In a competitive situation, ABC has landed Family History, giving a put pilot commitment to the drama project from writer Deborah Schoeneman (Girls, The Newsroom,), ABC Studios and studio-based Mandeville Television.

Penned by Schoeneman, the hourling family drama is inspired by the recent explosion in genetic genealogy testing. It follows a young tech reporter in the Bay area whose life changes when she discovers a family secret via a DNA-testing web site. The show explores nature versus nurture and how technology has caught up to our secrets. We may be the last generation to have secrets.


The number of people who have had their DNA analyzed with direct-to-consumer genetic genealogy tests more than doubled during 2017. 1 in 25 American adults now have access to personal genetic data. People use it to track down relatives they didn’t know existed or had lost touch with, and law enforcement use the databases to solve cases, including recently identifying the elusive Golden State Killer.

The show would also draw on Schoeneman’s real-life experiences. She started her career as a journalist before segueing to TV and book writing. Schoeneman was most recently a supervising producer on Starz’s Sweetbitter and previously wrote for the first two seasons of Lena Dunham’s Girls and the last season of Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom, both on HBO.

Schoeneman executive produces Family History with David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Laurie Zaks of Mandeville Television..

Mandeville TV has the upcoming ABC/ABC Studios legal drama The Fix. Schoeneman is repped by UTA and Morris Yorn.