Netflix has given a series order to Maid, a female-driven dramedy inspired by Stephanie Land’s New York Times best-selling memoir Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive. The project is from writer Molly Smith Metzler (Shameless, Orange Is the New Black); John Wells Productions; Margot Robbie’s LuckyChap Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television, where Wells is under a deal and where the project had been in development.
Written by Metzler, Maid will chronicle a single mother who turns to housekeeping to — barely — make ends meet as she battles against poverty, homelessness, and bureaucracy. Told primarily through her point of view, Maid will be a beautiful, alive, gritty and inspiring exploration of poverty in America.
Metzler executive produces and also will serve as showrunner. John Wells and Erin Jontow executive produce with John Wells Productions, along with Robbie, Tom Ackerley and Brett Hedblom via LuckyChap Entertainment, and Land. John Wells Productions, LuckyChap Entertainment and Warner Bros. TV co-produce.
“Stephanie Land’s book is a powerful and necessary read, with incredible insight into the struggles people face whilst just trying to get by,” LuckyChap Entertainment said in a statement. “We are thrilled to partner with John Wells and his amazing team, as well as WBTV and Netflix, to help this story reach as wide an audience as possible.”
Said Wells: “Stephanie tells the searing and remarkably human story of a young woman battling to find a secure future for herself and her infant daughter, Mia, in the face of overwhelming odds and governmental assistance programs of impossible complexity. We’re delighted to be able to partner with LuckyChap, Warner Bros, and the extraordinarily talented Molly Metzler to tell this moving story.”
Channing Dungey, VP Original Series at Netflix, added: “Maid is a poignant portrait that chronicles Stephanie Land’s strife and victories, and has the power to connect with our members around the world as they identify with her struggles and root for her success. We’re excited to share the stories inspired by Stephanie’s book and bring them to life along with WBTV, John Wells Productions and LuckyChap Entertainment.”
Metzler is an award-winning playwright and author of Cry it Out, Elemeno Pea, The May Queen and Carve. She recently adapted The Thing About Jellyfish for MWM Studios, Made Up Stories and Pacific Standard; and she rewrote the memoir Ashley’s War, also for Made Up Stories. She is currently a writer-producer on Showtime’s Shameless. Her writing credits also include Orange Is the New Black and Casual. Metzler is repped by Grandview and McKuin Frankel Whitehead.
Published in January by Hachette Books, Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive, debuted at No. 3 on The New York Times Best Seller list. The book, Land’s first, grew out of a 2015 article she wrote for Vox.
Veteran writer-producer-director Wells has spent nearly his entire TV career at WBTV, since landing a story editor job there in 1986. Since then, he has executive produced a slew of successful and critically praised series for Warner Bros. TV, including ER, The West Wing, Southland, Shameless and Animal Kingdom. JWP currently has more than a dozen projects in the works, including the provocative Heart of a Lion, written by Wells based on a Finnish film; The Red Bird Lane, penned by Sara Gran (Southland); My Ex-Life, written by Mickey Rapkin (Pitch Perfect) inspired by the Stephen McCaul novel; and Best of Both Worlds, a new adaptation of a British series by Shameless creator Paul Abbott.
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