Entertainment One to Enlist Wattpad Superfans for Feedback on Scripts Based on User-Written Stories

Variety | 5/24/2019 | Todd Spangler
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In an unusual move, Entertainment One plans to share TV pilot scripts for two Wattpad stories it’s adapting as series with the most passionate fans of the original tales — bringing them into the development process.

Under its partnership with Wattpad, the Toronto-based production and media company is developing shows based on dystopian drama “The Numbered” by MJ Gary and time-travel romance “Kairos” by Leigh Heasley. EOne moved forward on the pair of projects after looking at dozens of potential candidates, flagged in batches of 10 per month by Wattpad out of the 500 million-plus stories on the story-sharing community. Those were culled based on eOne’s criteria centered around YA and sci-fi genres and female-driven dramas.

Stories - EOne - Scriptwriters - Hollywood - Practice

To adapt the stories, eOne is bringing in its own scriptwriters — which is a standard Hollywood practice. For “The Numbered,” it has tapped Sabrina Nouadir (Netflix’s “Another Life,” the CW’s “iZombie”) and the company is looking to line up a writer for “Kairos.”

What isn’t standard operating procedure: eOne wants to take the scripts for each TV show to superfans of the original Wattpad stories to get their opinion on what works — and what doesn’t — at various stages in the development cycle, said Jocelyn Hamilton, president of eOne Television Canada. Starting later this summer, the company in partnership with Wattpad hopes to assemble groups of about two dozen fans each of “The Numbered” and “Kairos” to help shape the storylines before shopping the shows to networks and streaming services this fall.

Hamilton - Audience - Kids - TV - Shows

“This is different and experimental,” Hamilton said. While such early audience focus-group testing often happens for kids’ TV shows, “in adult television we don’t do that.” Part of the reason is that producers don’t want plot details — which are subject to change — to become public in the development phase. Hamilton said eOne...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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