The project, based on the popular 1996 film from Paramount Pictures, marks the first pilot order for Paramount Network, which launched in January, succeeding Spike. The Viacom network started off with several straight-to-series orders but its executives had stressed that they were also open to the pilot development model.
First Wives Club also marks the Paramount Network’s first collaboration with sibling production company Paramount Television, whose series portfolio includes Epix’s Berlin Station, Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, USA’s Shooter and TNT’s The Alienist. Closer ties and more cooperation among the different divisions has been a key mandate at Viacom following the company’s restructuring a year ago.
Like the film, which starred Diane Keaton, Bette Midler and Goldie Hawn, the series will be based in New York City. It will follow a group of women who band together after their marriages fall apart, and who find strength in their sisterhood — and of course a little revenge.
Oliver wrote the script and is executive producing. Karen Rosenfelt (the Twilight saga, The Devil Wears Prada) is executive producing alongside Scott Rudin, who produced the First Wives Club movie that, in turn, was based on the 1992 novel by Olivia Goldsmith.
A First Wives Club TV series reboot was originally developed with Rosenfelt and a different writer at sibling Viacom channel TV Land ,where it was picked up to pilot by Keith Cox, who now oversees development for Paramount Network. While TV Land ultimately passed on the pilot, the project was kept alive and moved to Paramount Network, designated as Viacom’s leading scripted brand, for redevelopment, with Oliver brought in to write a new script.