Here is a project that will likely qualify for the most provocative title this development season. In a competitive situation, ABC has landed The Erotic Silence Of The American Wife, a drama from writer Sally Robinson, who penned Lifetime’s hugely successful Steel Magnolias remake, producer Tony Krantz (Dracula) of Flame Ventures and ABC Studios. Based on Dalma Heyn’s 1992 book of the same name, The Erotic Silence Of The American Wife is described as an emotional, erotic and ultimately liberating series about a group of disparate women united by a single trait – they’re all having illicit affairs. ABC currently has a series centered on a group of women who engage in infidelity, Mistresses, also produced by ABC Studios. In the spirit of Heyn’s book, which she based on her interviewing several hundred women who had extramarital affairs, Erotic Silence will take a realistic, cable-style approach to the topic. The project also employs an unusual structure, with multiple stories “leap-frogged”, one overlapping the other, and each lasting multiple episodes.
Krantz, who had been looking to adapt Heyn’s book for 15 years, executive produces with Robinson. Heyn and Flame Ventures’ Drew Comins co-executive produce.
Heyn’s book was considered groundbreaking when it came out 22 years ago. A lot has changed since then. Adultery is not the taboo it was back then, there are even online places that promote it, like ashleymadison.com. Two cable series tackling the issue launched within the past couple of months, USA’s Satisfaction and Showtime’s The Affair.
Robinson most recently wrote NBC’s dark comedy pilot Feed Me starring Mary Louise Parker last season. Flame Ventures’ slate include a pilot at TruTV about a family-owned Colorado marijuana dispensary, a drama in development at Spike TV about the Silk Road online marketplace and an NBC horror anthology series.