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Ellen Pompeo is expanding her producing footprint for ABC.
The Grey’s Anatomy star is teaming with former Mad Men writers André and Maria Jacquemetton to bring Elin Hilderbrand’s best-selling Paradise book trilogy to ABC as a limited series.
The drama, which is currently in development as part of the Grey’s and Station 19 exec producer’s larger pact with ABC Signature, tells the story of a husband’s secret life and a wife’s new beginning. The potential series revolves around Irene Steele, who, after her husband’s perplexing death, learns that he had been living a secret life with an entirely separate family on the Caribbean island of St. John. As Irene untangles a web of intrigue and deceit, and as she and her sons find themselves drawn into the vibrant island culture, they have to face the truth about their family and their future.
Married writing duo the Jacquemettons (Mad Men, The Romanoffs) will pen the script and exec produce alongside Pompeo and her Calamity Jane production company topper Laura Holstein. Andrew Stearn will also exec produce. Author Hilderbrand is also attached as an EP.
Hilderbrand — dubbed the “queen of the summer beach read” by The New York Times — created the Paradise trilogy, which consists of Winter in Paradise (2018), What Happens in Paradise (2020) and Troubles in Paradise (2020). The Jacquemettons are also working with the author on a potential Hulu series pegged to her Nantucket-set novels including The Identicals, The Blue Bistro and The Matchmaker.
The deal for ABC’s Paradise trilogy arrives as Grey’s creator Shonda Rhimes proved with her first Netflix series, Bridgerton, that romance novels can bring in big and broad audiences. The London-set period drama, already renewed for season two, is based on the eight-book series from romance novelist Julia Quinn and became a breakout for the streamer after its Christmas debut.
Paradise is Pompeo’s latest development project that stems from her sweeping deal with ABC Signature. The actress-producer is in the midst of negotiating a new deal that would cover her return to ABC’s signature drama Grey’s Anatomy. She’s repped by CAA, John Carrabino Management and Hansen Jacobson.
Hilderbrand is with UTA, Michael Carlisle and David Forrer at Inkwell Management, and Kleinberg Lange. The Jacquemettons are with Dan Halsted at Manage-ment and attorney Wayne Alexander. Stearn is with Del Shaw.
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