Starz has embarked on the horror comedy pilot series Shining vale, with Courteney Cox, Greg Kinnear and Mira Sorvino. The project of Trial and error co-creator Jeff Astrof and Divorced creator Sharon Horgan, received an order for eight episodes. 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’s Merman and Clelia Mountford.
This is Kapital’s first series for Starz. Pickup brings Kaplan’s tally to 10 currently airing series, nine of which via Kapital Entertainment – A million little things, American housewife and the next one Women of the movement on ABC; The neighborhood and The Unicorn on CBS; the next Familiar on Fox, American Auto on NBC and Shining vale on Starz, as well as Chi on Showtime and the International Emmy-winner Delhi Crime on Netflix. Two of the series are titled by the former Friends stars, Shining vale (Cox) and animation Familiar (Lisa Kudrow).
Written by Astrof from a story he wrote with Horgan, Shining vale stems from an idea from Kaplan. He follows a dysfunctional family who move from the city to a small town in a house in which terrible atrocities have taken place. But no one seems to notice it except Patricia “Pat” Phelps (Cox), who is convinced that she is either depressed or possessed – it turns out the symptoms are exactly the same. Pat is a former “wild child” who rose to fame by writing a steamy, drug and alcohol infused novel about female empowerment (aka lady porn). Fast forward 17 years later, Pat is clean and understated but totally unsatisfied. She still hasn’t written her second novel, she can’t remember the last time she had sex with her husband (Kinnear), and her teens are at this point where they want you dead. She was a faithful wife until her one mistake: she had a hot affair with the hot young handyman who came to fix the sink while Terry was at work. In a last ditch effort to save their marriage, she and Terry cash in all of their savings and move the family from the “crazies” of town to a big old suburban house with a past of its own. Everyone has their demons, but for Pat Phelps, they can be real.
Sorvino plays Rosemary, who is either Pat’s alter ego, a split personality, her identity, her muse, or a demon trying to own her. Dungey plays Kam, Pat’s oldest friend and book editor. Birney and Gage also play the roles of Pat and Terry’s teenagers, Gaynor and Jake.
“Shining vale is a smart, scary and funny series that tells the story of a family in turmoil who suddenly lives with a paranormal who helps the character of Courteney Cox find her rhythm as she begins to question her own sanity ” said Christina Davis, president of Starz of Original Programming. “This group of talented actors, executive producers and directors brilliantly blend comedy and horror throughout this series, which exemplifies the network’s commitment to improving female portrayal on and off screen. .
This is the latest series from Starz, who recently launched the #TakeTheLead initiative, deepening the network’s current engagement with stories by, about and for women and under-represented audiences.
Shining vale is produced by Astrof of Other Shoe Productions, Horgan and Mountford of Merman, Aaron Kaplan and Dana Honor of Kapital Entertainment. Cox is a producer. Dearbhla Walsh directed and produced the pilot episode. Shining vale will be broadcast on Starz in the United States and Canada and on its international streaming platform Starzplay in Europe, Latin America and Japan.