9:30am PT by Rick Porter
Shania Twain to Produce, Write Songs for TV Drama (Exclusive)
Shania Twain is expanding into TV producing.
The country music icon is teaming with Reel World Management (Netflix's Virgin River) to develop a drama based on best-selling author Debbie Macomber's Heart of Texas novels. Twain will also write original music for the potential series.
The books center on three adult siblings who struggle to keep their family ranch afloat following the death of their parents. Twain said she wasn't familiar with the books before signing on to the project, but she found them "captivating."
"There are some parallels in the story to my own story — a young family carrying on after the parents die, and the female main character having all this responsibility," Twain told The Hollywood Reporter. "I was thinking this sounds so much like my own life. And I'm drawn to horses and the whole lifestyle of living outside the city, where family is everything. It really spoke to me."
Twain will executive produce with Reel World Management principals Roma Roth and Christopher E. Perry. Roth told THR they're currently searching for a showrunner before taking the package to the marketplace.
The market for heartfelt drama is a growing one, with Netflix — with shows like Virgin River and the recently renewed Sweet Magnolias — joining the likes of cable networks Hallmark and Up in airing such shows.
"Debbie Macomber's brand is known for that kind of storytelling, and she has developed an incredibly dedicated fan base. Her Heart of Texas novels were exactly what we were looking for," said Roth. "They're an epic family drama. … The storylines revolve around the sacrifices each character has to make to keep their family's Texas cattle ranch and their legacy alive. We felt the books had the perfect combination of drama, conflict, unrequited love and romance, all while having that perfect, uplifting and inspiring quality we felt everyone was craving."
Twain said she's also planning to write songs for the show and spent time recently in Alberta (where filming will likely take place) getting a feel for the landscape and the type of music she'll compose.
"I'll be able to write about love and loss and hardship and triumph. It's going to run the gamut in that sense," she said. "I'm still getting a feel for the sound and mood of the music. I'll be getting together with an arranger, and that's going to be new for me as well, getting involved with the actual scoring."
Reel World Management has produced a host of movies for television but switched to series development in the recent years with Hallmark's Chesapeake Shores.
"That's where Reel World Management is leaning to these days, to adapt IP that already brings a big fanbase to the table, because that certainly doesn't hurt the ability for a show to be successful, and connecting that source material with a wide audience and a global audience," said Roth. "When you're dealing with themes of family and love and community, as well as the obstacles they have to overcome, that resonates with a global audience, not just a North American audience."