published Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

Ringgold security business to star on reality TV show

For years, people have told Joan Koplan that the stuff that happens daily in the office at JJK Security & Investigations would make a good reality television show.

Apparently, folks in Hollywood agree.

Crews will arrive later this month at the Ringgold, Ga., office to begin filming the six-member staff as they go about their jobs delivering subpoenas, training security guards and working as night watchmen.

Koplan said she pitched the idea to contacts she had at William Morris Endeavors, a talent agency, almost two years ago. She was asked to produce a DVD showcasing the company and that DVD was shopped around, eventually picked up by the AMC TV network. The show will be executive produced by Ken Druckerman and Banks Tarver from Left/Right Productions.

"When we first saw the tape of JJK we were speechless," said AMC's Joel Stillerman, senior vice president of original programming, production and digital content.

"It is unlike anything we have ever seen before -- a true original. The characters are incredibly rich and compelling; and Left/Right found a way to tell the story in an honest, funny and nuanced way," Stillerman said. "In nonfiction series, it is incredibly hard to find great characters and great story, and this is truly both."

Druckerman said he knew the family business was a show in the making.

"I couldn't think of anything like it on TV, so naturally I was worried that we would never find the right home," he said. "Fortunately, AMC fell in love with the cast and their story for the same reasons that we did."

Koplan said the contract with AMC precludes her from giving too much detail about what makes JJK Security so unusual.

"It's about the way we operate and get along with each other. It's just an odd place," she said. "We are so dysfunctional and we still manage to get the work done. There is a lot of yelling and screaming, but we run a good company and have a lot of customer satisfaction."

In addition to Koplan, the cast will include the office staff, including Irwin Koplan, Joan's husband; Lt. Dennis Croft; Christa Stephens; Brian Taylor and Neil Miller, Irwin's cousin. The company employs another 60 to 70 guards who will not appear on camera, she said.

Eight half-hour episodes are planned, and the series is currently scheduled for a third quarter launch in 2012, according to a news release.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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