EW has learned exclusively that Paramount TV Studios and Anonymous Content is developing a one-hour dramatic series adaptation of the beloved franchise.

By Lynette Rice
December 17, 2020 at 03:00 PM EST
Credit: NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

What took you so long, Half Pint?

EW has learned exclusively that Paramount TV Studios and Anonymous Content (Homecoming, Dickinson, 13 Reasons Why) is developing a long-awaited reboot of Little House on the Prairie as a one-hour dramatic series adaptation.

Trip Friendly — whose dad, Ed, bought the TV and movie rights to the Laura Ingalls Wilder auto-biographical novels — is expected to serve as an executive producer.

As EW reported in its December issue, there have been surprisingly few efforts to resurrect Little House on the Prairie, the long-running, Michael Landon-starrer on NBC that followed Laura “Half-Pint” Ingalls (Melissa Gilbert) and her family’s life on the farm in the late 1800s. While beloved period pieces like Little Women continue to inspire new interpretations by Hollywood, the other Little has been mostly overlooked during our current reboot-happy era. (A forgettable mini-series aired as part of The Wonderful World of Disney in 2005, and a touring stage musical ran from 2008 to 2010.) But interest in the franchise has never diminished. Reruns of the 1974-83 series continue to air in 30 countries worldwide, including U.S. networks like Cozi TV, UPtv, and Hallmark Drama, where it remains the most-watched program excluding movies. Peacock just announced it will begin streaming old episodes this month, while PBS on Dec. 29 will devote an installment of its American Masters docuseries to Ingalls Wilder, covering everything from her libertarian politics to the lingering suspicions that her daughter, Rose Lane, did some (or all) of the writing.

Credit: NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

After the Little House stage musical, Trip Friendly — whose father sold the rights to NBC — tried to get another project off the ground. In 2012, Sony put a Little House movie into development with Abi Morgan (The Iron Lady) in talks to write the script and David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express) to possibly direct, but the film ended up in turnaround when Sony chairman Amy Pascal exited the studio in 2015. (Paramount considered picking up the script, but the deal never came to pass.) “Fans are eager to see Little House on the Prairie come back to the screen, and we agree the time is right," he told EW recently. "We feel optimistic that this will happen.”

And at least one former cast member is willing to make a cameo. “I’m just the right age to play Mrs. Oleson,” says Alison Arngrim, who starred as the snobby, sausage-curl-sporting menace Nellie Oleson for seven glorious seasons. “I’m totally there. I have no shame.”

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