ABC has handed a pilot order to The Hypnotist’s Love Story, a drama series based on the bestselling book by Big Little Lies author Liane Moriarty. The project hails from Heather Graham, who will play one of the two leads and will executive produce; writer Katie Wech (Jane the Virgin); ABC Studios; and studio-based Mandeville Television.
This is the first pilot season order for ABC and first pilot order for the network’s new entertainment president Karey Burke. The network has two other pilots that are in various casting stages, comedy Happy Accident and drama NYPD Blue, a sequel to the iconic series
Written by Wech, The Hypnotist’s Love Story centers on successful hypnotherapist Ellen, who after a string of failed romances is optimistic about her current boyfriend, until he reveals a disturbing truth: a stalker ex-girlfriend Sasha (Graham) who has been following him for years. Ellen finds herself intrigued, and oddly thrilled by the stalker, entirely unaware that they’ve already met.
Wech and Graham executive produce with David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Laurie Zaks of Mandeville Television. ABC Studios is the studio.
Graham has been the driving force behind the project. She brought the book to Mandeville and ABC Studios after meeting with several producers. The pitch was then honed at the studio and sold to ABC in October.
Graham most recently wrote, directed and starred in the feature Half Magic, which was released earlier this year. Her recent TV series credits include Get Shorty, Law & Order: True Crime and Flaked. She is repped by Risa Shapiro, Paradigm, APA for Lit and Morris Yorn Barnes.
Wech serves as co-executive producer on the final season of the CW’s Jane the Virgin. She recently worked in the same capacity on Star and Rizzoli & Isles. Wech is repped by Verve.
Moriarty is the author of seven international bestselling novels, with Big Little Lies, The Husband’s Secret and Truly Madly Guilty each claiming the No. 1 spot on The New York Times Best Seller list. HBO’s multiple Emmy-winning series Big Little Lies is readying a second installment with Moriarty producing. Moriarty is repped by Jerry Kalajian of Intellectual Property Group on behalf of Fiona Inglis of Curtis Brown Australia and Faye Bender of The Book Group.
At ABC, Mandeville, which is behind ABC/ABC Studios’ midseason legal drama series The Fix, also has drama Family History with writer Deborah Schoeneman, which has a put pilot commitment.