Decades after Lassie and Rin Tin Tin, another canine is eyeing a primetime series named after her. In a competitive situation, NBC has landed Marley & Me, a single-camera comedy sequel to the hit 2008 comedy-drama feature starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson. Emmy-winning Sex And The City alumna Jenny Bicks will write the script for the project, which has received a put pilot commitment, with the film’s director, David Frankel, on board to direct the potential pilot. 20th Century Fox TV, whose feature sibling Fox 2000 produced the 2008 film with Regency, is behind the series, with the film’s producer Karen Rosenfelt executive producing alongside Bicks and Frankel.
The Marley & Me comedy will pick up where the movie, based on John Grogan’s bestseller, left off. John and Jenny Grogan — the characters played in the movie by Aniston and Wilson — and their three kids, a 16-year-old boy and a 13-year-old and 6-year-old girls, have just moved back to Florida so that John can take up his newspaper column once again. However, when a stray puppy (“owned”, but not well, by their neighbors) ends up on their doorstep, they are forced to adopt it. This dog, named Marley for the fact that they use Marley’s old leash and tags on her, is as will-full, destructive and delightful as her original namesake. And she will help shed light not only on the growing pains of the Grogan family, but also the lives of the neighbors, and fellow dog-owners, around them.
The 2008 movie, about a couple taking in a puppy as they mull parenthood, was well-received and a box office smash, grossing $243 million dollars. Here is a trailer:
This marks Bicks’ third sale this season. She also has St. Lucy’s, which she created with Channing Powell, at ABC, and an untitled half-hour single-camera workplace comedy at Fox, in which she is supervising writer Max Greenfield. On the feature side, Bicks, who is coming off executive producing Showtime’s The Big C, recently wrote the Barbie movie for Sony. She is repped by UTA. Frankel, who also directed The Devil Wears Prada, is repped by WME and Anonymous Content.
Marley & Me is joining a slew of other movies that are getting series adaptations this season, including Rush Hour, Big, Monster-In-Law, Minority Report, Real Genius, Problem Child, In Good Company and The Illusionist. NBC and 20th recently teamed for a follow-up series to Cameron Crow’s Say Anything, but that project was scrapped after objections from Crowe.