Fried Green Tomatoes, Fannie Flagg’s 1987 novel that became a 1991 Jon Avnet film, is now headed to TV. The legendary Norman Lear is executive producing the series for NBC, and Reba McEntire will star, with Jennifer Cecil attached to write and executive produce. The series is described as a “modernization of the novel and movie that explores the lives of descendants from the original work.”
Variety has the scoop on the Fried Green Tomatoes TV series that will star Reba McEntire. Here’s how they’re describing the show:
The hour-long drama project is described as a modernization of the novel and movie that explores the lives of descendants from the original work. When present-day Idgie Threadgoode (McEntire) returns to Whistle Stop after a decade away, she must wrestle with a changed town, estranged daughter, faltering cafe and life-changing secret.
The novel – which was titled Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe – followed two women: “Evelyn, who’s in the sad slump of middle age, and gray-headed Mrs. Threadgoode, who’s telling her life story. Her tale includes two more women—the irrepressibly daredevilish tomboy Idgie and her friend Ruth—who back in the thirties ran a little place in Whistle Stop, Alabama, offering good coffee, southern barbecue, and all kinds of love and laughter—even an occasional murder. And as the past unfolds, the present will never be quite the same again.”
The book was adapted into a 1991 film that starred Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy, Mary Stuart Masterson, Mary-Louise Parker, and Cicely Tyson. The film was a hit, and ended up nominated for two academy awards: Best Supporting Actress for Jessica Tandy, and Best Adapted Screenplay. However, the movie did take some liberties with the source material. In Flagg’s book, the characters of Idgie and Ruth have a romantic affair, but the movie skirts around that and keeps things a bit ambiguous. Here’s a very retro home video trailer for the film.
McEntire will executive produce along with Norman Lear, a legend in the TV business whose credits include All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Sanford and Son, One Day at a Time, and many more. The series will also be executive produced by Jennifer Cecil, who will also write. Cecil’s credits include Hell on Wheels, One Tree Hill, Private Practice, Brothers and Sisters, Notorious, and more. Other executive producers on the series include Brent Miller and the book’s author, Fannie Flagg.
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