Under her overall deal at Universal Television via her My So-Called Company Banner, Julie Plec has set a new development slate at the studio beginning with “Clifton,” based on Margaret Peterson Haddix’s young adult novel “Running Out of Time.”
“Clifton,” which is now in development at Peacock, will be adapted by Aisha Porter-Christie. The series follows 17-year-old Jazzie Smith, who was born and raised in the idyllic, island village of Clifton, a sanctuary for runaway slaves and others who fled the United States at the height of the Civil War. When a mysterious stranger from the mainland washes up on shore, Jazzie learns a truth about the island’s origins that shatters everything she thought she knew to be true. Plec executive produces alongside My So-Called Company president Emily Cummins as well as Kevin Misher through Misher Films. Misher Films executive Andy Berman will serve as a producer.
Also among the slate is “Douglass Medical” created and written by Ayanna Floyd. The series follows Dr. Vanessa Pilgrim, who suffers a devastating professional scandal and is forced to return home to Washington, D.C. to build a new life as associate chief of emergency medicine at Douglass University Hospital — a struggling teaching hospital on the campus of a historically Black college. The only problem is that the job comes with whispers of nepotism, pressure from her mother, who is the Dean of Douglass’ Medical School, and a reckoning with an 18 year-old secret.
In “Freeman,” created and written by Adam Starks, a family moves to a small, picturesque town in Georgia after acquiring a lucrative inheritance, including the mysterious house known as Freeman Manor. It’s soon discovered that there are mysteries and darkness hidden within the walls and the town at large that go back generations.
“Stay Gold,” based on the novel of the same name by Tobly McSmith, who will adapt the series with Drew Greenberg, is a romantic dramedy about a transgender teenager. He begins his senior year of high school struggling to establish a new identity in the face of a new school and environment, while trying to win the love of the girl of his dreams.
“This Savage Song,” based on the novel by Victoria Schwab, who will adapt alongside Plec, is a romantic horror fantasy about two teens in a broken world, where violent acts breed actual monsters. Gina Marcheschi will executive produce along with Plec and Cummins.
These new series, each executive produced by Plec and Cummings, join the six titles My So-Called Company is already developing at Universal, including “Dead Day,” which was picked up straight to series at Peacock with longtime collaborator Kevin Williamson, and “Vampire Academy” at Peacock, which is set to premiere Sept. 15. Plec entered her overall deal in 2020.
Additionally, Joey DeAngelis has been promoted to director of development at My So-Called Company, and Marc Parra recently joined as creative executive from ABC Signature.
“When I first met with Universal Television to discuss an overall deal, I told them that I believe in earning my keep, and this slate reflects that promise. Between Emily and our team at My So-Called Company and the tremendous group at Universal Television, we’ve been able to build projects that will not just take the audience on an emotional thrill ride, but that also say a little something about the world we live in,” said Plec.
“When we closed our deal with Julie, we said the sky’s the limit, and she’s absolutely reaching new heights with this upcoming roster,” said Erin Underhill, president of Universal Television. “The depth and breadth of her development slate, from doctors to monsters and soap to spectacle, proves that Julie’s creativity is boundless, and we’re excited to bring these diverse projects to market in the near future.”