The Discovery Channel’s premium streaming service Discovery Plus launched in the U.S. during the first few weeks of 2021. With millions of new subscribers behind them, the company is priming itself to compete in the ever-expanding SVOD market by following in Netflix’s now well-worn footsteps and introducing platform-exclusive scripted content to their library. On May 3, Discovery Plus announced that development had commenced on a thriller miniseries titled Girls With Bright Futures, as reported by Variety. The following day, the green light was given to Confessions of a Crime Queen, an anthology series executive produced by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson (Get Rich or Die Tryin’, Power Book III: Raising Kanan), Deadline reports.
Girls With Bright Futures is based on a new novel by first-time authors Tracy Dobmeier and Wendy Katzman. It is set in Seattle, Washington and chronicles three mothers’ struggles to get their private school-educated teenage daughters a highly coveted single spot at Stanford University, according to Deadline. “Dobmeier and Katzman… capture the madness of college admissions season, from the expert-level parental manipulation of school administrators and the viper dens of parent cocktail parties to the women’s tense home lives riddled with unhealthy coping mechanisms. As secrets unfold, we witness the worst familial behavior. Stolen DNA profiles and plagiarized essays are only the tip of the iceberg,” writes Kirkus Reviews. The upcoming series adaptation is being shepherded to the screen by four-time Emmy nominee John Goldwyn (Dexter, Dopesick) and Karen Rosenfelt (Twilight, The New Mutants), as reported by Deadline. The novel’s authors posted on their shared Instagram account to confirm that the adaptation is in progress at Discovery Plus.
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Katzman publicly denied that the real-life Operation Varsity Blues bribery scandal inspired the first draft of Girls With Bright Futures: “[The book] was a way for us to explore why so many parents are willing to do just about anything to give their kids a leg up to get into their dream schools, and when we say ‘their dream schools,’ we’re not necessarily talking about the kids. And for the record, we were almost finished with our manuscript when the Operation Varsity Blues college admissions scandal broke,” via Goodreads.
On the flip side of things, Discovery Plus’s other scripted series takes its inspiration directly from the world of true crime. Each season of Confessions of a Crime Queen will narrate the story of one infamous woman who operated outside the law, made a fortune, and paid the price: “The subject will be portrayed by an A-list actress who will also interview the real… female crime lord at the center of the story,” via Deadline. Jackson will serve as an executive producer on the series alongside Goodbye Pictures president Rich Bye (American High, Project Runway). The rapper/producer celebrated his latest content development partnership with a post on his Twitter.
👀see this is the point you should realize i’m not playing. 🚦GREEN LIGHT GANG 😆 pic.twitter.com/aot05CoaOH
— 50cent (@50cent) May 4, 2021