12:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Jenji Kohan Sets 'Social Distance' Anthology Series at Netflix
Jenji Kohan and Netflix are going to bring social distancing to television.
The Orange Is the New Black creator is teaming with the streamer for a scripted anthology series called Social Distance.
Hilary Weisman Graham will pen the scripts and serve as showrunner, with Diego Velasco set to direct and co-executive produce. Kohan and her OITNB team, Tara Herrmann, Blake McCormick and Graham, will all exec produce.
Here's how the producers describe the show:
"Our job as storytellers is to reflect reality, and in this new, bizarre, bewildering reality we are all experiencing, we feel passionate about finding connection as we all remain at a distance. We've been inspired to create an anthology series that tells stories about the current moment we are living through — the unique, personal, deeply human stories that illustrate how we are living apart, together. We are challenging ourselves to do something new: To create and produce virtually so that our cast and crew can stay healthy and safe. Writers never physically meet during the writing process. Our director, Diego Velasco, directs our talent remotely. Our showrunner, Hilary Weisman Graham, runs production from her living room. The cast not only acts, but also films themselves at home. The experience of social distancing is currently universal, but no individual story is the same. Through a broad spectrum of tales and moments, some seismic and some mundane, we hope to capture a moment in time. And we hope that Social Distance will help people feel closer to one another."
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Social Distance will be a shortform series that explores what life is like during quarantine amid the novel coronavirus. Insiders note that producers plan to shoot found-footage style — where every device viewers see visuals from is motivated by story reasons. The audience views the characters as they view their devices. Producers are planning to send what sources describe as a "Blue Apron of production" box to actors in quarantine to shoot their content.
Netflix will produce the series in-house as Kohan has an overall deal with the streamer. An episode count and premiere date have not been determined.
Social Distance is the latest effort to create new content amid the quarantine era and the first entire series to find a larger narrative amid the current world order. Other shows have produced special episodes — CBS in early May will air an episode of the legal drama All Rise that was shot entirely at home, while NBC's Saturday Night Live has done two remote episodes. This week, NBC will also reunite the cast of Parks and Recreation for a scripted special/fundraiser that was shot entirely from the castmembers' homes.