EXCLUSIVE: Ryan Michelle Bathe (Empire) is set as the third lead alongside Jill Scott and Michelle Buteau in First Wives Club, Paramount Network’s dramedy based on the popular 1996 Paramount film. The 10-episode series hails from Girls Trip co-writer Tracy Oliver and Paramount Television.
The First Wives Club series, like the movie that starred Diane Keaton, Bette Midler and Goldie Hawn, will be set in New York City. It follows Ari (Bathe), Bree (Buteau) and Hazel (Scott), who band together after their marriages fall apart and find strength in their sisterhood — and of course a little revenge.
Bathe’s Ari is a confident, type-A attorney with impeccable style and not a single of strand of hair out of place. She was on track to make partner but sidestepped her career to advance her husband’s political ambitions and raise their two kids. When a crisis reunites her with her best friends from college, she is able to translate her kick-ass courtroom skills to help them reclaim their independence and rekindle the camaraderie (and fun) of their college glory days.
Oliver is writing the series and is executive producing along with Karen Rosenfelt and Scott Rudin, a producer on the First Wives Club movie that, in turn, was based on the 1992 novel by Olivia Goldsmith. Tony Hernandez of JAX Media will also serve as executive producer.
Filming on the series is scheduled to begin in New York City this fall for a 2019 premiere. First Wives Club will launch Paramount Network’s new Thursday dramedy night in January. It will be followed by Younger Season 6 and new series Emily in Paris, both from Darren Star, slated to debut on the same night in spring and summer, respectively.
Bathe played a lead in ABC’s comedy pilot Steps this past season. She also has been recurring on Fox’s Empire, NBC’s This Is Us and the upcoming ABC series The Rookie. Bathe is repped by the Kohner Agency and Principal Entertainment LA.