‘Joe vs. Carole’: Premiere Date, Cast, and Everything Else We Know About Peacock’s Joe Exotic Series

Carole Baskin is coming for Joe Exotic. The founder of Florida’s Big Cat Rescue and the Tiger King subject square off in a just-released teaser for Peacock’s upcoming scripted series Joe vs. Carole

RELATED: Carole Baskin Still Fears for Her Life Even With ‘Tiger King’ Joe Exotic in Prison

Baskin might have Exotic in her sights, but he isn’t going down without a fight. 

​​”She wants to mess with me, I can mess with her,” he says in the clip.   

‘Joe vs. Carole’ premieres March 3 

Joe vs. Carole drops Thursday, March 3 on Peacock. The eight-episode limited series is based on the Wondery podcast Joe Exotic, hosted and reported by Robert Moor. 

The show focuses on big cat enthusiast Baskin and her rivalry with Exotic (whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage). When she sets out to shut down his big cat breeding operation, her own complicated past comes under scrutiny. With Exotic determined to expose what he sees as Baskin’s hypocrisy, the situation soon turns dangerous. 

Many viewers will know Baskin and Exotic’s story through Netflix’s hit docuseries Tiger King. But Joe vs. Carole’s showrunner, writer, and executive producer Etan Frankel hopes the new series will allow audiences to “see these people that they thought they knew in a brand-new way.” 

Joe vs. Carole is a wild ride,” he said in a statement. “It’s a fun and rich journey into the story of people who live very extreme lives.”

Kate McKinnon plays Carole Baskin, John Cameron Mitchell is Joe Exotic 

Side by side images of Joe Exotic (John Cameron Mitchell) wearing a pink shirt and standing in front of an American flag, and Carole Baskin (Kate McKinnon), with blonde hair and wearing floral print shirt in Peacock's 'Joe vs. Carole'
[L-R] John Cameron Mitchell as Joe Exotic and Kate McKinnon as Carole Baskin in ‘Joe vs. Carole’ | Mark Taylor/Peacock

In Joe vs. Carole, SNL alum Kate McKinnon steps into the role of Baskin, while John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, The Good Fight) plays Exotic. 

“We knew it would take two extraordinary actors to portray these larger-than-life people as the complex, three-dimensional individuals that they are,” Frankel said. “John Cameron Mitchell is one of the most gifted and thoughtful actors I’ve ever worked with. He cares so deeply about the work, and his performance is breathtaking. And Kate McKinnon is simply remarkable. She is able to make us double over with laughter one moment and then break our hearts the next.” 

Kyle MacLachlan plays Baskin’s husband Howard. Nat Wolf is Exotic’s late husband Travis Maldonado, and Sam Keeley is John Finlay, who was also married to Exotic. (Both men also worked at Exotic’s G.W. Zoo.) Brian Van Holt plays zoo employee John Reinke and William Fichtner plays Rick Kirkham, a filmmaker Exotic hired to work on his self-produced TV show. Marlo Kelly plays Baskin’s daughter Jamie Murdock. 

Netflix’s ‘Tiger King’ sequel dropped in November 

Joe vs. Carole arrives a few months after Netflix returned to the Tiger King well with Tiger King 2

The five-episode follow-up series dropped in November 2021. It explored America’s Tiger King obsession during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and revisited allegations that Baskin played a role in the 1997 disappearance of her former husband Don Lewis. (Baskin has strenuously denied those accusations.) It also featured prison interviews with Exotic, who is currently behind bars for his role in a plot to murder Baskin. Another series, Tiger King: The Doc Antle Story, took a closer look at allegations of sex abuse and violence against Antle, the owner of another big cat zoo profiled in Tiger King. Both series were mostly panned by critics.  ​​

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