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The Baby-Sitters Club is making its way back to the small screen.
The popular young-adult book series, affectionately known as the BSC, is being packaged for the 2018 marketplace as a timely story of female friendship, entrepreneurialism and empowerment. The adaptation comes from Walden Media and Michael De Luca, which will be producing and shopping the modernized version as half-hour episodes. Each of author Ann M. Martin’s characters is expected to appear in the TV iteration. There was an earlier Baby-Sitters Club TV series from Scholastic that aired in the early ’90s on HBO. There was also a 1995 Baby-Sitters Club movie, which starred Rachael Leigh Cook, Larisa Oleynik and Schuyler Fisk, among others.
De Luca will serve as an executive producer on the series, with Broad City’s Lucia Aniello and GLOW’s Rachel Shukert in talks to direct and showrun, respectively. Walden’s Naia Cucukov and De Luca Productions’ Lucy Kitada will oversee production. In a bid to keep the TV version as timely as possible, episodes will broach topics including divorce, racism and belonging. And like all other projects in the Walden portfolio, it’s being billed as a family-friendly series, designed to appeal to kids, teens and adults alike.
“As lifelong fans of The Baby-Sitters Club and its enduring messages of entrepreneurialism, empowerment, diversity and most importantly, female friendships, we couldn’t be more thrilled to work on this special project with Rachel and Lucia,” says Walden Media’s senior vp development and production, Naia Cucukov. “We feel incredibly honored that Ann M. Martin has allowed us the chance to introduce the BSC to a new generation of future thought leaders and influencers.”
The potential fan base for the BSC adaptation is signficant. Martin’s late 21st century source material, about a group of girls who started a babysitting business, has been published in 19 languages and sold some 180 million copies to date; a contemporary reboot of the graphic novels is itself a New York Times best-selling series. In recent years, Martin’s collection of fictional tales have been, as the New Yorker wrote in late 2016, heralded for its feminist legacy.
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