FX is developing a half-hour comedy series based on the 2021 This American Life segment “I Was a Teenage Smuggler,” Deadline reports.
The series will follow a group of Mexican teens who thanks to a loophole in U.S. immigration law that prevents anyone under 18 from being prosecuted, are enlisted by cartels to smuggle migrants across the border. The teens soon find themselves making unfathomable amounts of money and living the lives of their dreams but with an ever-ticking clock until they are legally considered adults.
The series will be penned by Joanna Calo, Carlos López Estrada, and the story’s reporter Kevin Sieff. They will serve also as executive produce alongside Ira Glass and Alissa Shipp of This American Life.
Estrada is also attached to direct the pilot and produces via his Antigravity Academy banner. Estrada directed an episode of FX and Marvel’s Legion and is currently developing an original comedy show at FX in association with This American Life. He is currently writing and set to direct the reimagining of the Japanese anime Your Name for Paramount and Bad Robot.
Calo is the co-showrunner, executive producer, writer, and director of FX’s The Bear which earned 13 Emmy nominations for its first season, including Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Writing for a comedy series, as well as acting noms for stars Jeremy Allen White, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Ayo Edebiri, Jon Bernthal and Oliver Platt. The series has been a hit with audiences and critics alike.