Another Norman Lear classic is eying a return to TV. Sony Pictures Television is developing a remake of Lear’s acclaimed 1970s series Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.
It hails from Schitt’s Creek co-star Emily Hampshire, who will co-write, executive produce and star as the title character Mary Hartman; Letterkenny creator Jacob Tierney, who will co-write with Hampshire; and Lear and Brent Miller’s Act III Productions. Tierney will serve as showrunner of the series, which will be shopped to buyers in the coming weeks, I hear.
The updated Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman is about a small-town woman (Hampshire) who feels like a nobody in every aspect of her life until she suddenly becomes a “Verified” social media somebody. The remake will bring the original show’s satirical look at consumer culture into today’s social [me]dia world, where “America’s Typical Consumer Housewife” has now become the product consumed when her nervous breakdown goes viral.
“I’ve been waiting for this to come true for over a decade and to get to do it with my best friend Jacob Tierney and newcomer Norman Lear,” Hampshire wrote after Deadline reported the news of the remake.
Hampshire and Tierney will executive produce with Lear and Miller. Sony Pictures TV, where Lear and Miller’s Act III is under a deal, is the studio.
Often referred to as one of the top cult classic TV shows of all time, the original Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, which aired in daily weeknight syndication from January 1976-July 1977, was a groundbreaking send-up of the soap opera format and a subversive satire of America’s media/consumer culture. The series followed Mary Hartman, played by Louise Lasser, who earned an Emmy nomination for her performance, through increasingly complex and compounding life events and scenarios often reflective of the changing social fabric of America in the 1970s. The new version brings a modern twist to the original characters and the fictitious small town of Fernwood, OH.
Hampshire is coming off a six-year run as fan-favorite Stevie Budd on Schitt’s Creek, which swept the 2020 Emmy TV comedy categories. The sixth and final season of Schitt’s Creek was released on Netflix last October and was just named the No. 6 most-streamed series of all of 2020. Hampshire was nominated for a SAG Award on Thursday alongside her castmates in the Comedy Series Ensemble category. Hampshire just wrapped shooting the Epix miniseries Chapelwaite opposite Adrien Brody, based on the Stephen King short story Jerusalem’s Lot.
Tierney is the award-winning producer, writer and director of the Crave/Hulu series Letterkenny, which just released its ninth season in December and is among the top-performing comedies across all streaming platforms. Tierney also has written and directed the features Twist, The Trotsky, Preggoland and the indie hit Good Neighbours.
The project marks a reunion of for Hampshire and Tierney; Hampshire starred in one of Tierney’s first films, The Trotsky, and the two have worked together on several of his other projects including Good Neighbours and most recently The Death and Life of John F. Donovan.
This is latest title from the Lear catalog the TV icon and his producing partner Miller are tackling under their company Act III Productions’ first-look overall deal with Sony Pictures Television. In addition to the acclaimed reimagining of One Day at a Time, Act III has the Emmy-winning Live in Front of a Studio Audience series of specials with Jimmy Kimmel, which stage live episodes of classic Lear sitcoms. Additionally, an animated version of Good Times was recently ordered by Netflix.
Act III’s feature documentary, Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It, premiered to strong reviews at last week’s Sundance Film Festival. I Carry You With Me, Heidi Ewing’s Sundance 2020 NEXT winner, executive produced by Lear and Miller and distributed by Sony Pictures Classics, will open in theaters May 21.
Hampshire is repped by Atlas Artists, Paradigm, Creative Drive Artists, K. L. Benzakein Talent and Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson. Tierney is repped by ICM Partners and GGA.
Here is Hampshire reaction to the announcement:
— Emily Hampshire (@emilyhampshire) February 4, 2021
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