HBO Developing ‘You Know You Want This’ Anthology Series About Gender, Sex & Power From ‘The Leftovers’ Duo

Carly Wray Lila Byock
Courtesy of CAA

HBO has bought for development You Know You Want This, an anthology drama series project based on Kristen Roupenian’s upcoming short story collection from former The Leftovers scribes Carly Wray and Lila Byock.


Written and executive produced by Wray and Byock, You Know You Want This will explore the complex and often dark and funny connections between gender, sex and power across genres. The project falls under Wray’s overall deal with HBO.

Photo: Elisa Roupenian Toha

Roupenian’s collection will be published in January 2019 by Scout Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. Her debut story in the New Yorker, “Cat Person,” a tale about bad dates that sparked conversations about sexual consent and gender dynamics, became the magazine’s second most-read article of 2017. Cat Person is part of the to-be-published collection, but is not included in the deal with HBO.

Byock and Wray, who met while working on Damon Lindelof’s HBO drama series The Leftovers, brought the book to HBO to develop as a potential anthology series that prioritizes female voices – writers, directors, and actors.

A graduate of USC’s Peter Stark Producing Program, Wray was most recently a producer on Season 2 of Westworld. She got her start on Mad Men, where she began as writer’s assistant and ultimately shared in a WGA Award for the drama series’ final season.

Byock is currently a producer on Lindelof’s forthcoming adaptation of Watchmen for HBO. In addition to The Leftovers, she has written for Hulu’s upcoming Castle Rock and WGN America’s Manhattan. She spent five years on the New Yorker editorial staff.

Roupenian recently sold her horror-themed script Bodies Bodies Bodies on spec to A24, where it’s being developed as a feature film.

Wray is repped by WME, Grandview, and attorney Tara Kole of Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown. Byock is repped by CAA and attorney Jamie Mandelbaum of Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer. Roupenian is repped by CAA and Jenni Ferrari-Adler at Union Literary.

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