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The Vampire Diaries creators are getting back together for a new supernatural drama.
Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson have reteamed for Dead Day, a drama based on Ryan Parrott’s AfterShock Comics title of the same name. NBCUniversal’s streamer, Peacock, has handed out a straight-to-series order for the project, the first show the duo has created since 2009’s The Vampire Diaries, which became a multiple-show franchise for The CW and Warner Bros. TV.
Dead Day, which is Plec’s second show for her new home, Universal Television, follows an ensemble of characters as they navigate the annual “dead day,” when for one night the dead come back to complete unfinished business — be that to celebrate a night back on Earth or to torment the living.
Plec and Williamson will serve as writers and co-showrunners on the series. Both exec produce alongside Ben Fast, Emily Cummins and Lee Kramer as well as AfterShock Media’s Jon Kramer and David Sigurani. Comic author Parrott, who recently saw Dead Day picked up for a second volume at AfterShock, is on board as a consulting producer.
Plec and her My So-Called Company moved to Universal TV with a multiple-year overall deal in January 2020, leaving her longtime home at Warners. For the latter studio, she delivered The Vampire Diaries and spinoffs The Originals and Legacies, among other shows. Plec now has three shows in the works since her arrival at NBCUniversal with YA entry Vampire Academy currently in postproduction for Peacock and drama The Endgame due next month on NBC.
Plec met Williamson, who wrote the original Scream, while her former boss Wes Craven was directing it. After hitting it off, Plec became a development executive at Williamson’s Outerbanks. There, Plec worked on shows including Williamson’s Dawson’s Creek. (Listen to Plec discuss her career trajectory in this interview with THR’s TV’s Top 5 podcast.)
“We have been looking for a project to do together, and Dead Day has all the ingredients we love as storytellers. Love, death, thrills and tears — and we know Susan Rovner and her team at Peacock is the perfect fit for this project,” Plec and Williamson said in a joint statement Thursday.
Williamson is fresh off executive producing the latest installment in the Scream franchise and is in post on the thriller Sick for Miramax. His most recent TV foray was Tell Me a Story, on the former CBS All Access.
Dead Day arrives as Peacock has struggled to pull up a seat at the streaming wars table. The platform, which is overseen by Frances Berwick and Susan Rovner as part of a content portfolio that also includes NBC and E!, continues to look for a breakout hit to draw subscribers. The ad-supported service has already canceled a number of scripted offerings including The Last Symbol and fellow NBC transfer A.P. Bio, as well as its Punky Brewster update and genre play Brave New World. The streamer’s upcoming slate includes the Fresh Prince dramatic update, Bel-Air, the Joe Exotic series with Kate McKinnon, and returning series like Rutherford Falls, Girls5eva, critical favorite We Are Ladyparts and newly announced adaptations of Universal feature films Field of Dreams, Ted and Pitch Perfect, among others.
“Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson are each a powerhouse unto themselves, so we couldn’t have been more excited when they told us they wanted to team up again,” said Vivian Cannon, exec vp drama development at Universal Television. “Dead Day will be everything Julie and Kevin’s audiences love about their work — emotional, unexpected and totally bingeable!”
AfterShock Comics has published more than 110 titles in the six years since joining an industry that includes powerhouses Marvel and DC.
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