Sweet Magnolias by Sherryl Woods

DEADLINE

Netflix Orders Romance Drama Series ‘Virgin River’ & ‘Sweet Magnolias’ Based On Novels

Netflix is making a push into the romance drama space, giving 10-episode series orders to two scripted dramas, Virgin River and Sweet Magnolias, based on the best-selling novels by Robyn Carr and Sherryl Woods.

The Virgin River series, produced by Reel World Management and Roma Roth, is a contemporary romance based on Carr’s Harlequin book series. It centers around Melinda Monroe, who answers an ad to work as a nurse practitioner in the remote California town of Virgin River thinking it will be the perfect place to start fresh and leave her painful memories behind. But she soon discovers that small-town living isn’t quite as simple as she expected and that she must learn to heal herself before she can truly make Virgin River her home.

Sue Tenney (Good Witch, Cedar Cove) will serve as showrunner and executive producer. Roth and Chris Perry will executive produce. Production is slated to begin next year.

The Virgin River book series consists of 20 books which have sold more than 13 million copies. Virgin River was named to The HarperCollins 200 list, which celebrates 200 iconic books of the past 200 years.

Sweet Magnolias, based on Woods’ popular series of novels published by Harlequin imprint MIRA books, centers on three South Carolina women, best friends since high school, as they shepherd each other through the complexities of romance, career, and family.

Woods will executive produce with Sheryl J. Anderson, who also serves as showrunner. Dan Paulson, whose Daniel L. Paulson Productions is producing, also serves as executive producer.

Defending Jacob by William Landay

DEADLINE

Chris Evans To Star In ‘Defending Jacob’ Apple Limited Series From Mark Bomback & Morten Tyldum

Apple has given an eight-episode straight-to-series order to drama Defending Jacob, headlined and executive produced by Captain America and The Avengers star Chris Evans.

Created and written by Mark Bomback (Planet of the Apes trilogy) based on William Landay’s bestselling novel, the limited series comes from Paramount Television and Anonymous Content. Oscar-nominated Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game, Counterpart, Jack Ryan) is attached to direct the series and executive produce.

Defending Jacob is described as a a gripping, character-driven thriller based on Landay’s 2012 novel published by Random House. The book tells the story of a father dealing with the accusation that his son is a 14-year-old murderer.

Bomback,,who also will serve as showrunner, Evans and Tyldum executive produce with Rosalie Swedlin and Adam Shulman for Anonymous Content.

At Apple, Anonymous and Paramount TV also have a series order for the untitled Hilde Lysiak detective project.

Evans will next be seen in his final turn as Captain America in the fourth Avengers film. He recently starred on Broadway to critical praise in Lobby Hero and is about to begin production on The Devil All the Time.

Bomback’s screenwriting credits include the Planet of the Apes trilogy, The Wolverine and Live Free or Die Hard.

Tyldum received an Oscar nomination for the Benedict Cumberbatch starrer The Imitation Game. He also helmed the Jo Nesbo adaptation Headhunters and most recently the Jennifer Lawrence-Chris Pratt sci-fi saga Passengers. In TV, Tyldum serves as executive producer on Amazon’s Jack Ryan and Starz’s Counterpart and directed the pilot episodes of both.

Evans is repped by CAA, 3 Arts and attorney Jason Sloane. Tyldum is repped by WME, Anonymous Content, and Bloom, Hergott, Diemer. Bomback is repped by WME, Anonymous Content, and David Colden. The novel was represented on behalf of the Alice Martell Agency by Hotchkiss Daily and Associates.

 

Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

DEADLINE

Pascal Pictures Acquires Uzma Jalaluddin Novel ‘Ayesha At Last’

EXCLUSIVE: Amy Pascal’s Pascal Pictures has acquired Ayesha at Last, a Muslim romantic dramedy novel by Uzma Jalaluddin. Eric Fineman and Isabel Siskin will be the execs shepherding it. The novel, which was published in Canada and will debut in the U.S. next year, is a present day retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in a Muslim community in Toronto.

The novel was shopped as interest swelled in Crazy Rich Asians, and it was helped by an appetite to tell a fun story focused on historically underrepresented characters.

The protagonist Ayesha has dreams of being a poet but has set them aside for a teaching job so she can pay off her debts to her wealthy uncle. She lives with her boisterous Muslim family and is always being reminded that her flighty younger cousin, Hafsa, is close to rejecting her one hundredth marriage proposal. Though Ayesha is lonely, she doesn’t want an arranged marriage. Then she meets Khalid, who is just as smart and handsome as he is conservative and judgmental. She is irritatingly attracted to someone who looks down on her choices and dresses like he belongs in the seventh century.

When a surprise engagement between Khalid and Hafsa is announced, Ayesha is torn between how she feels about the straightforward Khalid and his family; and the truth she realizes about herself. But Khalid is also wrestling with what he believes and what he wants. And he just can’t get this beautiful, outspoken woman out of his mind.

Deal was done by Sean Daily at Hotchkiss Daily & Associates on behalf of Ann Collette at Rees Literary Agency.

Sean Daily Gets Name On Door Of Hotchkiss Daily & Associates

DEADLINE

EXCLUSIVE: Gotham-based book-to-film/TV lit agency Hotchkiss and Associates is changing its name to Hotchkiss Daily & Associates, as prolific dealmaker Sean Daily moves upward alongside founder Jody Hotchkiss.

Daily joined Hotchkiss and Associates in 2004 and has developed specialties in elevated sci-fi, horror, and fantasy, narrative nonfiction, and high-concept YA and children’s books. His sales have included 13 Reasons Why, A Futile and Stupid Gesture and most recently the greenlighted supernatural drama Locke and Key to Netflix, Resurrection to ABC, The Book of Negroes on CBC/BET, Sacred Lies on Facebook Watch, NOS4A2 to AMC and the recently wrapped untitled Babak Anvari thriller from Annapurna starring Armie Hammer and Zazie Beetz.

Daily said he was “extraordinarily grateful for the opportunities that I’ve had over the years at Hotchkiss and the flexibility and freedom we have to serve authors and help their books find their way to the screen. I’m very lucky to work with a great group of writers telling compelling, diverse, fun, frightening, and eye-opening stories.”

Hotchkiss left Sterling Lord Literistic to form his agency in SoHo four months after 9/11. Recent agency deals include the Amy Poehler-produced upcoming NBC sitcom I Feel Bad; the upcoming Showtime pic The Loudest Voice in the Room: Roger Ailes, which stars Russell Crowe; and Hallmark Channel’s Chesapeake Shores. Features have included The Wizard of Lies, War Dogs, Secretariat, American Gangster, The Kite Runner and Hotel for Dogs.

“I like to say that agenting is about ‘chopping the wood and hauling the water each day’—doing the work,” Hotchkiss said. “Sean has certainly done the work since the day he started here, and he has also brought great insights while at the same time developing into an effective and respected agent.”

On Her Own Ground by A'Lelia Bundles

 

The New York Times

Octavia Spencer to Star in ‘Madam C.J. Walker’ on Netflix

Octavia Spencer’s next project is a literal rags-to-riches story. The Oscar winner will executive produce and star in “Madam C.J. Walker,” a limited series on Netflix that tells the true story of the woman who went from washing clothes to becoming one of the very few African-American female millionaires of the early 20th century.

Ms. Walker was born in Louisiana in 1867 to two former slaves. She was orphaned at 7 and married at 14. She washed clothes for $1.50 a day, until the birth of a daughter motivated her to seek a better life.

“As I bent over the washboard and looked at my arms buried in soapsuds, I said to myself: ‘What are you going to do when you grow old and your back gets stiff? Who is going to take care of your little girl?’” she said in an interview with The New York Times in 1917.

Ms. Walker decided to enter the hair-care industry at a time when few products were geared toward black women. Around 1906 she started her own business and soon created lines of hair straighteners, hair-growth elixirs, shampoos and pomades. As she earned riches and respect in the business world — extremely rare achievements for a black woman at the time — she gave back thousands to the N.A.A.C.P., the Tuskegee Institute, churches and Y.M.C.A.s; she also delivered lectures and helped organize protests against inequality and violence toward African-Americans.

The Netflix series is based on a 2001 biography of Ms. Walker by A’Lelia Bundles, her great-great granddaughter.

The project is being spearheaded by Ms. Spencer, who won an Oscar for her role in “The Help” and has since starred in “Hidden Figures” and “The Shape of Water.” “Since making ‘Hidden Figures,’ I don’t have a problem saying to a room of male executives: ‘I need a female writer or a female director,’ or ‘I need a black voice or a Latin voice,’” she said in a Times interview in 2016.

The news was announced at a Television Critics Association press tour on Sunday. Kasi Lemmons (“Talk to Me”) will direct the first episode, and LeBron James will serve as one of the executive producers. The eight-episode series does not yet have a release date.

Locke & Key by Joe Hill

Deadline

‘Locke & Key’ Drama From Carlton Cuse & Joe Hill Gets Series Order At Netflix, Aron Eli Coleite & Meredith Averill Join As EPs

It’s official: Four months after Hulu opted not to go forward with its Locke & Key pilot, the project — an adaptation of Joe Hill’s comic Locke & Key, from Carlton Cuse and IDW Entertainment — has closed a deal for a 10-episode series order at rival Netflix. Talks between Netflix and the Locke & Key producers started shortly after Hulu surprisingly passed on the pilot in March.

As we previously reported, Netflix is not picking up the existing Hulu pilot, written by Joe Hill, to series but will be redeveloping the scripts and re-casting the new series.

Joining Hill and Cuse on the creative team of the new version are Aron Eli Coleite and Meredith Averill.

The Netflix series was created by Hill and developed by Cuse, Coleite and Averill; the new first episode will be written by Hill and Coleite; Cuse and Averill will serve as showrunners.

It director Andy Muschietti, who helmed the Hulu pilot, is working on the film’s sequel, so he will not be available to direct the new version for Netflix. But he will serve as an executive producer on the series, along with Barbara Muschietti as well as Cuse, who has been instrumental in the project’s efforts to find a new home, via his Genre Arts production company, Hill, Averill and Coleite. Also exec producing are Lindsey Springer through Genre Arts, Ted Adams and David Ozer for IDW Entertainment and David Alpert and Rick Jacobs via Circle of Confusion.

Locke & Key, written by Hill, is a horror/fantasy series that revolves around three siblings who, after the gruesome murder of their father, move to their ancestral home in Massachusetts only to find the house has magical keys that give them a vast array of powers and abilities. Little do they know, a devious demon also wants the keys, and will stop at nothing to attain them.

Staying on from the three young actors playing the siblings is It co-star Jackson Robert Scott.

The Hulu pilot’s cast also included Frances O’Connor, Nate Corddry, Samantha Mathis, Owen Teague and Danny Glover.

Locke & Key was ordered to pilot in April 2017, before the top management changes at Hulu. The surprising pass on the pilot came after Hulu’s creative team, who had supported it, had given the project a blinking green light — setting up a full writers room that produced 6-7 backup scripts and having the sets built with everyone ready to go.

This marks a happy ending for Locke & Key, which previously was adapted during the 2010-11 development season when it reached the pilot stage at Fox with Josh Friedman writing, Mark Romanek directing and Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci producing alongside DreamWorks TV. Back then the pilot, starring Sarah Bolger, Miranda Otto and Nick Stahl, did not go to series, though the title has remained a cult favorite, with Hill and IDW Entertainment in 2016 announcing that they were taking a new stab at it for television. The unaired Fox pilot screened at Comic-Con in 2011.

The IDW Publishing Locke & Key comic book franchise, co-created by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez, has garnered both awards and acclaim during its ten-year run; has been translated into dozens of languages across the globe; and has sold millions of copies worldwide.

The Loudest Voice in the Room by Gabriel Sherman

DEADLINE

Russell Crowe To Star As Roger Ailes In Limited Series Greenlighted By Showtime

Showtime has given an eight-episode order to a limited series about Roger Ailes, with Oscar winner Russell Crowe set to star as the controversial Fox News founder in his US television debut.

The as-yet untitled series (fka Secure and Hold: The Last Days of Roger Ailes), a Blumhouse Television and Showtime co-production, is based on Gabriel Sherman’s bestselling book The Loudest Voice in the Room and his extensive reporting for New York magazine about the sordid allegations of sexual harassment that prompted the late Ailes’ ouster at Fox News. Sherman co-wrote the initial episode with Spotlight writer Tom McCarthy, who will executive produce with Jason Blum.

Showtime landed the Roger Ailes limited series for development in April 2017, a month before Ailes’ death.

“In many ways, the collision between the media and politics has come to define the world we live in today,” said David Nevins, President and CEO, Showtime Networks. “We’ve seen this phenomenon depicted on screen as far back as the story of Charles Foster Kane, and it finds contemporary embodiment in the rise and fall of Roger Ailes. With Russell Crowe in the lead role, this limited series promises to be a defining story for this era.”

The Roger Ailes limited series was one of the first homegrown projects for Blumhouse’s independent TV studio, which launched with an ITV Studios investment shortly after the company had acquired the rights to Sherman’s book last year. Blumhouse attached McCarthy, an old friend of company principal Jason Blum, before setting the project up at Showtime. The greenlight comes after a small writers room led by McCarthy shaped up the series and produced multiple scripts.

According to the producers, telling the story of Ailes, who molded Fox News into a force that irrevocably changed the conversation about the highest levels of of government, will help understand the events that led the rise of Donald Trump. The series focuses primarily on the past decade in which Ailes arguably became the Republican Party’s de facto leader, while flashing back to defining events in Ailes’ life, including an initial meeting with Richard Nixon on the set of The Mike Douglas Show that gave birth to Ailes’ political career and the sexual harassment accusations and settlements that brought his Fox News reign to an end. Told through multiple points of view, the limited series aims to shed light on the psychology that drives the political process from the top down.

McCarthy, Blum and Alex Metcalf executive produce with Marci Wiseman and Jeremy Gold for Blumhouse Television.

McCarthy won the screenwriting Oscar for co-writing 2017’s best picture winner Spotlight, and earned a second Oscar nomination for directing the film.

Crowe won the best actor Oscar for his role in Gladiator and received two other best actor noms for A Beautiful Mind and The Insider. He most recently played Henry Jekyll in Universal’s The Mummy reboot and will next be seen in the Joel Edgerton-directed drama Boy Erased. Crowe is repped by WME and Bloom Hergott Diemer.

Blumhouse TV’s upcoming series slate also includes Sharp Objects on HBO, Into the Dark on Hulu and The Purge on USA/Syfy.

Showtime has been examining the intersection of politics and media with its docuseries The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth.

 

Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser

DEADLINE

‘Fancy Nancy’ Renewed By Disney Junior Ahead Of Series Premiere

EXCLUSIVE: Five weeks before the Fancy Nancy series premiere, Disney Junior has ordered second season of the toon based on the children’s books by Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser.

The family comedy, which debuts July 13, centers on Nancy (Mia Sinclair Jenness), a high-spirited 6-year-old whose zest and enthusiasm for all that is exquisite – including language, nature, art and color – transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary. Excited to experience what the magnificent world has to offer, Nancy uses her ingenuity and resourcefulness to exemplify that even if life doesn’t always go as planned, it’s important to make the most of each day and encourage others to do the same.

Alyson Hannigan, Rob Riggle, Mia Sinclair Jenness and Spencer Moss also star, with Season 1 recurring voices including Christine Baranski, George Wendt, Kal Penn, Dana Heath, Tatyana Ali, Ian Chen, Chi McBride, Malachi Barton and Madison Pettis.

Geared toward kids ages 2-7, Fancy Nancy episodes include two 11-minute stories that showcase themes of self-expression, originality and love of family. Nearly every episode features new original songs whose styles range from pop and jazz to big band, classical and swing.

The series is executive produced and directed by Jamie Mitchell and developed and story edited by Krista Tucker.

I Feel Bad by Orli Auslander

Deadline

‘Abby’s’ & “I Feel Bad’ Comedies Picked Up To Series By NBC

Twenty five years after Cheers ended its 11-season run on NBC, the network has greenlighted another multi-camera comedy series set in a bar. The network made its first pickups on the comedy side, giving series orders to buzzy half-hour pilots Abby’s, executive produced by Mike Schur, and I Feel Bad (fka Untitled Aseem Batra), executive produced by Amy Poehler.

Both projects come from NBC sibling Universal Television, as do all three new drama series picked up by NBC so far — New Amsterdam, The Village and The Enemy Within. What’s more, both Abby’s and I Feel Bad are female starring vehicles, with Natalie Morales and Sarayu Blue as the two leads, and both pilots were directed by female directors, Pamela Fryman and Julie Anne Robinson

Abby’s, from Uni TV, Fremulon and 3 Arts, was written by Josh Malmuth. He and Fryman executive produce with Schur and 3 Arts’ David Miner. In addition to Morales, the cast includes The Middle‘s Neil Flynn, who is segueing to the NBC series as the ABC comedy wraps its nine-season run. Nelson Franklin, Jessica Chaffin, Leonard Ouzts and Kimia Behpoornia.

Abby’s is set at the best bar in San Diego, home to good prices, great company and, of course, Abby. This unlicensed, makeshift bar nestled in her backyard is the opposite of everything annoying about today’s party scene. There are rules at Abby’s: no cell phones (not even to “look something up”), earning a seat at the bar takes time and losing a challenge means drinking a limey, sugary “not-beer” drink. As the oddball cast of regulars will tell you, hanging out at Abby’s is a coveted honor. But once you’re in, you’re family. The show is shot outside in front of a live audience.

Written by Batra, the single-camera  I Feel Bad, from Uni TV, Paper Kite Prods, CannyLads Prods and 3 Arts , stars Blue as Emet, the perfect mom, boss, wife, friend and daughter. OK, she’s not perfect. In fact, she’s just figuring it out like the rest of us. Sure, she feels bad when she has a sexy dream about someone other than her husband, or when she pretends not to know her kids when they misbehave in public, or when she uses her staff to help solve personal problems. But that’s OK, right? Nobody can have it all and do it perfectly.

The cast also includes Paul Adelstein, Aisling Bea, Zach Cherry, Johnny Pemberton and James Buckley. Batra executive produces with Robinson, Poehler, Dave Becky and Josh Maurer also executive produce.

The Apprentice by Gabe Sherman

DEADLINE

Reporter Gabe Sherman To Pen Donald Trump Movie ‘The Apprentice’

Gabe Sherman, the journalist who penned the definitive book on Roger Ailes and Fox News and often led coverage in the sexual harassment scandals that engulfed the cable news network, has been tapped to write The Apprentice. The original screenplay will explore how a young Donald Trump set himself on the unlikely path to become President of the United States.

Amy Baer is producing the feature film through her company Gidden Media. Sherman, currently a correspondent for Vanity Fair, will also be an executive producer.

The plan is to craft the story of Trump’s rise to power as seen from the perspective of his many early influences, including lawyer and mentor Roy Cohn.

“As a journalist, I’ve reported on Donald Trump for more than 15 years,” Sherman said. “I’ve long been fascinated by his origin story as a young builder coming up in the gritty world of 1970s and ’80s New York. This formative period tells us so much about the man who today occupies the Oval Office.”

Sherman is adapting his 2014 biography on Ailes and FNC, the bestselling The Loudest Voice in the Room, as a Showtime limited series. Blumhouse Television and Spotlight director Tom McCarthy are executive producing that project, titled Secure and Hold: The Last Days of Roger Ailes, which is in development.

Baer’s Gidden Media produced the Elle Fanning-starring Mary Shelley, which IFC Films bows May 25. It’s also in post on Brian Banks, directed by Tom Shadyac and starring Aldis Hodge and Greg Kinnear.

“Gabe is an extraordinary storyteller as well as an impeccable journalist,” Baer said. “The timeliness of this subject, combined with Gabe’s professional pedigree and integrity, makes this a rare alignment of talent and subject.”

Sherman is repped by Ross Yoon Agency, M360 and Hotchkiss & Associates.

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

DEADLINE

‘NOS4A2’ Horror Drama Based On Joe Hill’s Book Gets AMC Series Order

AMC has given a 10-episode straight-to-series order to supernatural horror drama NOS4A2, based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Joe Hill. The project, produced by AMC Studios in association with Michael Eisner’s Tornante Television, was created by Jami O’Brien (Fear The Walking Dead, Hell On Wheels) who will serve as showrunner.

NOS4A2, which will debut in 2019, was one of three drama projects AMC opened writers rooms for last summer under the network’s “scripts-to-series” development model, which involves the writing of multiple scripts for a series order consideration. NOS4A2 had long been considered the frontrunner while no final decision has been made on the fate of the other two, Pandora and Silent History. Current AMC series that have come out of the “scripts-to-series” model include The Son and the upcoming Dietland, and Lodge 49.

NOS4A2 introduces Vic McQueen, a young, working class artist who discovers she has a supernatural ability to track the seemingly immortal Charlie Manx. Manx feeds off the souls of children, then deposits what remains of them into Christmasland – a twisted Christmas Village of Manx’s imagination where every day is Christmas day and unhappiness is against the law.  Vic must strive to defeat Manx and rescue his victims – without losing her mind or falling victim to him herself.

“NOS4A2 continues in AMC’s rich tradition of immersive dramas that combine otherworldly stories with relatable relationships and big emotional themes,” said David Madden, president of original programming for AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios. “Jami O’Brien and the writing team have vibrantly brought Joe Hill’s incredible story to life for the small screen and we are pleased to be making this diabolically unique new show under the AMC Studios shingle, in association with Tornante.”

Hill and O’Brien executive produce NOS4A2 along with Lauren Corrao, Co-President of Tornante Television.

“I couldn’t be more excited about the forthcoming adaptation of NOS4A2. I know it’s in good hands with showrunner Jami O’Brien: her beautifully composed scripts show a writer at the height of her powers, one who has an exquisite touch with character and a relentless instinct for suspense,” said Hill. “AMC’s record speaks for itself: who wouldn’t want to be in business with the ‘Mad Men’ who ‘Broke Bad’ and made ‘The Dead Walk?’ And Tornante’s dedication to bringing singular visions to TV has freed everyone involved to do their best and truest work. I can’t wait to see Vic McQueen turn the throttle and go after Charlie Manx in 2019. Let’s ride.”

Russian Roulette by Michael Isikoff and David Corn

DEADLINE

CBS Films Wins Auction For ‘Russian Roulette,’ Bestseller On Trump/Putin Election Hack Saga

EXCLUSIVE: CBS Films just won an auction for movie rights to Russian Roulette: The Inside Story Of Putin’s War On America And The Election Of Donald Trump, the Michael Isikoff and David Corn bestselling book that tells the formative story that led up to the current Russian and U.S. controversy that dominates the headlines. Nick Wechsler is producing.

The book has sat atop The New York Times Best Seller list for three consecutive weeks so far. Russian Roulette traces the relationship between Trump and Putin –which began well before the election hacking saga — back to 2013 when the future president of the United States brought the Miss Universe Contest to Russia for the first time and invited the Russian president up to last July’s G20 summit when Trump finally sat down with Putin in person. The tale involves the spies, foreign governments and hackers conspiring to destroy the free world, pitted against the investigators, counterintelligence officers and journalists working to bring them to justice.

The deal was made on behalf of the Ross Yoon Agency by Hotchkiss And Associates. Wechsler, who last produced American Assassin, is repped by attorney Carlos Goodman. Mark Ross will oversee for CBS Films.

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

 

DEADLINE

Netflix Wins Auction For ‘The Wicked Deep’; YA Supernatural Love Story Just Hit Bestseller Lists

EXCLUSIVE: In an unusually vigorous auction for a holiday week, Netflix just won the screen rights to The Wicked Deep, a first novel by Shea Ernshaw. The YA book was published by Simon Pulse and just debuted #7 on The New York Times Bestseller List last Sunday. Several suitors chased the book but Netflix just closed a deal that is six figures against high six figures if the movie gets made. Chernin Entertainment will produce.

Bidders sparked to the book for its potential to unfold like a Twilight Saga romance. The sleepy town of Sparrow, Oregon is considered cursed for good reason. Two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to die for being witches. Drowned in 1822, the trio comes up for air each summer long enough to inhabit the bodies of three weak willed girls with the intention of luring boys to the swimming hole for a fatal plunge. When a 17-year old named Penny Talbot falls for a newcomer named Bo Carter, she becomes determined to see he does not become one of the drowning victims.

The deal was brokered for Jessica Regel at Foundry Literary + Media by Hotchkiss and Associates. Chernin’s Kori Adelson was key in getting the book to Sarah Bremner at Netflix, and the deal closed quickly with Netflix and Paramount Players chasing it.

The Wife by Alafair Burke

DEADLINE

Amazon Studios Lands Alafair Burke Novel ‘The Wife,’ A Thriller In #MeToo Moment

EXCLUSIVE: In a seven-figure deal, Amazon Studios has acquired the rights to the Alafair Burke novel The Wife, with the author set to write the feature script. Published in January by Harper, the novel seems a perfect fit for this #MeToo moment. Book deal is high six figures and scripting fees put it into seven-figures.

Angela, a woman who suffered extreme trauma in her teen years, learns that her celebrity husband may be a sexual predator. Jason Powell is a handsome NYU prof whose book on socially conscious investing called Equalonomics is a raging bestseller. He runs a successful consulting firm and hosts a top-rated podcast that has enabled Angela and her husband to live an idyllic life with their son in Greenwich Village. Then, his intern files a complaint at the NYPD Special Victims Unit claiming he made inappropriate sexual suggestions at the office. A second alleged victim surfaces and soon there is a murder and Angela has to confront past personal trauma she thought was far in the rear view mirror.

Amazon Studios won the book in a bidding battle that involved five suitors.

It is the 13th novel for Burke, the bestselling Edgar Award-nominated author who is a Stanford Law grad and former prosecutor. She’s also a professor of criminal law and procedure at Hofstra University.

Harper Collins president/publisher Jonathan Burnham said in a statement: “We’re thrilled to see Alafair Burke’s new novel take her renown and sales to a new level: it is a narrative that couldn’t be more timely, and a brilliantly twisty tale that shows Burke at her very best.”

The deal was made on behalf of the Philip G. Spitzer Literary Agency by Hotchkiss & Associates.

The Wonder of All Things by Jason Mott

DEADLINE

Cheryl Dunye To Adapt & Direct Jason Mott Novel ‘The Wonder Of All Things’ For Lionsgate

EXCLUSIVE: Cheryl Dunye is set to write and direct The Wonder of All Things for Lionsgate and producers David Heyman and Jeff Clifford at Heyday. Lionsgate snapped up screen rights to the Jason Mott novel four years ago as reported by Deadline.

The Wonder of All Things is a supernatural story that follows 13-year old Ava, who discovers her healing powers after saving the life of her friend Wash following a plane disaster at an air show.

Dunye has been writing and directing indie films since the late 1990s. Her debut feature, The Watermelon Woman, won the Teddy Award for Best Feature Film at the Berlinale in 1996, and she was nominated for Best Director at the Spirit Awards for HBO’s The Stranger Inside in 2001. Dunye has been teaching cinema for the last few years at San Francisco State in between features, and she has directed episodes of Ava DuVernay’s Queen Sugar as well as The Fosters and Claws.

Dunye is also developing a feature version of her short film Black Is Blue with Laverne Cox attached to star. Her producing partner Marc Smolowitz is now raising funds and packaging that project.

Dunye is repped by APA, Echo Lake and attorney Cheryl Snow at Gang Tyre.

I Feel Bad: All Day. Every Day. About Everything by Orli Auslander

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Amy Poehler Comedy Nabs NBC Pilot Pickup

'Scrubs' and 'The Cleveland Show' writer Aseem Batra will pen the script for the single-camera entry.

NBC picked up its sixth comedy pilot of the season.

Getting a green light Thursday is the untitled Aseem Batra project, which counts Amy Poehler as an exec producer.

The single-camera comedy shows one woman's hilarious unfiltered take on the side effects of trying to have it all. It is inspired by the book I Feel Bad: All Day. Every Day. About Everything., by Orli Auslander.

Batra (Scrubs, The Cleveland Show, Marlon) will pen the script and exec produce the comedy alongside Poehler and her Universal Television-based Paper Kite banner. 3 Arts' Dave Becky will exec produce alongside Josh Maurer and Julie Anne Robinson, who will direct. Kelly Pancho and Kim Lessing will produce. Auslander will serve as a consulting producer.

After an active development season, with multiple sales to broadcast, cable and streaming, this is Poehler's first pilot pickup of the season at the Big Four. The pilot pickup brings Poehler back to the network for whom she starred on Parks and Recreation. Since that show wrapped, Poehler has been a prolific producer for Universal Television. She most recently scored a straight-to-series order for an untitled comedy starring Natasha Lyonne at Netflix. Her Paper Kite banner continues to expand its TV footprint. The shingle also has a comedy set up at HBO with Bob's Burgers favorite John Roberts. Last season, she had Carol Burnett starrer Household Name at ABC, which narrowly missed a series pickup.

This is NBC's sixth comedy order of the season and second single-camera entry. It joins multicams Abby's, Friends-in-Law, Like Family, So Close and Norman Lear's single-cam Guess Who Died.

Illusion of Justice by Jerome F. Buting

DEADLINE

‘Illusion Of Justice’: Legal Drama Based On Book In Works At ABC

ABC has put in development legal drama Illusion of Justice based on Jerome F. Buting’s book, from Primary Wave Entertainment and Sony TV.

Written by ER alum David Zabel, Illusion of Justice is a fictional show reflecting the life of Jerry Buting, one of the lawyers for Steven Avery, who was profiled in the Netflix documentary Making a Murderer. The series is described as equal parts legal procedural and family drama, focusing on a husband and wife who balance raising their children with running a criminal defense firm specializing in underdog clients who face ostensibly insurmountable odds in the judicial system.

Zabel executive produces under his overall deal with Sony TV, along with Primary Wave’s Jeff Gaspin and Tony Sabistina. Buting and his wife/law partner Kathy Stilling are consulting producers.

In a preemptive bid, Primary Wave Entertainment struck a deal to option the television rights to the Buting book. The project was sold to Sony, who brought on Zabel as showrunner and writer and sold the series to ABC.

Illusion of Justice is Buting’s first book and is published by HarperCollins’ Harper imprint. Buting became known to fans of Netflix’s series Making a Murderer as one-half of Steven Avery’s defense team, joined by co-counsel Dean Strang.

This is the second broadcast TV sale for Jeff Gaspin and Primary Wave Entertainment. The company also is producing the Bad Boys spinoff with Gabrielle Union alongside Sony Pictures TV Studios and 2.0 Entertainment.

Harold Brook of The Point Media negotiated the deal on behalf of Primary Wave Entertainment. The book deal for Illusion of Justice was made with Steve Sheppard at CDAS LLP, Sterling Lord Literistic and Hotchkiss & Associates.

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

DEADLINE

Facebook Orders Drama Series ‘Sacred Lies’ From Blumhouse & ‘True Blood’ Duo

Former True Blood executive producer Raelle Tucker and director Scott Winant have teamed with Blumhouse Television for Sacred Lies (working title) a half-hour drama, which has been given a 10-episode series order by Facebook Watch. Ricky Van Veen, Facebook’s Director of Development, just announced the project at NATPE.

Based on the classic Grimm Brothers tale The Handless Maiden, and Stephanie Oakes’ novel The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly, and adapted and updated by Tucker, Sacred Lies (working ttitle) is about a handless teen who escapes from a cult and finds herself in juvenile detention, suspected of knowing who killed her cult leader. Casting is currently underway.

Tucker serves as showrunner and executive produces with Winant who will direct the first two episodes. Jason Blum, Marci Wiseman and Jeremy Gold executive produce for Blumhouse TV.

“This a young female protagonist we’ve never seen on screen before,” said Tucker. “She’s complex, brave, funny…and sometimes dangerous. And she has no hands. But she refuses to let that, or her bizarre, brutal past define her or limit her. That’s the message of our series: no matter what life throws at you – ultimately only you have the power to decide what you believe and what you become. I’m beyond excited and honored to bring this unique, inspiring, badass character to life. “

“Raelle and Scott are known for pushing the envelope with complex characters, mixing genres and diving into dramatically dark subjects, which is also a hallmark of Blumhouse storytelling,” said Marci Wiseman and Jeremy Gold, co-presidents, Blumhouse Television. “Sacred Lies is an inventive twist on a time honored fairytale which we believe will surprise and stir the Facebook Watch audience and we’re excited to be the studio producing this provocative series.”

The project reunites Tucker and Winant who previously worked together on True Blood. Winant, who won two best directing Emmys for Thirtysomething along with earning seven Emmy nominations, served as director on all seven seasons of True Blood, while Tucker served as a writer-executive producer on the first six.

Winant’s other directing credits include Shut Eye, Good Girls Revolt, Preacher and Better Call Saul, and Breaking Bad. Tucker currently serves as executive producer on Marvel’s Jessica Jones. Her previous credits also include Supernatural and The Returned.

Blumhouse TV is producing Secure and Hold, a limited series for Showtime based on journalist Gabriel Sherman’s reporting on former Fox News chief, Roger Ailes, with Tom McCarthy writing and executive producing; Sharp Objects, a limited series from Marti Noxon and Gillian Flynn for HBO based on Flynn’s best-selling novel, starring Amy Adams and directed by Jean-Marc Valle; The Purge, from writer/director/producer James DeMonaco based on the film franchise for USA/Syfy; as well Run For Your Life, a supernatural race on the final night of Dia de los Muertos; and Tremors reboot, headlined by original star Kevin Bacon, both of which have a pilot order from USA/Syfy.

Tucker and Winant are repped by UTA. Oakes is repped by Hotchkiss and Associates on behalf of Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

Final Girls by Riley Sager

DEADLINE

Universal Books Rights To Riley Sager Thriller Novel ‘Final Girls’ For Anonymous Content & Sugar23

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has won the bidding battle to option rights to Final Girls, the bestselling novel from Riley Sager that hit shelves this summer. The movie adaptation will be produced by Anonymous Content’s Nicole Clemens along with Sugar23’s Ashley Zalta and Michael Sugar as that stand-alone company continues to ramp up.

Published by Dutton in July, Final Girls centers on Quincy Carpenter, who 10 years ago as a college student went on vacation to Pine Cottage with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie-scale massacre. In an instant, the press dubbed her a “Final Girl,” coined for the group of similar survivors.

Universal’s director of development Chloe Yellin will oversee production for the studio.

Universal, Anonymous Content, and Sager’s reps Aevitas Creative Management are also teamed on the adaptation of From the Corner of the Oval, a book proposal by former White House stenographer Beck Dorey-Stein.

Sugar23 launched in October with a multi-year first-look deal at Anonymous Content, where Sugar is a longtime manager-producer.

Publisher’s Marketplace

Film rights to Riley Sager's novel FINAL GIRLS, about three separate massacre survivors who, despite being bound by their similar trauma, never meet until years later when one of them succumbs to a new danger and the two remaining girls are forced to join together, to Universal Pictures with Anonymous Content (THE REVEVANT, SPOTLIGHT) and Sugar23 producing, by Sean Daily at Hotchkiss and Associates, on behalf of Michelle Brower at Aevitas Creative Management.

Pirates of Somalia by Jay Bahadur

DEADLINE

Echo Bridge Scores Timely Evan Peters Movie ‘The Pirates Of Somalia’ For December Bow

EXCLUSIVE: Echo Bridge has acquired U.S. rights to director Bryan Buckley’s The Pirates of Somalia (formerly known as Dabka). The film, which bowed this spring at the Tribeca Film Festival, examines what led up to the hostage saga depicted in Captain Phillips.

The film stars American Horror Story’s Evan Peters along with Oscar nominees Barkhad Abdi, Melanie Griffith and Al Pacino. The plan is release it in 10 markets nationwide day-and-date December 8. Rights include theatrical, TVOD and SVOD.

Based on the New York Times bestseller The Pirates of Somalia by Jay Bahadur, the story follows rookie journalist Bahadur (Evan Peters), who, after having a chance encounter with an experienced war correspondent (Pacino), uproots his life and moves to Somalia looking for the story of a lifetime. Hooking up with a local fixer (Abdi), Bahadur attempts to embed himself with the local Somali pirates, getting in way over his head.

This is Buckley’s second feature film following the 2015 Sundance Film Festival pic The Bronze, which was released by Sony Pictures Classics in 2016. The deal comes as Somalia finds itself one of the countries on President Donald Trump’s current travel-ban list; if enacted, the Somali people featured in the film would not be able to travel to the U.S. to support the film.

“I am so pleased to be partnering with Echo Bridge, who share the same level of commitment to this film that we do,” said Buckley. “This is an important and powerful story that demonstrates the courage of those journalists who have risked their lives to tell us the truth. It’s piece of work that needs to be shared with all audiences; therefore, we could not be more thrilled to have found the right partner to provide this film with the proper platform.”

Echo Bridge chairman and CEO Steven Paul, whose previous credits include Marvel’s Ghost Rider and Paramount’s Ghost in the Shell, said the film “is one of those stranger-than-fiction stories that demands being told. It has all the elements of a first-rate adventure. It’s thrilling and funny but most of all an important story that few people hear about beyond the headlines.”

The film is produced by Buckley, Mino Jarjoura and Matt Lefebvre of Hungry Man Films, as well as Claude Dal Farra of BCDF Pictures and Irfaan Fredericks. The executive producers include Paul of Echo Bridge; Compton Ross, Phil Hunt, Stephen Kelliher, and Hilary Davis of Bankside Films; as well as Peter Pastorelli, Michael S. Murphy, Hank Perlman, Kevin Byrne and Robin Shenfield.

The deal for the film was negotiated by UTA Independent Film Group and Echo Bridge Acquisition Corp. The film was financed by Hungry Man Films and Head Gear Films and repped by Bankside Films for international sales.