EXCLUSIVE: Kevin Williamson, who launched his career by putting his spin on the horror genre with the hit Scream franchise, is now giving classic fairytales a dark treatment with psychological thriller Tell Me a Story. In a very competitive situation, with multiple streaming platforms pursuing, CBS All Access, CBS’ SVOD and live streaming service, has landed the project, from Williamson and Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment, with a straight-to-series order.
Written by Williamson, Tell Me a Story is based on a Spanish format. It takes the world’s most beloved fairy tales and reimagines them as a dark and twisted psychological thriller. Set in modern day New York City, the first season of this serialized drama interweaves “The Three Little Pigs,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” and “Jack and the Beanstalk” into an epic and subversive tale of love, loss, greed, revenge and murder.
Williamson executive produces with Kapital’s Aaron Kaplan and Dana Honor.
The original series was created by Marcos Osorio Vidal, in collaboration with Gustavo Malajovich and Hernan Goldfrid, and produced by Gonzalo Cilley and Andres Tovar of Resonant. It aired on the Spanish television network Antena tres. (You can watch an extended trailer with English subtitles below.)
At CBS All Access, Tell Me a Story joins original scripted series Star Trek: Discovery, The Good Fight, No Activity and the upcoming $1, Strange Angel and a Twilight Zone reboot.
This marks Dawson’s Creek creator Williamson’s first series outside of the traditional TV studio system after a lengthy stint at Warner Bros. TV where he created/co-created and executive produced such series as The Following, which also was a dark psychological thriller, The Vampire Diaries, Stalker, The Secret Circle and Time After Time.
Tell Me a Story is Kapital’s third streaming green light, joining dark comedy series Santa Clarita Diet, which is heading into its second season on Netflix, and another dark comedy, Widow, which was just ordered to pilot by YouTube Red.
There have been two fairytale-themed drama series on TV in the past few years that have both enjoyed long runs, ABC’s Once Upon a Time and NBC’s recently departed Grimm.
Williamson is repped by WME. Paradigm repped the rights to the format.