From the OB/GYN office to the Oval Office. The Mindy Project creator/executive producer/star Mindy Kaling has optioned the rights to Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House?, the bestselling memoir by former Barack Obama White House deputy chief of staff for operations Alyssa Mastromonaco. The book, which was published last month, will be adapted as a TV series with Kaling producing alongside 3 Arts Entertainment. It would follow in the footsteps of such White House TV classics as The West Wing and Veep.
Called “less political diatribe than a gossip session with an older sister,” Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? is an admiring account of Obama, an unfiltered account of Mastromonaco’a time at the White House putting out fires, meeting with world leaders and occasionally winning elections.
Mastromonaco worked for Obama for almost a decade, from his early days in Washington as a rookie senator through his two presidential campaigns and one and a half of his two terms in the Oval Office. She served as assistant to the president and director of scheduling and advance at the White House from 2009-11 and as assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff for operations at the White House from 2011-14.
It was Obama who introduced Mastromonaco and Kaling in 2012. They two have been friends since (the photo above is the two of them at Mastromonaco’s White House going-away party), and Kaling stepped in to option Mastromonaco’s memoir shortly after reading it.
After leaving Washington, Mastromonaco worked as COO for Vice Media before joining A+E Networks at the end of last year as President of Global Communications Strategy & Talent. A+E Networks President and CEO Nancy Dubuc is hosting a book party for Mastromonaco’s Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? tonight at Hearst Tower in New York.
Mastromonaco is repped by Richard Abate and Howard Klein at 3Arts Entertainment. Kaling is repped by CAA and 3 Arts.