AMC Studios has opened a writers’ room for a potential series based on Anne Rice’s “Lives of the Mayfair Witches” for AMC+ and AMC, the company announced as part of its portion of TCA’s summer virtual press tour today. The project is being developed as part of AMC’s scripts-to-series model, which includes the commissioning of a writers’ room to develop additional material and produce backup scripts for handpicked projects which, in success, would move straight to a series order. This is one of three writers rooms opened by AMC Studios in this round; the other two potential series given the treatment are hourlong Invitation to a Bonfire and half-hour Demascus.
Lives of the Mayfair Witches would be the second series in AMC’s planned Anne Rice universe, following the recent greenlight of Interview with the Vampire, which is slated for a 2022 premiere.
Esta Spalding (Masters of Sex, On Becoming a God in Central Florida) and Michelle Ashford (Masters of Sex, The Pacific) are set as writers and executive producers of the series. Spalding, who has an overall deal with AMC Studios, would serve as showrunner if Lives of the Mayfair Witches is greenlit.
The series will focus on an intuitive young neurosurgeon who discovers that she is the unlikely heir to a family of witches. As she grapples with her newfound powers, she must contend with a sinister presence that has haunted her family for generations.
AMC Networks last year acquired the rights to Rice’s works, encompassing 18 titles including the Vampire Chronicles and Mayfair Witches series, with producer Mark Johnson, who also has an overall deal with AMC Studios, leading the development the full Anne Rice collection into a streaming and television universe.
“We have an enormous amount of ambition for these iconic works, which have captivated and entertained millions of fans around the world, so it is gratifying to be moving so quickly from the Interview greenlight to exploring a second series with such talented and accomplished writers and creators as Esta and Michelle,” said Dan McDermott, president of original programming for AMC Networks and AMC Studios. “We take our responsibility to deliver compelling television to both existing and new fans of this material incredibly seriously, as we move deliberately to develop these titles into a new franchise and universe for AMC+ and AMC.”
The Anne Rice catalog acquired by AMC includes:
The Vampire Chronicles Series: “Interview with the Vampire,” “The Vampire Lestat,” “The Queen of the Damned,” “The Tale of the Body Thief,” “Memnoch The Devil,” “The Vampire Armand,” “Pandora,” “Vittorio the Vampire,” “Blood and Gold,” “Prince Lestat,” “Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis,” and “Blood Communion: A Tale of Prince Lestat;”
The Lives Of The Mayfair Witches Series : “The Witching Hour,” “Lasher,” “Taltos;”
The Vampire Chronicles/The Lives Of The Mayfair Witches- Crossover Novels: “Merrick,” “Blackwood Farm” and “Blood Canticle.” Together, The Vampire Chronicles and The Lives of the Mayfair series have sold more than 150 million copies worldwide.