ABC Buys ‘Happy Birthday Avery Scott’ Drama From Rina Mimoun, Anna Fricke & Alex Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout

By Nellie Andreeva, Denise Petski

CBS TV Studios/Shutterstock

EXCLUSIVE: ABC has put in development Happy Birthday Avery Scott, a high-concept drama from writer-producer Rina Mimoun (Mistresses), Anna Fricke (Valor), Alex Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout production company and CBS Television Studios, where Mimoun, Fricke and Secret Hideout are under deals.

This marks Fricke’s third broadcast sale this cycle through CBS TV Studios. She is writing a reimagining of Walker, Texas Ranger starring Jared Padalecki for the CW, which she is executive producing with Dan Lin. She also has drama Drift with Black List writer Christopher Salmanpour, Craig Turk and  Lin set at CBS.

Written by Mimoun and Fricke, Happy Birthday Avery Scott is based on the book The Year We Turned Forty by Lisa Steinke and Liz Fenton. It’s Avery Scott’s birthday today and if you were to believe her Instagram, everything about her life is perfect. But when her first (of four) ex-husbands throws her a surprise party that her own mother doesn’t even attend, it sends Avery into an existential crisis prompting an emergency therapy session. Feeling semi-responsible for Avery’s empty and meaningless life, the therapist sends Avery home with a calming tea to help her sleep. When she wakes up the next morning, it’s 2001 and Avery is being given a second chance to reinvent herself and make her life more substantial than a hashtag.


Mimoun and Fricke executive produce with Secret Hideout’s Kurtzman and Heather Kadin. CBS Television Studios is the studio.

Mimoun was an executive producer on ABC’s Mistresses. She co-created and executive produced drama project Playing Dead with CBS TV Studios, which went to pilot in 2018 at the CW starring Tyler Ritter.

Fricke’s writing-producing credits include Valor, Wayward Pines and Minority Report.

Mimoun and Fricke have frequently worked together throughout their career, including on Dawson’s Creek, Everwood and Red Band Society.

Secret Hideout is behind CBS TV Studios’ Star Trek franchise, which Star Trek: Discovery co-creator Kurtzman oversees. The company also recently received a series order from CBS All Access for The Man Who Fell to Earth, based on the Walter Tevis novel and the cult classic 1976 film starring David Bowie, which Kurtzman co-wrote. Additionally, Secret Hideout is behind CBS TV Studios’ high-profile four-hour event miniseries based on former FBI Director James Comey’s bestselling book, A Higher Loyalty, which stars Jeff Daniels as Comey and Brendan Gleeson as President Donald Trump.

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