9:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Paramount Network's 'First Wives Club' Picked Up to Series, Will Feature an Inclusive Cast
Two weeks after being picked up to pilot, Paramount Network has decided to fast-track its reboot of The First Wives Club.
The cable network, formerly Spike TV, has handed out a 10-episode series order for the project from Girls Trip co-writer Tracy Oliver. Casting has not yet been announced for the reboot of the 1996 feature that originally starred Diane Keaton, Bette Midler and Goldie Hawn, though sources say Paramount Network is looking to have all three leads played by non-white actresses. While one source suggested that the entire cast of the Paramount Television-produced comedy could be non-white, insiders are careful to say that could change in the casting process. Production is set to begin this summer in New York for a 2019 debut.
That would be a change from the first time Viacom went to pilot on The First Wives Club. Originally developed by Keith Cox for TV Land, the first half-hour pilot was written by Rebecca Addelman (New Girl) and executive produced by Jenny Bicks (Sex and the City, The Big C). It took place in modern-day San Francisco and centered on three friends and former classmates from the 1990s who reconnect after their close friend from college dies in a freak accident. When they all discover that they're at a romantic crossroads, they unite to tackle divorce, relationships and life's other challenges. Alyson Hannigan (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, How I Met Your Mother), Megan Hilty (Smash) and Vanessa Lachey (Disaster Movie) starred.
After Cox was promoted to add oversight of Paramount Network to his purview, the TV Land pilot was eyed for the recently rebranded network. Ultimately, Cox and company opted to bring in a new writer and redevelop the Paramount Television half-hour comedy. It briefly served as the first official pilot order for Paramount Network.
Oliver's version, like the feature film, takes place in New York and follows a group of women who band together after their marriages fall apart and who find strength in their sisterhood — and a little revenge. Karen Rosenfelt (Twilight, The Devil Wears Prada) will exec produce the project alongside Oliver and Scott Rudin, who produced the original movie. JAX Media's Tony Hernandez will also exec produce. Paramount Network and TV Land's senior vp development and original programming Brad Gardner will oversee for the cabler.
Girls Trip, co-written by Oliver and Kenya Barris (Black-ish), became a breakout hit for Universal Pictures. It grossed more than $140 million worldwide and helped launch the career of breakout star Tiffany Haddish.
For Paramount Network, The First Wives Club joins a roster of scripted that includes upcoming dramas Yellowstone and comedies Nobodies and American Woman (the latter two of which were developed for TV Land). The cabler recently delayed its dark reboot of Heathers.