A new season of Tiger King, the docuseries phenomenon that hit at just the right how-long-are-we-going-to-be-locked-down-due-to-this-pandemic moment last March, is set to premiere on Netflix later this year.
The streamer announced the news on Thursday, along with a slate of true-crime-ish documentary projects with titles like The Puppet Master: Hunting the Ultimate Conman, The Tinder Swindler, Trust No One: The Hunt for the Crypto King, and Bad Vegan. The series and films will roll out across 2022, but Tiger King 2, as it’s dubbed, will sneak in before we ring the bell on 2021.
Tiger King’s seven-episode first season chronicled the rivalry between big-cat collector and exhibitor Joe Exotic, who ran Oklahoma’s Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, and Carole Baskin, the owner of Florida’s Big Cat Rescue. Between accusations of animal cruelty and illegal trade against Exotic, he-said-she-said debate between the two parties, and the sensational romantic drama that seemed to exist on both sides of the line, Tiger King was a romp ... that still had a gross, violent streak. Exotic is currently serving 22 years in prison on two murder-for-hire charges tied to his plans to kill Baskin. The show proved so mesmerizing to audiences, becoming one of the streamer’s top performing series of all time, that Netflix quickly produced an eighth follow-up episode hosted by Joel McHale.
The Netflix exposure turned Exotic and Baskin into tabloid fodder. Over the course of 2020, Exotic publicly campaigned for a pardon from President Donald Trump, and earlier this year, he launched his own crypto coin: “$TKING.” Meanwhile, Baskin appeared on the 29th season of Dancing with the Stars alongside Nelly. Life!
What more is there to say about the Tiger King saga? Netflix is tight-lipped on details of the new installment, but in a blog on the Netflix website, Adam Del Deo, VP of documentary series and Lisa Nishimura, VP of independent and documentary film tried to explain why the streamer is all in on Sensational Documentary content.
“Now as we explore the spectrum of true crime, one particularly riveting area is that of cons, scams, and cautionary tales. For example, earlier this year our series Heist revealed how ordinary people almost got away with extraordinary cons, This Is A Robbery examined a still-unsolved art theft, and Cocaine Cowboys: Kings of Miami chronicled the rise and fall of drug kingpins [...] Whether you want to dive into the psyche of a con artist, empathize with the victims of a scam, or piece together the puzzle of an investigation, these wild stories are often full of surprising twists and unusual perspectives.”
Tiger King 2 won’t be the end of the Joe Exotic/Carole Baskin revival. John Cameron Mitchell and Kate McKinnon are set to play Exotic and Baskin in the NBC/Peacock miniseries, while Amazon has its own series in the works, which was set to star Nic Cage as Exotic until the actor bailed in July. May be better that way. We’ll have plenty of Tiger King in the future.