Starz has picked up to series horror comedy pilot Shining Vale, starring Courteney Cox, Greg Kinnear and Mira Sorvino. The project, from Trial & Error co-creator Jeff Astrof and Divorce creator Sharon Horgan, has received an eight-episode order. Lionsgate has joined Warner Bros. Television to co-produce the series in association with Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment, Astrof’s Other Shoe Productions as well as Horgan and Clelia Mountford’s Merman.
This marks Kapital’s first series for Starz. The pickup brings Kaplan’s tally to 10 series currently on the air, nine of them through Kapital Entertainment — A Million Little Things, American Housewife and the upcoming Women of the Movement on ABC; The Neighborhood and The Unicorn on CBS; the upcoming Housebroken on Fox, American Auto on NBC and Shining Vale on Starz, as well as The Chi on Showtime and the International Emmy-winning Delhi Crime on Netflix. Two of the series are headlined by former Friends stars, Shining Vale (Cox) and the animated Housebroken (Lisa Kudrow).
Written by Astrof from a story he wrote with Horgan, Shining Vale stems from an idea by Kaplan. It follows a dysfunctional family that moves from the city to a small town into a house in which terrible atrocities have taken place. But no one seems to notice except for Patricia “Pat” Phelps (Cox), who’s convinced she’s either depressed or possessed – turns out, the symptoms are exactly the same. Pat is a former “wild child” who rose to fame by writing a raunchy, drug-and-alcohol-soaked women’s empowerment novel (a.k.a. lady porn). Fast forward 17 years later, Pat is clean and sober but totally unfulfilled. She still hasn’t written her second novel, she can’t remember the last time she had sex with her husband (Kinnear), and her teenage kids are at that stage where they want you dead. She was a faithful wife until her one slip-up: she had a torrid affair with the hot, young handyman who came over to fix the sink while Terry was at work. In a last-ditch effort to save their marriage, she and Terry cash in all their savings and move the family from the “crazy” of the city to a large, old house in the suburbs that has a storied past of its own. Everyone has their demons, but for Pat Phelps, they may be real.
Sorvino plays Rosemary, who is either Pat’s alter ego, a split personality, her id, her muse, or a demon trying to possess her. Dungey plays Kam, Pat’s oldest friend and book editor. Birney and Gage also star as Pat and Terry’s teenage kids, Gaynor and Jake.
“Shining Vale is a smart, chilling and funny series that tells the story of a family in turmoil who is suddenly living with a paranormal who helps Courteney Cox’s character get her groove back as she starts to question her own sanity,” said Christina Davis, Starz President of Original Programming. “This group of talented actors, executive producers and director blends comedy and horror brilliantly throughout this series which exemplifies the network’s commitment to improve female representation on and off the screen.”
This is the newest series from Starz, which recently launched the #TakeTheLead initiative deepening the network’s existing commitment to narratives by, about and for women and underrepresented audiences.
Shining Vale is executive produced by Astrof from Other Shoe Productions, Horgan and Mountford from Merman, Aaron Kaplan and Dana Honor from Kapital Entertainment. Cox is producer. Dearbhla Walsh directed and executive produced the pilot episode. Shining Vale will air on Starz in the U.S. and Canada and on its international streaming platform Starzplay across Europe, Latin America and Japan.