Following the success of Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman’s Big Little Lies, Witherspoon has teamed with another top actress, Scandal star Kerry Washington, to topline and executive produce a limited series based on a bestselling book, Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere.
Written by Liz Tigelaar (Casual) , the project, from Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine, Washington’s Simpson Street and ABC Signature Studios, is being pitched to premium and streaming networks, garnering strong interest from buyers.
Published last year, Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere takes place in Shaker Heights, Ohio where Ng grew up. The novel is about two families living in 1990s Shaker Heights who are brought together through their children. The novel, an instant bestseller, was Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine’s September 2017 book pick.
Hello Sunshine’s Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter found the book before in was published.. Witherspoon was interested in producing and starring in a limited series adaptation of Little Fires Everywhere, and so was Washington. The two teamed up and approached Tigelaar to pen the adaptation and serve as showrunner. The project came together at ABC Signature, the cable/streaming division of ABC Studios where Hello Sunshine has a network-only deal and Simpson Street has an overall deal. Hello Sunshine and ABC Signature will serve as studio co-production partners on the project. This is Hello Sunshine’s first TV effort as a studio.
Witherspoon and Neustadter will executive produce for Hello Sunshine, while Washington will executive produce for Simpson Street and Pilar Savone will oversee the project for the company.
In addition to writing the adaptation, Tigelaar will serve as executive producer and showrunner. The author of the novel, Ng, will act as producer.
Hello Sunshine has the Emmy-winning Big Little Lies at HBO, which is gearing up for Season 2. At Apple, the company has three series, an untitled morning show drama starring Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, which has a two-season order, a comedy starring Ktisten Wiig, which has a straight-to-series order, and Are You Sleeping, co-produced by Chernin Entertainment, which is eying a green light.
Washington’s Simpson Street just landed a pilot order at ABC for comedy Man of the House starring Alyson Hannigan.
Tigelaar most recently served as executive producer and showrunner of the Hulu series Casual. She has LA Woman dramedy in the works at Hulu based on Eve Babitz’s memoirs via TiStar TV. Tigelaar previously created the CW series Life Unexpected.
ABC Signature Studios has been expanding its footprint in the premium space. Its breakout new series, SMILF on Showtime and and Marvel’s Runaways on Hulu, are being joined by multi-camera comedy Rev Run, recently picked up straight to series by Netflix. ABC Signature previously collaborated with Washington on the HBO film Confirmation, which she headlined and executive produced.
Witherspoon is represented by CAA, LBI and attorney Gretchen Rush. Hello Sunshine is repped by CAA and Rush. Washington is repped by CAA, Washington Square Arts, and Rush. Ng is repped by UTA and Julie Barer at The Book Group. Tigelaar is represented by UTA and attorney Wendy Kirk.