Lifetime is developing an adaptation of psychological thriller You from executive producers Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble, the network announced at the Television Critics Association’s press tour on Friday.
Based on Caroline Kepnes’ best-selling novel of the same name, You is a 21st-century love story about an obsessive, yet brilliant twentysomething who uses the hyper-connectivity of today’s technology to make the woman of his dreams fall in love with him.
Kepnes, a former writer for EW, has been working with Berlanti since he optioned the book a few years ago. “He had that grin of just total obsession about it and I could tell right away he gets the book,” she told EW of their first meeting. As for the series landing at Lifetime, it “just feels right and good and… the passion there is so great,” she said.
Berlanti (CW’s superhero shows, Blindspot) and Gamble (The Magicians) will write and executive produce You alongside Sarah Schechter, Leslie Morgenstein, and Gina Girolamo.
In other scripted news, Lifetime’s original series, Mary Kills People, will debut on April 23 at 10 p.m. ET. The series, which hails from Tassie Cameron (Ten Days in the Valley), stars Caroline Dhavernas (Hannibal) as a doctor who helps people in need end their lives with dignity.
In movie news, Lifetime has set a premiere date for Custody, starring Viola Davis, who is also an executive producer, Hayden Panettiere, Ellen Burstyn, and Tony Shalhoub. The original film, which will debut Saturday, March 4 at 8 p.m. ET, revolves around three women brought together when hard-working single mother Sara Diaz (Catalina Sandino Moreno) has her children taken away from her after she is suspected of injuring her son, and recent law school graduate Ally Fisher (Panettiere) is assigned to represent her case before Judge Martha Schulman (Davis). Custody was written and directed by Into the Woods‘ James Lapine.
James Franco also returns to the network to executive producer and star in romantic thriller High School Lover, in which he plays a father who must intervene when his 17-year-old (Paulina Singer) falls in love with an older man (François Arnaud). High School Lover debuts Saturday, Feb. 4 at 8 p.m. ET.
Lifetime is also in pre-production on Michael Jackson: Searching for Neverland, which is based on the best-selling book Remember the Time: Protecting Michael Jackson in His Final Days. Told through the perspective of Jackson’s bodyguards, the movie from Suzanne de Passe, Madison Jones, and Robert Teitel will begin filming in February and star Michael Jackson tribute artist Navi and The Walking Dead‘s Chad L. Coleman.
—Additional reporting by Breanne L. Heldman