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The prolific showrunner, who already has Vampire Academy due in September on Peacock, has unveiled five new scripted shows in development at the studio where her My So-Called Company has been based since mid-2020.
The five shows are: Clifton, based on the book Running Out of Time and set up at Peacock; medical drama Douglass Medical; thriller Freeman; romantic dramedy about a transgender teen Stay Gold; and This Savage Song, the horror fantasy that is based on the novel of the same name. (More info on all can be found below.)
Plec also has five more shows in the works, details of which were not immediately available.
“When I first met with Universal Television to discuss an overall deal, I told them that I believe in earning my keep, and this slate reflects that promise,” Plec said Wednesday. “Between Emily [Cummins] and our team at My So-Called Company and the tremendous group at Universal Television, we’ve been able to build projects that will not just take the audience on an emotional thrill ride, but that also say a little something about the world we live in.”
The development slate joins a number of previously announced projects that Plec already has in the works as part of her Universal TV overall deal. Vampire Academy at Peacock, Kevin Williamson collaboration Dead Day at Peacock; Netflix’s Confessions of a Drug-Addicted High School Teacher, which reunites her with The Vampire Diaries grad Paul Wesley; and HBO Max’s The Girls on the Bus.
“When we closed our deal with Julie, we said the sky’s the limit, and she’s absolutely reaching new heights with this upcoming roster,” said Erin Underhill, Universal Television president. “The depth and breadth of her development slate, from doctors to monsters and soap to spectacle, proves that Julie’s creativity is boundless, and we’re excited to bring these diverse projects to market in the near future.”
Plec moved her overall deal from her longtime home at Warner Bros. Television in mid-2020. For Warners, she spearheaded The Vampire Diaries franchise, which included spinoffs The Originals and Legacies. The latter was shockingly canceled in May as The CW dramatically paired down on scripted originals as part of its forthcoming sale to station group Nexstar. Plec compared the wave of cancellations to the “Red Wedding” from Game of Thrones. Legacies joined the Plec-produced NBC drama The Endgame in the canceled heap in May. The Endgame was Plec’s first show as part of her Universal deal.
Here’s more on the five new projects Plec has in the works:
Clifton is based on the novel Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix. Aisha Porter-Christie adapts the book, which and follows 17-year-old Jazzie Smith, who was born and raised in the idyllic, island village of Clifton — a sanctuary for runaway slaves and others who fled the United States at the height of the Civil War. When a mysterious stranger from the mainland washes up on shore, Jazzie learns a truth about the island’s origins that shatters everything she thought she knew to be true. Plec and Emily Cummins will executive produce through My So-Called Company. Kevin Misher will also executive produce through Misher Films, with Misher Films executive Andy Berman serving as a producer.
Douglass Medical revolves around what happens when Dr. Vanessa Pilgrim suffers a devastating professional scandal, she’s forced to return home to Washington, D.C. to build a new life as Associate Chief of Emergency Medicine at Douglass University Hospital – a struggling teaching hospital on the campus of a historically Black college. The only problem is the job comes with whispers of nepotism, pressure from her mother who is the Dean of Douglass’ Medical School, and a reckoning with an 18 year-old secret. Ayanna Floyd is the creator/writer.
Freeman follows a family that moves to a small, picturesque town in Georgia after acquiring a lucrative inheritance, including the mysterious house known as Freeman Manor. It’s soon discovered that there are mysteries and darkness hidden within the walls and the town at large that go back generations. Adam Starks is the creator/writer.
Stay Gold is a romantic dramedy about a transgender teenager who begins his senior year of high school struggling to establish a new identity in the face of a new school and environment, while trying to win the love of the girl of his dreams. Drew Greenberg is set to adapt alongside co-writer Tobly McSmith, who authored the novel of the same name.
This Savage Song is based on the novel by Victoria Schwab, who will adapt alongside Plec. It is a romantic horror fantasy about two teens in a broken world, where violent acts breed actual monsters. Gina Marcheschi will executive produce along with Plec and Cummins.
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