EXCLUSIVE: Not satisfied with the $500 million tally for 10,000 productions around the world (a number that undoubtedly includes the one in your nephew’s back yard six summers ago), the Little Sisters of Hoboken are pitching a 10- to 13-episode arc. They’d like to stream Nunsense: The TV Series onto your devices. Written and exec produced by Dan Goggin with partners Melissa Pinsly and Franklin Zitter of recently established Brooklyn-based Frankenmel Films, a pilot recently was completed with guest star Darlene Love and several well-known stage and screen talents, including Phyllis Smith of The Office and Tony Award winner Karen Ziemba. The cast includes Mary Stout, Bambi Jones, June Gable, Beth Leavel, Dee Hoty, Lee Roy Reams, Jeff Blumenkrantz and Christopher Sieber. The pilot, filmed in September at a conveniently available New Jersey monastery, was helmed by David Eisenberg (whose directing of Witnesses won Best Director at the 2014 NYTVF and Best Pilot at the inaugural SeriesFest this year).
In an interview with Deadline, Goggin, who introduced the comedy-with-songs in 1986, said he is convinced the Nunsense brand will spike interest in the planned series, which includes familiar characters from the original show and the six spinoff productions that followed, among them Nunset Boulevard. “Within the next year alone, we have over 100 productions licensed, including two in South Korea.
“We’ve done television specials of all the shows,” he added. “The first was for A&E with Rue McClanahan. It had very high ratings and sold 10,000 videos. Since then, there would be talk of a network series and it would all be coming together until at the last minute someone would be worried about offending some members of the audience. It may have been a blessing that it always fell apart. We hope to land at Netflix or Amazon Prime, where we can just do what we want to do.”
The continuing story finds the Little Sisters back in Hoboken, where their arts funding at Mount St. Helen’s School is about to be cut. They hear there’s a $100,000 prize for a “Hoboken Has Talent” show in the offing. You can pretty much figure out the rest.
Nunsense premiered at the Cherry Lane Theater in Greenwich Village, before transferring to the Douglas Fairbanks Theater on 42nd Street, where it ran for more than a decade. It has been presented all over the world, in 26 languages, and has grossed more than $500 million, according to Goggin. That would include a production in Bermuda whose director wasn’t interested in seeing videos or materials provided under the license “so she could come to it completely fresh,” Goggin recalled. “It was the unfunniest show I’ve ever seen. Half the audience left at intermission, and I would have joined them if I could.”