A Showtime series chronicling the history of the Uber ridesharing app is in development. The service-based app, which offers everything from transportation to food delivery, has been a massive hit thus far, but can it also succeed as a TV series?
Officially kicking off in San Francisco in 2011, Uber is the brainchild of Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick. The ridesharing app was started as a means to diminish the costs involved with direct transportation and today it is established in at least 785 different cities worldwide. As Uber continues to expand and venture into new services related to transport such as luxury vehicles, a bicycle sharing system and larger vehicles for more people, the service has not been without its share of detractors. Almost from the start, Uber and its drivers felt the ire of taxi drivers, who argue that Uber is, by its very nature, detrimental to their ability to make a living. This concern has slowed Uber’s ability to expand into some marketplaces, but overall, there is still plenty of profitability in the Uber model.
In fact, so profitable is Uber that the latest direction for the ridesharing app has nothing to do with actually transporting people anywhere. Instead, Showtime will be working with Billions creators Brian Koppelman and David Levian on a new limited series about Uber. The information comes to us courtesy of Variety and further reveals that the series (which currently does not have a name), will be based on author Mike Isaac’s book, Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber. Speaking about the upcoming series, Showtime co-president of entertainment, Jana Winograde said:
“The story of Uber is rich in plot twists, one-of-a-kind personalities and important implications for corporate America. It is a case study of ingenuity and insanity, and there are no writers better suited than Brian and David to explore this business and the people who drive it, literally and metaphorically.”
According to Variety, the series will follow the start up from its early days and carry on through the numerous highs and lows that can be expected by any company struggling for supremacy in the competitive world of Silicone Valley. At the same time however, Uber’s rise is said to have been a particularly interesting one and those who wonder exactly how this could be would likely do well to read Isaac’s book. At present no casting decisions have been announced, but given that the series is a limited one and in the hands of Koppelman and Levian - who in addition to writing and creating Billions, have also experienced TV success with The Girlfriend Experience - it likely won’t be long before something interesting is up and running.
News of a series based on the founding and building of Uber might prompt some to argue that it’s a boring premise. This is an understandable initial reaction - after all, it does seem like there’s only so much mileage that can be gotten out of the story of a ridesharing app. However, it’s worth recalling that Facebook was once just a little social media website and the David Fincher film based on it went on to become a smash hit, with three Oscars to its credit. The truth is, there doesn’t seem to be any shortage of stories coming out of Silicone Valley, making the potential success of an Uber series a very realistic prospect.