'Dare Me' Boss Inks Universal Content Productions Overall Deal (Exclusive)

Gina Fattore - P 2020
Courtesy of Universal Content Productions

Universal Content Productions is bringing one of the brains behind breakout hit Dare Me in-house.

The studio has signed Gina Fattore, who serves as co-showrunner on the USA Network cheerleading drama, to an overall deal.

Under the pact, the Dawson's Creek alum will create and develop scripted fare for all platforms for UCP — a division of NBCUniversal Content Studios. The news comes ahead of Sunday's season finale. A renewal is considered likely, though an official decision has yet to be determined.

"Gina has a gift of generating dynamic and flawed television characters that you just fall in love with. We have a long history of collaborating, and I’m incredibly proud of her most recent work on Dare Me,” said UCP president Dawn Olmstead. “The series is so much more than just a cheerleading drama as it tackles hard-hitting issues for young women that resonate in the cultural zeitgeist. We are excited to add Gina to our overall roster and give her a home to incubate her ideas and flex her many talents.”  

Dare Me, based on the Megan Abbott novel, explores the cutthroat world of competitive high school cheerleading. It follows the fraught relationship between two best friends (Herizen Guardiola and Marlo Kelly) after a new coach (Willa Fitzgerald) arrives to bring their team to prominence. While the girls’ friendship is put to the test, their young lives are changed forever when a shocking crime rocks their quiet suburban world. The project is considered a coming-of-age/small-town drama/murder mystery mix.

Abbott serves as a writer and executive producer alongside Fattore, who also counts Gilmore Girls among her credits. Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights) and former HBO head of originals Michael Lombardo exec produce alongside Sarah Condon and Karen Rosenfelt. The series already has a streaming deal with Netflix, which boarded the drama early on as a co-producer alongside UCP. The streamer will have first-run rights to the series outside of the U.S.

In his review, The Hollywood Reporter's chief TV critic Daniel Fienberg said the series "features a tantalizing blend of guilty-pleasure trashiness, smart genre deconstruction and unfiltered, darkly comic adrenaline" and that it's infused with a noirish sense of pervasive dread and omnivorous seductiveness."

Fattore's impressive résumé also includes Better Things, Unreal, Masters of Sex, Parenthood and Californication. She joins a UCP talent slate that includes Sam Esmail, Sera Gamble and Patrick Macmanus, among others. She is repped by Morris Yorn.