Vanessa Bayer to Co-Create and Star in Showtime Comedy ‘Big Deal’

Former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Vanessa Bayer is set to star in a comedy, “Big Deal,” at Showtime, from Annapurna Television.

The project, which Bayer has co-created with former “SNL” writer Jeremy Beiler, is a comedy in which a woman (Bayer) overcomes childhood leukemia to achieve her lifelong dream of becoming an on-air host at a home shopping network. Bayer’s character is partly based on her own personal life story as a leukemia survivor, which she was diagnosed with in her freshman year of high school.

Michael Showalter, who directed “The Big Sick” is on board to direct the pilot.

Also Read: HBO Lands David Simon’s Fascism Drama ‘The Plot Against America’

Bayer will pen the pilot script and executive produce with Beiler, along with former “Inside Amy Schumer” head writer Jessi Klein. Showalter and Jordana Mollick will also executive produce for Showalter Semi-Formal Productions, which has a first-look deal set up at Annapurna TV. Megan Ellison is executive producing for Annapurna, along with Sue Neagle. Ali Krug will co-executive produce.

The news comes a day after HBO put in development Annapurna’s “The Plot Against America” miniseries from David Simon and Ed Burns. Annapurna TV also has Netflix’s upcoming series, “Mixtape.”

Bayer and Beiler’s collaborations at “SNL” included her “Weekend Update” meteorologist Dawn Lazarus. Bayer was on “SNL” from 2010 to 2017. She also recently starred in the Netflix film, “Ibiza.”

Former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Vanessa Bayer is set to star in a comedy, “Big Deal,” at Showtime, from Annapurna Television.

The project, which Bayer has co-created with former “SNL” writer Jeremy Beiler, is a comedy in which a woman (Bayer) overcomes childhood leukemia to achieve her lifelong dream of becoming an on-air host at a home shopping network. Bayer’s character is partly based on her own personal life story as a leukemia survivor, which she was diagnosed with in her freshman year of high school.

Michael Showalter, who directed “The Big Sick” is on board to direct the pilot.

Bayer will pen the pilot script and executive produce with Beiler, along with former “Inside Amy Schumer” head writer Jessi Klein. Showalter and Jordana Mollick will also executive produce for Showalter Semi-Formal Productions, which has a first-look deal set up at Annapurna TV. Megan Ellison is executive producing for Annapurna, along with Sue Neagle. Ali Krug will co-executive produce.

The news comes a day after HBO put in development Annapurna’s “The Plot Against America” miniseries from David Simon and Ed Burns. Annapurna TV also has Netflix’s upcoming series, “Mixtape.”

Bayer and Beiler’s collaborations at “SNL” included her “Weekend Update” meteorologist Dawn Lazarus. Bayer was on “SNL” from 2010 to 2017. She also recently starred in the Netflix film, “Ibiza.”

‘Westworld’s’ Shannon Woodward to Produce Series Based on NXIVM Sex Cult

Annapurna Television is developing a scripted series inspired by the alleged sex cult Nxivm, with “Westworld” actress Shannon Woodward attached to executive produce.
The potential series is based on the New York Times report about the group…

Annapurna Television is developing a scripted series inspired by the alleged sex cult Nxivm, with “Westworld” actress Shannon Woodward attached to executive produce.

The potential series is based on the New York Times report about the group published last year. The report, authored by Barry Meier, featured interviews with multiple women who said the purported self-help group, led by Keith Raniere, recruited women to serve as “slaves” and branded them with Raniere’s initials.

No writer is attached yet, but Woodward will executive produce along with Megan Ellison, Sue Naegle and Susan Goldberg of Annapurna.

The group has come under renewed interest in recent weeks, after Raniere was arrested in Mexico last month on charges of sex trafficking. “Smallville” star Allison Mack, who was identified as Raniere’s top lieutenant in the Times report, was arrested last week.

Nxivm will also be the subject of an upcoming documentary series from Brian Graden, as well as the first installment of Elizabeth Vargas’ new journalistic enterprise at A&E.

A Justice Department complaint filed against Raniere in March alleges that he created a secret society within Nxivm in 2015 called “DOS,” which “operated with levels of women ‘slaves’ headed by ‘masters.'”

The Department of Justice also alleged that some of the DOS slaves became masters who “directly or implicitly required the slaves to have sex with Raniere.” In addition, the DoJ said, many of the DOS slaves were “branded on their pelvic areas using a cauterizing pen with a symbol which, unbeknownst to them, incorporated Raniere’s initials. During the branding ceremonies, slaves were required to be fully naked, and a master would order one slave to film the branding while the others restrained the slave being branded.”

If convicted of the crimes charged, Raniere and Mack each face mandatory minimum sentences of 15 years’ imprisonment, and up to life imprisonment.

The Hollywood Reporter first reported news of the series.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Allison Mack Out on Bail In NXIVM Case, Under House Arrest

Allison Mack Pitched Emma Watson, Kelly Clarkson to Join NXIVM Group Accused of Sex Trafficking

'Smallville' Star Allison Mack Accused of Recruiting for NXIVM, Group Accused of Sex Trafficking and Branding Women

Annapurna Television Inks ‘Big Sick’ Helmer Michael Showalter To First-Look Deal

Annapurna Television has inked a first-look deal with writer-director Michael Showalter and his new production company Semi-Formal Productions. The multiyear pact to produce, direct and write covers a current TV project in development at the company and future ones.
Showalter directed dramedy feature The Big Sick, which debuted at Sundance last year and won an Audience Award at SXSW en route to an Oscar nom for writers Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon. He worte and…

Annapurna Television has inked a first-look deal with writer-director Michael Showalter and his new production company Semi-Formal Productions. The multiyear pact to produce, direct and write covers a current TV project in development at the company and future ones. Showalter directed dramedy feature The Big Sick, which debuted at Sundance last year and won an Audience Award at SXSW en route to an Oscar nom for writers Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon. He worte and…

Hulu Orders ‘Search & Destroy’ Comedy Pilot From Carrie Brownstein & Annapurna

Hulu has given a pilot order to half-hour Search and Destroy, from Portlandia co-creator Carrie Brownstein and Annapurna Television.
Written and to be directed by Brownstein, Search and Destroy is loosely based on her best-selling memoir Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl, as well as her experiences as a young musician growing up in the Pacific Northwest during the underground feminist punk-rock movement in the 1990s. It’s described as a show about a young woman, a band, and a…

Hulu has given a pilot order to half-hour Search and Destroy, from Portlandia co-creator Carrie Brownstein and Annapurna Television. Written and to be directed by Brownstein, Search and Destroy is loosely based on her best-selling memoir Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl, as well as her experiences as a young musician growing up in the Pacific Northwest during the underground feminist punk-rock movement in the 1990s. It’s described as a show about a young woman, a band, and a…

Annapurna Television Acquires ‘The Changeling’ Novel To Develop As TV Series

Annapurna Television, the TV division of Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures, has acquired Victor LaValle‘s new novel The Changeling to develop as a television series. The book, described as a mix of horror, fantasy and realism, was published on June 13 by Spiegel & Grau.
In The Challenging, when Apollo and Emma have their baby, Brian, it feels like both a reward and a challenge for the new dad. Apollo, the son of a single mother, had been scraping by as a bookseller who…

Annapurna Television, the TV division of Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures, has acquired Victor LaValle's new novel The Changeling to develop as a television series. The book, described as a mix of horror, fantasy and realism, was published on June 13 by Spiegel & Grau. In The Challenging, when Apollo and Emma have their baby, Brian, it feels like both a reward and a challenge for the new dad. Apollo, the son of a single mother, had been scraping by as a bookseller who…

Elisabeth Moss Set to Star in Upcoming BBC America Mini-Series ‘Fever’

“The Handmaid’s Tale” star Elisabeth Moss’s next project is another book adaptation, according to an announcement from BBC America on Tuesday.

Moss will be starring and executive producing a period mini-series adaptation of “Fever,” a novel by Mary Beth Keane about “Typhoid Mary,” the woman who was discovered to be a healthy carrier of the sometimes deadly typhoid fever.

“I’m so honored to be working with the incredible team of collaborators we have pulled together with Phil, Robin, BBC America and Annapurna,” Moss said in a statement. “I look forward to telling this story about one of the most infamous women in America, ‘Typhoid Mary,’ a woman whose true tale has never been told.”

Also Read: Yes, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Is ‘Absolutely Feminist,’ Showrunner Clarifies

“Typhoid Mary,” or Mary Mallon, was an immigrant in early 20th century New York who found work as a cook. However, at every job she held, people seemed to come down with typhoid fever. She changed jobs multiple times, but at each of those places, multiple people became ill. She is believed to have infected around 22 people, with three of them ultimately dying.

Mallon was eventually taken into custody and quarantined, but always maintained she did nothing wrong.

“She is incredibly complicated, something I seem to enjoy playing,” Moss said of the character.

Also Read: Elisabeth Moss on Why She Became a Feminist: ‘Our Generation Has Taken Our Rights for Granted’ (Video)

The former “Mad Men” actress acquired the rights to the book and teamed up with Phil Morrison (“Junebug”), who is signed on to direct. Robin Veith (“True Blood”) is tapped to write the screenplay and will also executive produce. Annapurna’s Sue Naegle and Megan Ellison, along with Morrison, are also executive producing.

Moss is currently starring in the Hulu adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s book “The Handmaid’s Tale.” She’s also set to star in the second season of “Top of the Lake” for SundanceTV.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Elisabeth Moss on Why She Became a Feminist: ‘Our Generation Has Taken Our Rights for Granted’ (Video)

Watch Elisabeth Moss, Margaret Atwood Talk ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ on Facebook Live (Video)

‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Renewed for Season 2 on Hulu

Yes, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Is ‘Absolutely Feminist,’ Showrunner Clarifies

“The Handmaid’s Tale” star Elisabeth Moss’s next project is another book adaptation, according to an announcement from BBC America on Tuesday.

Moss will be starring and executive producing a period mini-series adaptation of “Fever,” a novel by Mary Beth Keane about “Typhoid Mary,” the woman who was discovered to be a healthy carrier of the sometimes deadly typhoid fever.

“I’m so honored to be working with the incredible team of collaborators we have pulled together with Phil, Robin, BBC America and Annapurna,” Moss said in a statement. “I look forward to telling this story about one of the most infamous women in America, ‘Typhoid Mary,’ a woman whose true tale has never been told.”

“Typhoid Mary,” or Mary Mallon, was an immigrant in early 20th century New York who found work as a cook. However, at every job she held, people seemed to come down with typhoid fever. She changed jobs multiple times, but at each of those places, multiple people became ill. She is believed to have infected around 22 people, with three of them ultimately dying.

Mallon was eventually taken into custody and quarantined, but always maintained she did nothing wrong.

“She is incredibly complicated, something I seem to enjoy playing,” Moss said of the character.

The former “Mad Men” actress acquired the rights to the book and teamed up with Phil Morrison (“Junebug”), who is signed on to direct. Robin Veith (“True Blood”) is tapped to write the screenplay and will also executive produce. Annapurna’s Sue Naegle and Megan Ellison, along with Morrison, are also executive producing.

Moss is currently starring in the Hulu adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s book “The Handmaid’s Tale.” She’s also set to star in the second season of “Top of the Lake” for SundanceTV.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Elisabeth Moss on Why She Became a Feminist: 'Our Generation Has Taken Our Rights for Granted' (Video)

Watch Elisabeth Moss, Margaret Atwood Talk 'The Handmaid's Tale' on Facebook Live (Video)

'Handmaid's Tale' Renewed for Season 2 on Hulu

Yes, 'The Handmaid's Tale' Is 'Absolutely Feminist,' Showrunner Clarifies

Elisabeth Moss To Produce & Star In ‘Fever’ TV Series Adaptation In Works With BBC America & Annapurna TV

Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale, Top of the Lake) is teaming with BBC America and Annapurna Television to develop a limited series adaptation of period drama Fever based on Mary Beth Keane’s novel, with Moss set to star. Moss, who additionally holds the rights to the novel, will also serve as an executive producer on the project.
Fever tells the story of the first known healthy carrier of typhoid fever who became known as “Typhoid Mary” as she spread typhoid across…

Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale, Top of the Lake) is teaming with BBC America and Annapurna Television to develop a limited series adaptation of period drama Fever based on Mary Beth Keane’s novel, with Moss set to star. Moss, who additionally holds the rights to the novel, will also serve as an executive producer on the project. Fever tells the story of the first known healthy carrier of typhoid fever who became known as “Typhoid Mary” as she spread typhoid across…

Coen Brothers To Write & Direct First TV Project ‘The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs’

The Coen brothers are partnering with Annapurna Television on The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs, a Western anthology series, their first project for TV.
Joel and Ethan Coen wrote the script, will direct and produce the project through their Mike Zoss Productions label. Megan Ellison and Annapurna Television’s President of Television, Sue Naegle, will serve as Executive Producers. Annapurna said it intends to pursue an innovative television and theatrical integrated approach to…

The Coen brothers are partnering with Annapurna Television on The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs, a Western anthology series, their first project for TV. Joel and Ethan Coen wrote the script, will direct and produce the project through their Mike Zoss Productions label. Megan Ellison and Annapurna Television's President of Television, Sue Naegle, will serve as Executive Producers. Annapurna said it intends to pursue an innovative television and theatrical integrated approach to…