EXCLUSIVE: Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s hot summer New York Times bestseller Fleishman Is in Trouble has been scooped up by ABC Signature Studios after a 10-way bidding war that included such parties as HBO and CAA Wiip, and is being set up at FX as a limited series.
Brodesser-Akner will write and executive produce the series with EPs Sarah Timberman, Susannah Grant and Carl Beverly. ABC Signature’s Tracy Underwood and Lisa Lang McMullen are the executives on the project.
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Fleishman Is in Trouble follows forty-something Toby Fleishman. He thought he knew what to expect when he and his wife of almost fifteen years separated: weekends and every other holiday with the kids, some residual bitterness, the occasional moment of tension in their co-parenting negotiations. One day, in the middle of his summer of sexual emancipation, she drops off their two children at his place and doesn’t return. Toby has been working hard to find equilibrium in his single life. The winds of his optimism, long dormant, have finally begun to pick up, until now. But if Toby ever wants to truly understand what happened to Rachel and what happened to his marriage, he is going to have to consider that he might not have seen things all that clearly in the first place.
Brodesser-Akner is a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine and she’s also written for several publications including GQ and ESPN the Magazine. Her profiles of celebrities have won her the New York Press Club Award and Mirror Award. She is a graduate of NYU Tisch Film School Fleishman Is in Trouble, from Random House, is her first novel, and the inspiration for it came to her one summer when she was approached by various friends going through divorces. The novel has been on store shelves since June and it was an instant New York Times bestseller.
“I can’t believe how lucky I am to get to work with these producers and with this studio. I wrote a novel thinking it was just a little story that I had to get out into the world, and never allowed myself to think that the story would continue on like this, and I couldn’t imagine better stewards for doing it,” Brodesser-Akner tells Deadline.
“When Sarah, Susannah and I were figuring out how to adapt this, they asked me ‘What do you want your life to look like?’ No one has ever asked me that question, and if I was not yet in love by then — and I was — by then I was beyond the point of no return,” adds Brodesser-Akner.
Brodesser-Akner has already sold her second novel to Random House, Long Island Compromise, a family story about wealth and class and inheritance and dubious paternity on Long Island.
ABC Signature Studios is part of Disney Television Studios. Brodesser-Akner is repped by ICM.