×

FremantleMedia Bringing Heather Lende’s ‘Find the Good’ to TV (EXCLUSIVE)

FremantleMedia has taken the rights to Heather Lende’s memoirs, “Find the Good” and “If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name,” and will package and pitch them to U.S. and international channels as an accessible family drama.

Lende grew up on Long Island’s North Shore before moving to Alaska in the 1980s. The books, based on her life as a small-town obituary writer who investigates the lives of her recently deceased neighbors, will form the basis of the series. Brian Pines, producer of ABC comedy “The Real O’Neals,” is Lende’s manager and will work on the new series with FremantleMedia.

Former Sundance TV executive Christian Vesper, who joined FremantleMedia last May, says the acquisition followed the drama team’s having seen a BBC article about Lende.

“We’ll package and develop it together, and Brian and I will executive produce it,” Vesper said. He added that in a market full of high-concept serialized fare, the aim is to make a broader, more accessible show. “We want to create an accessible family drama – look at the success of ‘This Is Us’ – and I think there will be interest in that. The audience wants something dramatic and family-based, and which is optimistic without being saccharine.”

Lende says that her obituary work provides for some uplifting stories. “Some people may think that what I do is morbid, but compared to front-page news these days, obituaries are downright inspirational,” she said. “I don’t write about death; I write about life, one person at a time, and I do it while living in community that is like a family.”

Talks are underway with a showrunner and writer, and FremantleMedia plans to pitch the project in the U.S. first. “The first step is to take it out in the U.S.,” Vesper said. “We want to take it to networks so it could go into their pilot season.”

More TV

  • Pinewood Studios James Bond

    Netflix's Shepperton Studios Deal Is Stretching the U.K.'s Production Limits

    Netflix’s huge new hub at Shepperton Studios outside London is a further fillip for Britain’s booming production sector. Amid jitters over Brexit and its effects on the economy, the streaming giant’s commitment is a vote of confidence in the U.K. entertainment industry and a continuing source of local jobs. But the decision by Netflix to [...]

  • BBC ITV BritBox Streaming

    BritBox to Roll Out in the U.K. in Fourth Quarter

    British broadcasters the BBC and ITV have formally agreed to launch their joint streaming service, BritBox, in the U.K. in the fourth quarter of 2019. It will be priced at £5.99 per month, making it the same price as the cheapest Netflix subscription in the U.K. ITV will control BritBox, holding a 90% stake. The [...]

  • Kamala Harris

    Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Face Rematch in Next Democratic Debate

    Former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris will have the opportunity to square off again in the second debate among Democratic hopefuls vying for their party’s nomination in the 2020 presidential election CNN, which will broadcast the next round of debates on July 30 and 31, televised a draw Thursday night that decided [...]

  • Jon Wax

    Jon Wax Joins Amazon Studios as Head of Genre Programming

    YouTube’s head of scripted programming Jon Wax is joining Amazon Studios as its head of genre programming, Variety has learned. Wax will take up the position recently vacated by Sharon Tal Yguado. He had joined YouTube in August 2017, heading up drama, unscripted and current programming for YouTube’s premium channel. Prior to that, he had [...]

  • South Park Donald Trump

    TV News Roundup: Comedy Central Sets 'South Park' Season 23 Premiere Date

    In today’s TV News roundup, Comedy Central announces the premiere date of “South Park” Season 23 and Netflix sets the premiere date and offers a first look at “Unbelievable.”  DATES Comedy Central announced that Season 23 of “South Park” will premiere Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 10 p.m. Because the episodes are written and animated so [...]

  • US actor Kevin Spacey (C) is

    Kevin Spacey Shouldn't Be Exonerated in Hollywood Even as Criminal Case Ends (Column)

    The news that criminal charges against Kevin Spacey in the Nantucket groping case have been dropped raises an inevitable question: does this mean he can claw his way back into Hollywood’s good graces? Or maybe more importantly: should it?  Spacey’s rapid descent was startling, even as it quickly followed that of the once untouchable producing [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content