Jenna Bush Hager is making what might be a surprising producing turn by partnering with Universal Television to adapt Diane Marie Brown’s debut novel Black Candle Women.
Deadline reports that Hager, who has a first-look deal with Universal Studio Group through her production company Thousand Voices, is also working with Good Girls creator Jenna Bans and Bel-Air showrunner Carla Banks Waddles. Waddles and Bans also have overall deals with Universal Television. Hager will executive produce with Thousand Voices president Ben Spector.
Waddles will write and executive produce, with Bans executive producing via her production arm, Minnesota Logging Company. Minnesota Logging Company television head Casey Kyber will also executive produce.
Hager has been a fan of the book since promoting it on Today during her segment #ReadWithJenna. The book club, founded by Hager in 2019, has led to 36 of her book picks to become New York Times bestsellers, according to Deadline.
Like the book, the series will follow four generations of women who have lived together in California in spooky solitude, but when the youngest of the family, 17-year-old Nickie Montrose, brings home a boy she’s in love with, the act upends the family secret that the women have a curse that fortells death for any man who falls in love with them. The family’s answers lie in their own past actions as well as a Voodoo shop in the French Quarter in the 1950s, where a book might have the key to breaking the curse.
Brown said in a statement, according to Deadline, “I am thrilled that my book will not only be adapted but also be in such incredibly talented hands. I’m so excited to see these characters that have lived in my head for so long brought to life on screen.”
Hager also said, “Diane’s magical, poetic novel captured my imagination from the first page. I am thrilled to partner with the indomitable Carla to bring the four generations of Montrose women to viewers. We are also thrilled that Jenna and Casey have joined us alongside our partners at UTV.”