PBS Acquires More 'Anne of Green Gables' Movies for U.S. Broadcast
The pubcaster nabbed two more sequels, 'The Good Stars' and 'Fire & Dew,' based on the beloved Canadian kids book series, with Martin Sheen attached to star.
PBS has picked up the newest installments of L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, a reboot of the classic Canadian kids novel about the spunky, red-haired orphan Anne Shirley.
Martin Sheen returns to topline the next two TV movies from Breakthrough Entertainment, The Good Stars and Fire & Dew, as Matthew Cuthbert, while 13-year-old Ella Ballentine is back in the role of Anne Shirley and Sara Botsford reprises her turn as Marilla Cuthbert.
"We are thrilled to bring Anne Shirley back to PBS stations and viewers in the second and third installments of the Anne of Green Gables trilogy,” Beth Hoppe, general manager of general audience programming at PBS, said Wednesday in a statement. PBS aired the first Anne of Green Gables sequel in November 2016, and reached 3.2 million viewers.
The second and third installments were shot in Canada, as was the first entry in the series, by director John Kent Harrison. In The Good Stars, Anne Shirley turns 13 and faces complex issues with her friends and a closer relationship with Gilbert. In Fire & Dew, written by Susan Coyne, young Anne moves to Charlottetown and is overwhelmed by her new surroundings, difficult classes at teacher’s college and a deepening romance with Gilbert.
At the same time, Matthew (Sheen) and Marilla (Botsford) deal with health and financial difficulties that jeopardize their lives at Green Gables.
The 1908 Canadian kids novel Anne of Green Gables has sold 50 million copies worldwide.
Netflix has its own reboot of the beloved series, Anne, from Emmy-winning writer Moira Walley-Beckett, in the works, with Amybeth McNulty in the title role. Disney Channel aired its own heart-warming portrayal of small-town Canadiana when it broadcast the Anne of Green Gables spinoff drama Avonlea during the '80s and '90s.
Toronto-based Breakthrough worked closely on the revival with Montgomery’s granddaughter, Kate Macdonald Butler, who executive produces the project.