The Disney Channel optioned the rights to the new novel by New York Times bestselling author Julie Murphy. Titled “Dear Sweet Pea,” the new story is a follow-up to her popular novel-turned-movie, “Dumplin’.” The new project will join the Disney Channel Original Movie development slate.

“The emotional journey that Julie Murphy takes readers on in ‘Dear Sweet Pea’ has all of the elements that deliver authentic and relatable storytelling for today’s kids and families,” said Lauren Kisilevsky, vice president, Original Movies, Disney Channel. “The themes of self-discovery and navigating the new normal of a nontraditional family echo Disney Channel’s commitment to entertaining and inspiring programming.”

The story is set in the colorful small town of Valentine, Texas, and follows 13-year-old Patricia “Sweet Pea” DiMarco, whose life begins to change when her parents announce they’re divorcing and her father is moving to a nearly identical house two doors down the street. When her next-door neighbor, a famed local advice columnist, heads out of town, Sweet Pea is tasked with collecting her mail. When one letter catches her eye, she starts secretly answering the letters meant for the column. This sets off a chain of events that will forever change the lives of the many readers of the advice column, Sweet Pea’s family and friends and herself, as she learns things she never knew about the people in her life.

Earlier this week, Disney Channel confirmed an early renewal for “Gabby Duran & the Unsittables,” which is set to air its season premiere on October 11th. The single-camera series stars actress and musician Kylie Cantrall as Gabby Duran, a courageous 13-year-old girl who inadvertently lands a job babysitting an unruly group of VIP extraterrestrial children who are hiding out on Earth disguised as everyday kids. In the network’s announcement, the company stated that production on season two will begin in February 2020 in Vancouver.

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