EXCLUSIVE: Marta Kauffman, whose Grace and Frankie is wrapping production on its third season, is ramping up the slate of her Okay Goodnight, which is behind the popular Netflix comedy series starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin.
Kauffman and Okay Goodnight have miniseries We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves in development at HBO. Natalie Portman is attached to star in and executive produce the project, based on Karen Joy Fowler’s award-winning novel of the same name. Additionally, Okay Goodnight is developing an American version of the hit Israeli TV family drama Shtisel. The adaptation, titled Emmis, has been sold to Amazon.
“These two projects demonstrate the range I envision for Okay Goodnight, and I couldn’t be happier to see them come to fruition,” said Kauffman.
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is a twisty tale centered on university student Rosemary Cooke (Portman), whose complex and unusual upbringing is marred by the unexpected disappearance of a “twin sister” at the age of 5. Christopher Monger, the Emmy nominated co-writer of HBO’s Temple Grandin, is penning the TV adaptation, with Homeland and Tyrant co-creator Gideon Raff on board as executive producer alongside Portman and Okay Goodnight’s Kauffman and Robbie Tollin. Okay’s Hannah KS Canter is co-producer.
Emmis is an intricate and authentic family drama that offers a rare glimpse into the insular world of the ultra-orthodox community. Etan Cohen is writing, directing and executive producing the adaptation.
The original series, which premiered in 2013 on Israel’s YES Network, won four Israeli TV Academy Awards. You can watch an English-language trailer below.
Okay Goodnight has several other projects in the pipeline as well, including Seeing Allred, a fully authorized feature-length documentary about the life and legacy of American Civil Rights lawyer Gloria Allred, which is now seeing a distributor. The documentary is co-produced with Katahdin Productions, with Roberta Grossman and Sophie Sartain as both executive producers and directors.
Kauffman directed the opener for Season 3 of Grace and Frankie, which wraps production later this month in Los Angeles.
“Directing Grace and Frankie was an organic progression from what I have done over the past two years on the show,” said Kauffman. “Working with our cast felt so right, so natural. We had a shorthand, and we had way too much fun.”
Grace and Frankie earned two Emmy nominations in July, including a second lead actress nom for Lily Tomlin, who is also this year’s SAG Life Achievement Award recipient.
Kauffman, who also co-created one of the biggest hits in TV history, NBC comedy Friends, will receive the 2016 Outstanding Television Writer award at the 23rd annual Austin Film Festival & Screenwriters Conference this fall. Earlier this year, Kauffman and her Friends co-creator David Crane received the WGA’s Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for lifetime achievement in television writing.
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