HBO Max, the forthcoming WarnerMedia streamer, has ordered the dramedy series Drama Queen, which is based on TVLine’s Michael Ausiello’s childhood, according to Deadline. The half-hour dramedy is set in the 1980s and follows a teenager (young Ausiello), who “copes with the harsh realities — and relative mundaneness — of life in small-town New Jersey by escaping to an alternate soap opera universe of his own creation.”
The co-founder of TVLine, Ausiello is penning the pilot script and will also serve as executive producer, together with Ben Stephenson and J.J. Abrams (Bad Robot). Rachel Rusch Rich is set to serve as a co-executive producer. Dan Savage, the writer of the column titled Savage Love for Seattle’s newspaper The Stranger, is set to write the screenplay.
Ausiello will also continue to serve as president and editorial director of TVLine. He is currently working on the adaptation of Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Other Four-Letter Words, his 2007 best-selling memoir, at Focus Features. The book is about the relationship Ausiello had with his late husband Kit Cowan. It’s Wonderful Productions, owned by Jim Parsons, is set to produce, Michael Showalter (Wet Hot American Summer, The Big Sick) is set to direct, and Parsons is set to star in the dramedy.
HBO Max is set to launch in 2020 with original TV series and programming, including The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Friends. The streamer will be competing with Hulu and Netflix, as well as Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus, which are set to launch in the fall. The revival of the CW’s series Gossip Girl is also set to air on HBO Max.
Ausiello posted a comment about the upcoming show on his Twitter account, saying: “Ooooh…this show sounds right up my alley!”
Ooooh… this show sounds right up my alley! https://t.co/138A3bJQLA
— Michael Ausiello (@MichaelAusiello) July 24, 2018