10:38am PT by Lesley Goldberg
NBC Orders 'Rosemary's Baby' Miniseries
NBC is formally adapting Rosemary's Baby.
The network on Tuesday ordered the four-hour miniseries based on author Ira Levin's classic 1967 horror novel of the same name. Production will begin in January in Paris.
The mini hails from Lionsgate TV, with Joshua Maurer, Alix Witlin and David Stern on board to executive produce. Scott Abbott (Introducing Dorothy Dandridge) and James Wong (American Horror Story) will write the screenplay, while Agnieszka Holland, who has been nominated for both an Oscar (Europa, Europa) and an Emmy (Treme), will direct. Casting will begin immediately.
"Ira Levin’s mesmerizing book was a groundbreaking reflection on how effective and influential a psychological thriller could be," said Quinn Taylor, executive vp movies, miniseries and international co-productions at NBC. “We’re looking forward to adapting his incredible work and bringing those indelible characters to a new generation of viewers.”
Rosemary’s Baby centers on a young married couple who move into a Paris apartment that has a haunted past. After getting pregnant, the wife becomes increasingly suspicious that both her husband and their neighbors will have ulterior motives when her child is born. The book was later adapted into the Roman Polanski-directed 1968 feature film. The movie earned supporting actress Ruth Gordon an Oscar and Polanski a writing nom.
The project was one of four miniseries NBC put into development in July, along with its recently scrapped Hillary Clinton scripted entry, and arrived after the network hired Taylor to be its new longform point person. The new take on Rosemary's Baby is the network's latest mini and arrives as event series continues to gain popularity as both broadcast and cable networks look to lure both cache and eyeballs in an increasingly competitive DVR era.
"As we move into the event movie and miniseries space, Rosemary’s Baby represents the kind of attention-getting, surprising project that will make noise for us," said NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke. "The story has been updated and moved to Paris, but it’s faithful to the spirit of Ira Levin’s classic novel. This is a compelling tale wonderfully told.”
“Rosemary’s Baby is an extraordinary project and we’re excited to be in the longform business with NBC,” said Lionsgate Television Group chairman Kevin Beggs.
NBC is also developing a Johnny Carson mini and has Stephen King's Tommyknockers and Mark Burnett's Plymouth in the works.
The Rosemary's Baby adaptation arrives as horror continues to be a hot genre on the small-screen with AMC's The Walking Dead ranking as TV's top scripted drama among the key adults 18-49 set. In addition to Showtime's recently wrapped serial killer drama Dexter, NBC has Hannibal's second season and freshman entry Dracula; Fox will return to The Following in 2014; and FX is continuing to see record ratings for its anthology entry American Horror Story.
For Lionsgate, the order gives the studio scripted series on NBC, ABC (Nashville), History (Houdini mini), AMC (Mad Men), Showtime (Nurse Jackie), FX (Anger Management) and Netflix (Orange Is the New Black).