Discovery Plus is venturing into scripted development, with the streamer acquiring the TV rights to the book “Girls with Bright Futures” by Tracy Dobmeier and Wendy Katzman, Variety has learned exclusively.
The move to develop the series, which is in the very early stages, is significant given that Discovery Plus is largely made up of original unscripted programming and library content from channels like HGTV, TLC, Discovery Channel, and Food Network among others. There are scripted library shows available on Discovery Plus already, however, including scripted shows from Discovery Channel and acquired titles from Lifetime. There is also the film “Resurrection” from MGM and Lightworks. According to an individual with knowledge of the plans, Discovery Plus will still focus mainly on unscripted going forward.
The plan is currently to develop “Girls With Bright Futures” as a miniseries. The book was originally published in February 2021. It deals with a college admissions scandal in an elite Seattle community in which a group of mothers will do anything they can to make sure their daughters get accepted into the best universities. No writer is currently attached to the adaptation.
Discovery Plus first launched in India in March 2020 before debuting in the U.S. and elsewhere in January 2021. Per Discovery’s most recent earnings report last week, it has attracted 13 million streaming subscribers to date.
The move to develop scripted shows at Discovery Plus is not altogether unsurprising, given that services are doing all they can to stand out in an increasingly crowded direct to consumer field dominated by giants like Netflix, Disney, and HBO Max. It is worth noting, though, that Discovery CEO David Zaslav said at the recent UBS conference in December “We feel like scripted has had its moment and this is our time.”