Reese Witherspoon Producing Comedy ‘Americanized’ About Undocumented Iranian Family From Sara Saedi At ABC
ABC has put in development Americanized, a half-hour comedy inspired by Sara Saedi’s memoir Americanized: Rebel Without A Green Card, from Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine and ABC Studios, where Hello Sunshine has a broadcast overall deal.
Written by Saedi (iZombie), Americanized tells the story of a loving and off-beat Iranian family who’s been living with a huge secret: they’re undocumented immigrants. Told through an irreverent, heartfelt and a-political lens, the series will give viewers a window into the life of a Middle-Eastern household while exploring the universal truths that bond every type of “American” family.
In the book, Saedi shares her story of growing up in San Jose, California in a loving Iranian family and her shock when she discovers she and the rest of her family are undocumented.
Saidi executive produces with Hello Sunshine’s Witherspoon and Lauren Levy Neustadter. ABC Studios is the studio.
The deal comes nine years after ABC took a stab at an Iranian family comedy with Funny In Farsi, based on Firoozeh Dumas’s “Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America.” The project went to a pilot directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, marking the first pilot order for producer Aaron Kaplan, but did not make the cut to series.
In the past few years, ABC has been looking to expand its family comedy brand to better represent different sections of American society. The network successfully launched an African-American family comedy with Black-ish, an Asian American family comedy with Fresh Off the Boat and also tried to find another hit Latinx family comedy with Cristela. In addition to Americanized, ABC also is developing multi-generational Latinx family comedy Food and Familia from Peter Murrieta and Overbrook Entertainment starring Danny Trejo whose life inspired it.
In addition to the CW’s iZombie, Saedi previously wrote for Fox’s The Goodwin Games. She is now on the upcoming ABC/ABC Studios drama Grand Hotel. Saedi is repped by Gersh and Nacelle Company.
Hello Sunshine’s series portfolio includes a limited series at Hulu from Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, based on Celeste Ng’s 2017 bestseller Little Fires Everywhere; a comedy series for Apple created by Colleen McGuinness and inspired by Curtis Sittenfeld’s short-story collection You Think It, I’ll Say It; Apple series Are You Sleeping, executive produced by and starring Octavia Spencer; a limited series adaptation of the novel Daisy Jones & The Six for Amazon; and an Untitled Morning Show series at Apple produced by and starring Jennifer Aniston and Witherspoon. The company is repped by CAA and Gretchen Rush.
Inc.com have published their list of their 100 most impressive female entrepreneurs, and Reese is included:
100 Women Making Money, Creating Jobs and Changing the World
They are scientists, creatives, MBAs, data-nerds, and visionaries. For some, it’s the first time they’ve ever started a company. Others have been at this for decades. The Female Founders 100 are the entrepreneurs Inc. has been most intrigued by in the last year, whose smarts are rattling industries far and wide.
Hello Sunshine/Draper James
Every year seems like Witherspoon’s year, but the past few set records. In 2016, she launched Hello Sunshine, a new storytelling vehicle that aims to change the narrative around women–then went on to produce, star in, and win Emmys for HBO’s Big Little Lies while running her fashion and homewares brand, Draper James. Whether it’s through Hulu and Apple TV–she’s locked in development deals with both–her own on-demand TV channel, or her book club rivaling Oprah’s, Witherspoon is channeling her smarts and financial power to fix the gender imbalance in entertainment.
Reese kicked off her tour to launch her lifestyle book ‘Whiskey In A Teacup’ today, and started in New York City. She’s given several press interviews, and appeared on Good Morning America and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Reese chatted about her book and Big Little Lies on both shows, and also chatted about Legally Blonde 3, being a good hostess, and her kids going back to school during GMA. Then on Jimmy Fallon she participated in a very funny Lip Sync Charades with Lenny & Zoe Kravitz!
This post contains coverage from GMA and Jimmy Fallon, and we’ll have more press interviews posted for you soon…
August 18, 2018 • Category: Career, News & Gossip •
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The World’s Highest-Paid Actresses 2018: Scarlett Johansson Steals The Spotlight With $40.5 Million
Move over Emma Stone, Tinseltown has a new highest-paid actress. Scarlett Johansson leads this year’s ranking with $40.5 million in pretax earnings between June 1, 2017 and June 1, 2018, making her acting’s top-earning female lead.
Playing Black Widow in Marvel’s Avengers movies has become a lucrative role for Johansson, who quadruples her 2017 earnings to bump Stone from No. 1. She’ll return onscreen for the fourth installment of the superhero conglomerate series in 2019.
“The percent of budget cost have certainly skewed heavy, particularly on the Avengers movies, to cast now, whereas maybe in the early ones it was more visual effects or below the line,” said Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios President and producer last year. “But that’s okay because [the actors] are the best effects.”
Johansson edges Angelina Jolie (No. 2; $28 million) who returns to the ranking thanks largely to her upfront pay for Maleficent 2. Jennifer Aniston (No. 3; $19.5 million) still earns big bucks 14 years after the conclusion of Friends, making most of her money by endorsing the likes of Emirates airlines, Smartwater and Aveeno. Expect her paycheck to skyrocket next year when production begins on her forthcoming Apple series with Reese Witherspoon (No. 5; $16.5 million), for which the pair will receive an estimated $1.25 million an episode.
Just ahead of Witherspoon, who rejoins the list with movie earnings and Big Little Lies paychecks, is Jennifer Lawrence. The Hunger Games actress’ two most recent movies, Mother! and Red Sparrow, underperformed at the box office. But she still commands big bucks for her turns in the X-Men series and a high-paying Dior contract.
Together, the world’s 10 highest-paid actresses tallied a combined $186 million between June 1, 2017, and June 1, 2018, before fees and taxes. Earnings estimates are based on data from Nielsen, ComScore, Box Office Mojo and IMDB, as well as interviews with industry insiders. All figures are pretax; fees for agents, managers and lawyers are not deducted. Overall, the cumulative total is up 16% from $172.5 million in 2017.
Reese Witherspoon Sets ’70s Rock Drama Series at Amazon
Amazon Studios is ready to rock.
The Jennifer Salke-led streamer and retail giant has handed out a 13-episode order for a limited series based on the Taylor Jenkins Reid’s forthcoming book Daisy Jones & The Six.
The limited series landed at Amazon before it could be taken out to the marketplace. After Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine acquired rights to the book, Salke got a copy ahead of its March 2019 publication and aggressively pursued the TV rights to the title. The project was never taken to market.
Daisy Jones & The Six centers on a fictional rock band in the 1970s and follows their rise through the ranks of the L.A. music scene and beyond, eventually becoming one of the most legendary bands in the world. Amazon will distribute original music from the series (via Amazon Music), and the print and audiobook from Ballantine/Random House will also be available via Amazon.com and Audible.com.
The Disaster Artist duo Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber will pen the script and will oversee Daisy. Witherspoon and her Hello Sunshine banner topper Lauren Neustadter will exec produce alongside Circle of Confusion’s Brad Mendelsohn. Neustadter and Weber, whose credits include 500 Days of Summer and The Fault in Our Stars, will also exec produce. Author Jenkins will be credited as a producer. The series is a co-production between Amazon Studios, which controls worldwide rights, and Hello Sunshine.
“When I heard Hello Sunshine was developing Daisy Jones & The Six, I tracked down a copy right away and devoured it in one sitting. I loved it so much I had to take it off the market and bring it to Amazon Studios,” said Salke, head of Amazon Studios. “I was immediately struck by how perfectly it fit into our overall approach of bringing passionate creators and entertaining, compelling content to our Prime Video audience. Reese, Lauren and I are kindred spirits!”
Daisy becomes Hello Sunshine’s latest TV foray. In addition to the upcoming second season of awards darling Big Little Lies, the company also has Little Fires Everywhere — starring Witherspoon and Kerry Washington — at Hulu and three shows at Apple, including a morning show drama that she toplines alongside Jennifer Aniston. (Coincidentally, Witherspoon’s Big Little Lies co-star, Nicole Kidman, recently inked a first-look film and TV deal with Salke at Amazon.)
“As soon as I started reading Daisy Jones & The Six, I immediately fell head over heels in love with it, and I’m thrilled to be bringing it to the screen with Amazon and Jen Salke, whose passionate pursuit of the material spoke volumes,” said Witherspoon, who also has a blurb on the book jacket. “With Neustadter and Weber, two writers I deeply admire, stewarding this project, I am so confident that Daisy and her band’s journey toward finding their voice will leave just as permanent a mark with viewers around the world as it did with me.”
The drama marks a big play for Amazon Studios, which was among the bidders for Little Fires Everywhere. With the music rights, Amazon has another revenue stream that could prove profitable for the series in a way akin to what Fox achieved with Glee and Empire.
Daisy joins a roster of scripted fare at Amazon that also includes Lord of the Rings, Jack Ryan, Julia Roberts vehicle Homecoming, Matt Weiner’s The Romanoffs and the recently renewed Man in the High Castle, as well as the Emmy-nominated Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, among others.
Witherspoon, who now has six shows at four outlets, is repped by CAA and Hansen Jacobson. Hello Sunshine is with CAA and Gretchen Rush. Circle of Confusion is with CAA and Howard Abramson. Neustadter and Weber are with UTA, Kaplan Perrone and Sean Marks. Reid is with WME, Circle of Confusion, Park Literary and Media and Bloom Hergott.
On Tuesday Hello Sunshine announced the launch of their channel on DIRECTV and DIRECTV NOW, including Reese’s first unscripted show:
AT&T and Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine Announce Launch of VOD Channel Spotlighting Female Creators and Their Stories
AT&T* and Hello Sunshine is debuting 2 new female-driven series on DIRECTV, DIRECTV NOW and U-Verse with the launch of the Hello Sunshine Video On Demand (VOD) channel. Hello Sunshine produces engaging and distinctive new narratives with women at the center.
The VOD channel will premiere 2 female-driven original series:
– Witherspoon’s first unscripted series, “Shine On with Reese,” premiering July 17.
– The Home Edit’s “Master the Mess,” premiering Sept. 4.
Viewers can also watch curated original content including short-form and library film titles. Go to att.com/hellosunshine for a sneak peek at what’s to come.
Hello Sunshine was launched in November 2016 by Reese Witherspoon in partnership with The Chernin Group and AT&T’s Otter Media portfolio.
“AT&T was one of our first partners in the quest to bring female-centric storytelling to the forefront and we are especially proud of how these original series push that mission ahead,” said Sarah Harden, CEO, Hello Sunshine. “We’re looking forward to working with AT&T to develop more opportunities for women to see themselves and their stories reflected in entertainment.”
THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY AND HBO KICK OFF #READINGISLIT, A NATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO CELEBRATE AND PROMOTE THE WRITTEN WORD
The New York Public Library is joining forces with HBO on #ReadingIsLit, a national campaign to celebrate the written word, the power of storytelling and encourage people to read, talk about, and enjoy all things literary.
The campaign will feature writers, performers, and creators from popular HBO programs sharing what they’re reading, what stories inspire them, and what books they recommend. Through videos, interviews, social media interactions and more, they’ll also encourage members of the public to visit their local libraries and sign up for library cards.
Participants in the online component — which will take place across HBO and New York Public Library social media channels — include Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, and Shailene Woodley from “Big Little Lies;” Thandie Newton from “Westworld;” Mark Duplass, co-creator of “Room 104;” and Damon Lindelof, co-creator of “The Leftovers.”
The New York Public Library will also share a host of information at nypl.org/readingislit and www.hbo.com/readingislit, including book recommendations from its team of expert librarians, information about applying for library cards, videos, and more.
Offline, the Library will offer special book displays at its 88 neighborhood branches in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, featuring titles that have been adapted into HBO television shows and movies — such as the Song of Ice and Fire series (which became “Game of Thrones”), “Sharp Objects,” and “Fahrenheit 451” — as well as “read-alikes” chosen by librarians that should appeal to fans of HBO shows.
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