More Tiger King: Kate McKinnon to play Carole Baskin in new TV series

The limited series involving Tampa’s Big Cat Rescue will be based off a podcast, not the Netflix sensation.
Kate McKinnon spoke at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 5, 2020.
Kate McKinnon spoke at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 5, 2020. [ Paul Drinkwater/NBC ]
Published Mar. 27, 2020

Tiger King, the Netflix docuseries that homebound true-crime enthusiasts can’t get enough of right now, is getting a made-for-TV spinoff featuring a Saturday Night Live star.

Sort of.

Emmy-winning SNL star Kate McKinnon has signed on to produce and star in a new limited series about the tangled tale of tiger enthusiast Joe Exotic and his rival big cat caretaker, Carole Baskin, the CEO of Tampa’s Big Cat Rescue. McKinnon is set to play Baskin, according to Deadline.

In a twist befitting Tiger King itself, the McKinnon show won’t be based on the Netflix documentary, but the podcast Joe Exotic: Tiger King, part of Wondery’s Over My Dead Body series. Still, there’s so much to work with in both properties — murder for hire! polygamist country singers! so many tigers! — that McKinnon will find plenty to work with in the character of Baskin.

Related: Joe Exotic tried to kill the founder of Big Cat Rescue in Tampa. Now it's a Netflix documentary.

Baskin, however, may not be interested in watching.

The Tampa resident told the Tampa Bay Times recently that she hoped the Netflix series would be less sensational than the Joe Exotic podcast. But after viewing it, she penned a blog post airing her grievances with the finished product, which she said "has the sole goal of being as salacious and sensational as possible. ... The unsavory lies are better for getting viewers.”

Related: Tiger King's Carole Baskin says the series is full of 'unsavory lies'

It won’t be McKinnon’s first foray into playing a streaming media sensation. Last year, she signed on to play Elizabeth Holmes, the Theranos CEO portrayed in the HBO documentary The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley. That doc was also based on a podcast series, titled The Dropout.

Want to know more about the real stories behind Tiger King? Click here for the Tampa Bay Times’ past coverage.

Related: Tiger King: Read our stories on Don Lewis, Carole Baskin and Joe Exotic from Netflix's hit series