The miniseries will be based on Bill Zehme's upcoming biography "Carson the Magnificent: An Intimate Portrait." NBC has not cast anyone to play Carson yet.
Zehme, who wrote a well-regarded profile of Carson for Esquire in 2002 and consulted on the American Masters documentary "Johnny Carson: King of Late Night," will be the executive producer for the NBC program.
On television, Carson was smooth as silk. Behind the scenes, it was a different story as Carson was married four times and had a complex relationship with the network he called home for 30 years.
Carson died in 2005.
This is the second big miniseries of a well-known figure NBC has in the works. This summer, it unveiled plans for a Hillary Clinton miniseries starring Diane Lane as the former first lady. However, it remains to be seen whether that project will see the light of day.
Follow Joe Flint on Twitter @JBFlint.