Four months after NBC signaled a push in the longform arena with a development slate of several miniseries and event series, the network has greenlighted the first project from that slate, four-hour miniseries Rosemary’s Baby, an adaptation of the 1967 best-selling suspense novel by Ira Levin. Agnieszka Holland, who has been nominated for both an Oscar (Europa, Europa) and an Emmy (Treme), has come on board to direct the mini, written by Scott Abbott (Introducing Dorothy Dandridge) and James Wong (American Horror Story). Casting begins immediately, with filming set to begin in January in Paris. Lionsgate Television is producing, with Joshua Maurer, Alix Witlin and David Stern serving as executive producers. “Ira Levin’s mesmerizing book was a groundbreaking reflection on how effective and influential a psychological thriller could be,” said Quinn Taylor, NBC’s EVP, Movies, Miniseries and International Co-Productions, who has been shepherding NBC’s longform strategy since joining the network from ABC in June. Added NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke, “As we move into the event movie and miniseries space, Rosemary’s Baby represents the kind of attention-getting, surprising project that will make noise for us. The story has been updated and moved to Paris, but it’s faithful to the spirit of Ira Levin’s classic novel.”
Rosemary’s Baby centers on a young married couple who move into a Paris apartment that has a haunted past. After getting pregnant, the wife becomes increasingly suspicious that both her husband and their neighbors will have ulterior motives when her child is born. The book has a famous feature adaptation, the 1968 film directed by Roman Polanski and starring Mia Farrow.
This is NBC’s first miniseries in a long time as the genre has been enjoying a resurgence following the success of History’s Hatfields & McCoys. NBC’s last major miniseries franchise was the 2004 10.5 earthquake mini and its 2006 sequel. The network’s last miniseries until now was the 2009 The Storm, which aired during the summer. NBC has several other miniseries in the works, including an adaptation of Stephen King’s Tommyknockers, along with several limited series, including The Bible sequel AD: After the Bible. The order to Rosemary’s Baby comes on the heels of NBC’s ratings success with its high-profile longform effort, the live staging of The Sound Of Music last Thursday. It also follows CBS’ order yesterday to four-hour miniseries Dovekeeprs, produced by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey.