ABC is close to ordering a script from Sherman-Palladino through its sister studio, ABC Studios, which is behind the project. The Nanny Diaries centers on a group of nannies who work for upper class Manhattan parents; Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus wrote the book, which was published in 2002. (A sequel, Nanny Returns, was released in 2009.)
The Nanny Diaries has already been turned into a 2007 feature film, starring Scarlett Johansson, Laura Linney, Paul Giamatti, Alicia Keys and Chris Evans. The movie took in a little more than $25 million at the domestic box office — a small amount, but ABC is likely more interested tapping into the success of the book, which was a No. 1 New York Times bestseller.
Besides Gilmore Girls, which ran seven seasons, Sherman-Palladino's credits also include Fox's short-lived Return of Jezebel James and NBC's Veronica's Closet. Last season at the CW, she executive produced a primetime family soap opera set in Wyoming. (A pilot was shot, but the show wasn't ordered to series.)
The Nanny Diaries isn't the only book-turned-movie that ABC is now looking to turn into a TV show. Variety reports that ABC is also working on a TV adaptation of the Michael Connelly novel The Lincoln Lawyer, which was later turned into a movie starring Matthew McConaughey.
TV execs are increasingly turning to book, movie and TV remakes, as pre-existing titles already come with viewer awareness. And in such a fragmented TV landscape, the networks welcome any marketing advantage they can get.
ABC, which lured comedy veteran Tim Allen back to TV this fall, is also looking to do the same with Kirstie Alley. The network is moving closer to picking up the sitcom pilot The Manzanis, in which Alley would play an outspoken woman who moves her family to an uptight community. "Kirstie was such a superstar on last season's Dancing with the Stars," says ABC Entertainment president Paul Lee. "She's perfect for our brand."