USA Network’s plans for a limited series starring Milo Ventimiglia (This Is Us) as the the 1970s daredevil Evel Knievel has been scrapped, according to Deadline. Evel was already fully cast and staffed when it was forced to shut down on March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The limited series was to be filmed during Ventimiglia’s hiatus from the acclaimed NBC drama This Is Us. His limited availability paired with a new surge of coronavirus infections arising with no future plans to restart film and TV productions led to the series order being cancelled.
Evel was written by Etan Frankel (Shameless, Friday Night Lights) and is based on the true story of the stunt performer Evel Knievel as he develops his death-defying trick, the Snake River Canyon jump. The series was to be executive produced by Ventimiglia, McG’s Wonderland Sound, Mary Viola (The DUFF, Playing It Cool), Steven Bello (The DUFF), Alex Gartner (Season of the Witch, Get Smart), Charles Roven (Justice League, Wonder Woman), and Topher Rhys-Lawrence (The Dark Knight Rises).
Evel was showcased at NBCUniversal’s May upfront-style event, which also featured Ventimiglia. However, this project is among the first of television series to have their series order canceled or postponed due to COVID-19 halting nearly all of production.