Tiger King became a TV phenomenon upon its release in March 2020, quickly becoming one of Netflix’s most popular and talked about true crime documentaries and making stars of the two main protagonists, Joe Exotic and his nemesis Carole Baskin.

As you’d expect from this real-life soap opera, lots has happened since the big cat conservationists became household names - including a second season of Tiger King.

Joe’s still in prison for hiring a hitman to kill Carole, there were talks of a presidential pardon from Donald Trump, and Carole appeared on Dancing with the Stars.

Joe vs Carole puts a new dramatic spin on the story of the infamous pair. Discover all you need to know about the show here.

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What’s Joe vs Carole about?

Joe vs Carole is the dramatic retelling of the original Netflix docuseries, Tiger King. And like that show, Joe vs Carole focuses on the two central personalities, Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin.

This eight-part series is based on the Wondery podcast ‘Joe Exotic: Tiger King’ by award-winning journalist Robert Moor.

Showrunner Etan Frankel said the new series, premiering on Peacock, is “a fun and rich journey into the story of people who live very extreme lives,” adding: “I hope that when people watch Joe vs Carole just maybe they'll see these people that they thought they knew in a brand-new way.”

The show follows the rivalry between Exotic and Baskin, who are both big cat owners. Joe owns Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, in Oklahoma, while Carole is the CEO of Big Cat Rescue animal sanctuary in Florida.

Believing tigers are being mistreated, Baskin tries to get Exotic’s zoo shut down, which results in him going to extreme lengths to get revenge, including proving that Baskin was responsible for the murder of her ex-husband Don Lewis.  

Who’s in the cast of Joe vs Carole?

John Cameron Mitchell as Joe Exotic in Joe vs Carole

John Cameron Mitchell (Vinyl, Girls) plays the man with the mullet, Joe ‘Exotic’ Schreibvogel.

He told People: "You see them battered as children. You see the homophobia. It honours the 15-year marriage he had, that this docuseries didn't mention, with his husband dying of AIDS, and the homophobia forming him and making him into this harsh figure who is sympathetic in one way but megalomaniacal in another."

Kate McKinnon as Carole Baskin in Joe vs Carole

Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon plays Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue. McKinnon has also appeared in Ghostbusters, Office Christmas Party and Sisters, as well as doing a bunch of voice work for the likes of Family Guy, Finding Dory, and Nature Cat. 

Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks) plays Howard Baskin, Carole’s husband since 2004. Marlo Kelly (Dare Me, Home and Away) plays Carole Baskin’s daughter Jamie Murdock. 

Carole and Howard Baskin in Joe vs Carole

Nat Wolff (The Stand) plays Joe Exotic’s partner Travis Maldonado, who dies in the first season of Tiger King after shooting himself in the head in 2017.

Sam Keeley (Kin, Burnt) plays John Finlay, another of Joe’s younger partners. He also worked at the animal park and ended up testifying against Joe.

Sam Keeley as John Finlay and Nat Wolff as Travis Maldonado

William Fichtner (Prison Break) plays Rick Kirkham, who moves into the zoo to film a reality show about Joe Exotic.

Dean Winters (30 Rock, John Wick) plays Jeff Lowe. Exotic transferred the ownership of his Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park to Lowe to keep it out the hands of Carole Baskin after filing for bankruptcy. Lowe changed the name of the zoo to Tiger King Park, before it was closed permanently in late 2020.

Brian Van Holt (Deputy) plays John Reinke, the manager at G.W. Zoo who lost his legs after a zipline accident in 1994.

Anthony Sharpe (Blacklight) plays Erik Cowie, one of the zookeepers featured in Tiger King. He ended up testifying against Joe Exotic and died in 2021.

Joel Garland (Orange is the New Black, Billions) plays James Garretson, a businessman and FBI informant who helped convict Joe Exotic. 

Is there a trailer for Joe vs Carole?

The cat’s out the bag. Watch the trailer for Joe vs Carole below. 

Where can I watch Joe vs Carole?

You can watch Joe vs Carole on Peacock with a NOW Entertainment Membership from Friday 4 March.


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