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TV’s A-list infusion is continuing in a major way.
Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman have signed on to star in a limited series based on Liane Moriarty‘s book Big Little Lies written by David E. Kelley, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. No network is currently attached; the limited series is being taken out to the marketplace soon where it is expected to be shopped to premium cable networks (such as HBO, Showtime, Starz) and streaming services (like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon).
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Published in July, Kidman and her Blossom Films banner as well as Witherspoon and her Pacific Standard shingle optioned the rights to the No. 1 New York Times best-seller as a potential starring feature film in August.
The novel centers on three mothers to kindergartners whose seemingly perfect lives unravel to a murder-mystery that takes place during a disastrous parents’ night at an elementary school fundraiser.
Kelley, who most recently served as showrunner on CBS’ Robin Williams-Sarah Michelle Gellar comedy The Crazy Ones, is attached to pen the series. Kidman and Witherspoon will both exec produce alongside Kelley, who currently is exploring the marketplace free of a studio-based overall deal.
Australian novelist Moriarty will serve as a producer on Big Little Lies. She previously penned best-sellers What Alice Forgot, Three Wishes, The Hypnotist’s Love Story and The Husband’s Secret.
Witherspoon’s Pacific Standard and Kidman’s Blossom Films have both been active in acquiring literary projects. Pacific Standard just produced Wild and David Fincher’s Gone Girl; its slate also includes Mitch Larson’s fantasy book series Pennyroyal’s Boot Camp, set up at Summit/Lionsgate. Blossom Films is also prepping The Silent Wife — based on best-seller Reconstructing Amelia — at HBO as well as a biography of singer Dusty Springfield.
For Oscar winners Kidman (The Hours) and Witherspoon (Walk the Line), Big Little Lies will mark their biggest TV roles to date. Big Little Lies comes as A-list talent have been flocking to TV as limited fare serves as a way to segue to the small screen with a reduced time commitment while still juggling feature films. Broadcast and cable networks have found both ratings and awards season cache with limited fare/anthologies including HBO’s True Detective, starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson — and season two cast Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn and Rachel McAdams; Fargo, starring Billy Bob Thornton; as well as American Horror Story with Jessica Lange. Oscar winner Halle Berry also segued to TV this year with CBS’ Steven Spielberg-produced summer drama Extant, which was renewed for a second season.
Witherspoon is repped by CAA, LBI Entertainment and Hansen Jacobson; Kidman is with CAA, Shanahan Management and Jackoway Tyerman; 10-time Emmy winner Kelley, whose credits include Ally McBeal, Boston Public and L.A. Law, is with CAA and Gendler & Kelly.
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