Starz is working on a new anthology series called “Gaslit,” starring Julia Roberts and Sean Penn. According to the network, Matt Ross will direct and executive produce the series, adapted from Slate’s podcast Slow Burn’s first season, while detailing the Watergates scandal. Robbie Pickering is attached as showrunner. The anthology series is set to start production this spring and will be produced by UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group, for Starz.
“In ‘Gaslit,’ we not only have the opportunity to tell an incredible untold story in bringing Martha Mitchell’s historic role in Watergate to the forefront, but we are also incredibly lucky to have a dream cast including Julia and Sean and the best creative team and partners we could have asked for,” said Christina Davis, President of Original Programming for Starz. “We could not be more excited to bring this story to the global Starz audience and continue the network’s commitment to spotlighting premium stories that appeal to women while super serving our core audience.”
The description adds, “‘Gaslit’ is a modern take on Watergate that focuses on the untold stories and forgotten characters of the scandal – from Nixon’s bumbling, opportunistic subordinates, to the deranged zealots aiding and abetting their crimes, to the tragic whistleblowers who would eventually bring the whole rotten enterprise crashing down.”
“I’m so happy to have the opportunity to share the heartbreaking, fascinating story of Martha Mitchell with the world,” said showrunner and executive producer Robbie Pickering. “Martha was the first and loudest voice to speak out against the bumbling criminality of a crooked Presidential administration, and she was one of the most complicated public martyrs of the era. To find anyone willing to tell her story is a dream. To be making it with Sam, Julia, Sean, Matt, UCP, and Starz seems impossible. I’m over the moon.”
The network added, “The story will center on Martha Mitchell, played by Roberts. A big personality with an even bigger mouth, Martha is a celebrity Arkansan socialite and wife to Nixon’s loyal Attorney General, John Mitchell, played by Penn. Despite her party affiliation, she’s the first person to publicly sound the alarm on Nixon’s involvement in Watergate, causing both the Presidency and her personal life to unravel. As Attorney General, Mitchell is Nixon’s most trusted advisor and best friend. Temperamental, foulmouthed, and ruthless – yet hopelessly in love with his famously outspoken wife – he’ll be forced to choose between Martha and the President.”
“Gaslit” reunites Esmail and Roberts in their second television project together. The first was season one of Golden Globe-nominated “Homecoming.” The upcoming series is created by Robbie Pickering and written by Robbie Pickering, Amelia Gray, Alberto Roldán, Anayat Fakhraie, Uzoamaka Maduka, and Sofya Levitsky-Weitz.