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Freeform Orders ‘Issues’ Pilot for Scripted Series Inspired by ‘Cosmo’ Editor Joanna Coles (EXCLUSIVE)

Joanna Coles Cosmo Freeform
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Freeform has ordered a pilot for “Issues,” a scripted series inspired by the life of Joanna Coles, the editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, Variety has learned exclusively.

The project had previously been in development with NBC, and hails from Universal Television.

“Issues” gives a glimpse into the outrageous lives and loves of those responsible for a global women’s magazine. Their struggles are about finding your identity, managing friendships and getting your heart broken, all while wearing the perfect jeans to flatter any body type. The potential series is not specifically a Cosmopolitan show, but rather inspired by Coles’ experiences.

Sarah Watson (“Parenthood”) created “Issues” and will exec produce with Coles, David Bernad (“Superstore”) and Ruben Fleischer (“Superstore,” “Zombieland”). Holly Whidden is a co-executive producer. Universal TV will produce with The District.

Aside from being on NBC’s development slate — but never getting picked up to pilot — “Issues” is not the first take at a series from Coles. Two development seasons ago, the comedy “Sleeping With Other People” was in the works from writer-director Leslye Headland with the same producing team, including Coles. That project was about a woman who restarts her life as the sex editor for a prestigious New York-based glossy.

For Freeform, “Issues” is another project with young adult themes for the cabler’s “Becomer” audience, the 14-34 demo. With the transition from ABC Family to Freeform, the brand is embracing slightly older-skewing projects. Earlier today, the net ordered two new series: “Famous in Love,” from “Pretty Little Liars” creator Marlene King, which will star Bella Thorne; and “Cloak and Dagger,” which marks Freeform’s first-ever Marvel series.