Paris-based Mother Production, the company behind hit series “Call My Agent!,” now with Season 4 in development, is teaming with Silex (“French Touch”) and writer-creators Judith Havas and Noemie de Lapparent on “Purple,” a drama set at a ‘90s Paris lesbian nightclub.
Pushing the envelope on French TV’s treatment of gender issues, “Purple” was announced by title at least on Monday as one of the series to be presented at Series Mania’s Co-Pro Pitching Sessions on March 25.
An eight-part, 40 minute-episode series, “Purple” weaves the stories of five women who open a women-only club, Purple, in late ‘90s Paris. Among them are Diane, a young student, fashion model and ingenue who only realizes how little she knows about herself when she meets Manu, an ebullient but insecure nightlife entrepreneur; and Rebecca, Manu’s literature teacher, battling patriarchal conservatism at university. Further characters are Zoe, described by Mother Production in a statement as “an ambitious but ambiguous D.J.,” and Samia, “full of fear but soon very daring.”
Over Season 1, the club expands and flourishes, becoming a “thrilling” but sometimes “dangerous” place. Season 1 ends with the club opening up to men.
Silex’s Judith Nora and Priscilla Bertin will produce with Mother Production’s Harold Valentin, Aurélien Larger and Simon Trouilloud. “Purple” now has a bible and a treatment of Ep. 1.
“‘Purple’ is about feminine emancipation through partying, music and love… self discovery and the need to be part of a group to exist,” Mother Production’s Valentin said in a statement.
“The show is about how five women create a safe, free, and crazy space, in the heart of a world dominated by men – the night in Paris, and convinced everyone, male and female, that it was the best place to be,” Valentin observed.
“It’s a show not so long before #MeToo! – about how marginal people – here lesbians – can be at the root of change,” he added.
The drama is loosely inspired by Pulp, a legendary French lesbian club that closed in 2007 and which, said Mother Production, redefined the rules of the French dance-floor and the electronic music scene.
Havas’ story and writing credits include 10 episodes of family comedy “Fais pas ci, fais pas ça” (“Desperate Parents”), which ran for nine seasons on France 2; two episodes of hospital dramedy “Nina” and “Call My Agent!” and an episode of “Papa ou maman.”
Novelist Noémie de Lapparent collaborated on the screenplay of movie “Snow,” Aida Begic’s Cannes Critics’ Week Grand Prix winner.
Pushing into scripted fiction which defies conservative gender casting, Mother Production is also developing for public broadcaster channel France 2 “La Garconne,” a Roaring Twenties Paris-set crime drama, In it, a young woman, falsely accused of murder, dresses as a man to enter the French police and find the guilty party. Investigating, she transforms into feisty flapper at night. Women were barred from the French police force until 1968, Valentin said.
Also in development, Mother Production is adapting with French network TF1 “La Tribu,” a French reimagining of Swedish comedy-drama hit “The Bonus Family,” an early Netflix Swedish pick-up first broadcast on SVT, about the trails and tribulations of a young coupls, their exes, and respective children.
“We try to do shows that couldn’t have been made 10 years ago, which anticipate upcoming trends forging the world of today and tomorrow,” Valentin said.