Ventimiglia‘s Evel Knievel series didn’t stick the landing at USA Network. The network will not be going forward with the limited series, which would’ve been titled Evel, about the daredevil stuntman. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic shut down the series right before production was set to begin.

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that USA Network has scrapped the Evel Knievel limited series starring Milo Ventimiglia as the famous daredevil. Titled Evel, the series is based on the story of the “larger-than-life 1970s daredevil as he prepares for his greatest death-defying feat, the historic Snake River Canyon jump.”

The series was announced last September, with the This Is Us star attached in the lead role, and things were running smoothly until March 13 — the day the series (and most other Hollywood productions across the globe) was shut down due to the pandemic. As the pandemic stretched on longer and Hollywood slow to get back to work, production was unable to resume. Ventimiglia and series writer Etan Frankel were scheduled to begin work on other projects as well, leading USA Network to decide to scrap the project completely.

“USA is incredibly disappointed to have had to make this decision, as we were so excited about this project and working with Milo, Etan, and everyone involved,” USA Network said in a statement.

But like the resilient stunt performer himself, Universal Content Productions, which is producing the series, plans to bounce back. The series will be shopped to other outlets, and could potentially be picked up by another network or more likely a new streaming platform looking to pad their library of original titles. It’s unclear if Ventimiglia, who was set to executive produce in addition to starring via DiVide Pictures, and Frankel, who was set to write and executive produce via his overall with the studio, would still be attached after Evel is shopped out. Other executive producers on the project were McG, Mary Viola, and Steven Bello of Wonderland Sound & Vision, and Alex Gartner, Charles Roven and Topher Rhys-Lawrence of Atlas Entertainment. Russ Cundiff was to serve as co-executive producer on behalf of DiVide Pictures.

The motorcycle stunt performer has inspired several biographical films, documentaries, and even an animated series over the years. The most recent was the 2015 documentary Being Evel directed by Daniel Junge and produced by Jackass star Johnny Knoxville. But recent scripted efforts to bring the stuntman to the big screen have fallen through, from a biopic with Channing Tatum and Darren Aronofsky back in 2015, to another project from Martin Scorsese and Oscar-winning screenwriter William Monahan soon after. It seems the fate of Evel Knievel projects on the small screen is no better.

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