This is a timely topic following the November election, with the Women’s March on Washington drawing massive crowds following the inauguration of President Donald Trump. Gary O. Bennett and Allysa Rallo Bennett’s Stonestreet Studios is prepping a pilot for Dot, a 50-episode anthology series focused on women’s issues — particularly abortion rights — across the U.S., with each episode set in a different state. Stonestreet is financing the pilot, which is being pitched to networks and streaming services.
Co-created by Gary and Allysa Bennett and inspired by true events, Dot will dramatize personal stories about women’s issues as they relate to the cultural, political and legal environment of each U.S. state. Set in Texas, the pilot episode follows a high school student who becomes pregnant, her boyfriend and the wedge that is driven between them — not by family but by state — as they struggle to decide what to do next. Allysa Bennett also will direct.
“Reeling from the election and the impending fallout, and fear that we may indeed be slipping back, Gary and I felt the format of a pilot series with each episode representing a different story inspired by real events to take place in a each of the 50 states, with a different cast, state by state, gives endless possibilities for great casting, locations, creative license — not take sides but instead to play out drama would be a great way to go,” Rallo Bennett said. “We need more than ever to see, know deeply, feel how legislation and our choices will affect our young generations coming up in personal ways. It’s vital to tell these very personal and state specific stories that humanize those who are affected, both women and men.”
Stonestreet is casting the pilot episode as well as fielding talks with various online platforms and networks that want to come aboard during the development phase.
Dot is not the Bennetts’ first project to address the topic of abortion; Rain Without Thunder, their 1993 mockumentary starring Jeff Daniels, Linda Hunt and Betty Buckley, offered a glimpse at a possible dystopian future where abortion is classified as a crime on par with murder.