Jennifer Carpenter Developing ‘Death Class’ as Drama Series

Jennifer Carpenter
Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Actress Jennifer Carpenter and producer George Stelzner are developing a drama series based on the recent nonfiction book “The Death Class: A True Story About Life.”

“Dexter” alum Carpenter and Stelzner have optioned the rights to the book, penned by former Los Angeles Times writer Erika Hayasaki and published in January by Simon & Schuster.

“Death Class” revolves around Norma Bowe, a Ph.D and registered nurse who teaches a class in preparing for death at Kean University in New Jersey. The course has gained national attention for Bowe’s fearless exploration of end-of-life issues and her approach to helping students (and clients of her consulting practice) use an array of techniques to come to grips with the reality of mortality.

“Norma is such a dynamic force,” said Carpenter. “Her world is rich and textured, and the results of her work are inexplicably redemptive and life-affirming.”

Stelzner is a former Hallmark Entertainment exec who heads West Egg Studios, which specializes in handling literary adaptations. The shingle is at work on projects for Fox, FX, ABC Studios, Fox TV Studios, Spike and A+E Networks.

“The content of ‘Death Class’ is such fertile ground for series development,” said Stelzner.

Carpenter and Stelzner are starting to look for a writer to adapt the book to a series.

Carpenter’s move on “Death Class” comes just as she’s wrapped production as a co-star of the ABC/Sony Pictures TV drama pilot “Sea of Fire.”

She’s repped by WME and Untitled Entertainment. Stelzner’s with Amy Schiffman at Intellectual Property Group. Hayasaki is repped by Robbins Office, and the option deal was handled by CAA.



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  1. Nicole says:

    I am so glad she is still in the spotlight and going after (and making) new works of art outside the box and Dexter shadow professionally herself. Look forward to her and Michael’s new projects like Michael’s Cold in July (still yet to see kill your darlings) and would love to see The realistic Jones’..and ofcourse Jen’s Sea of Fire. Don’t stop guys!! Huge fan of both of them! The only celebrities I really honestly admire and respect!

  2. SS says:

    Dr. Bowe’s class was the most amazing experience of my college career. I will never forget her class. I really hope this comes into fruition.

  3. Mrs. Five says:

    I took Dr. Bowe’s class at Kean University. We visited Funeral Homes, Hospice Centers, the Medical Examiner’s Office in Newark to watch live autopsies…such an amazing class and experience. Dr. Bowe is an inspiration and am so glad she is getting recognized for it!

  4. susan says:

    Jennifer Carpenter is such an amazing actress, i wish her much success.

  5. Barbara Hollis says:

    At last, a venue & education for the USA, the “most death-denying, total avoidance of even the word “death” society in world, where humans no longer “die”, they just “pass on”. KUDOS & SUCCESS!!

  6. So when does the show air?

  7. Caroline Jerski says:

    Am a big fan of Ms. Carpenter ..

  8. Need* It’d be nice if you could edit your posts.

  9. I ned to know if she’s also starring in it though. That is unclear. Please say she is.

  10. kasilversun says:

    I’m a hospice and vigil volunteer … this sounds like a rich, life affirming and enlightening project.

  11. Simon C says:

    Can’t wait to see Jennifer in something new and gritty. I was hoping Dexter would spin off into something similar with Jennifer in it, but the new projects are promising.

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