J.J. Abrams, Sara Bareilles Team for Apple Series From ‘I Am Sam’ Writer

Apple has given a straight-to-series order to the half-hour dramedy “Little Voices,” which boasts J.J. Abrams and Sara Bareilles among its executive producers, Variety has learned.

The series is described as a love letter to the diverse musicality of New York which explores the universal journey of finding your authentic voice in your early 20s. Bareilles, who is hosting the upcoming 72nd Tony Awards, will provide original music. Apple has ordered a 10-episode first season.

Jessie Nelson, whose previous screenwriting credits include “I Am Sam,” “Stepmom, and “Corrina, Corrina,” will write, executive produce, direct the first episode, and serve as showrunner. Nelson previously collaborated with Bareilles on the acclaimed Tony Award–nominated musical “Waitress.”

The series is produced by Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. Abrams and Bareilles will executive produce along with Bad Robot’s Ben Stephenson and Nelson.

This is Abrams’ and Bad Robot’s latest high-profile TV project. Bad Robot’s current slate includes “Westworld,” which is in its second season at HBO. Bad Robot is also behind the upcoming Stephen King–inspired drama “Castle Rock” for Hulu, and the upcoming HBO dramas “Demimonde”–which Abrams also created– and “Lovecraft Country,” which is aslo executive produced by Jordan Peele. Abrams also co-wrote, produced and directed “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and will also co-write, produce and direct the upcoming “Star Wars: Episode IX.” Abrams also produces the “Mission: Impossible” and “Star Trek” film franchises.

Bareilles burst onto the music scene with her hit song “Love Song” in 2007. She has since received six Grammy nominations and released multiple chart-topping albums and singles. Her 2015 book “Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) In Song” is a New York Times bestseller. She made her Broadway debut when she wrote the music for the new show “Waitress,” for which she received her first Tony Award nomination for Best Score and a 2017 Grammy Award nomination for Best Musical Theater Album. Most recently, she starred as Mary Magdalene in NBC’s live staging of “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

Abrams and Bad Robot are repped by CAA. Bareilles is repped by Paradigm, Full Stop Management, and Schreck Rose Dapello & Adams. Nelson is repped by WME.

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