NBC has confirmed that they are giving a Marley and Me series a chance on the network. The series will serve as a sequel to the 2008 comedy-drama film of the same name.
The film’s director, David Frankel, is set to direct the pilot; Jenny Bicks will write the script. Bicks, Frankel, and film producer Karen Rosenfelt will executive produce the show under the 20th Century Fox Television banner.
The movie was based on John Grogan’s book of the same name, and starred Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston as couple John and Jenny Grogan. It followed their relationship and the influence of their dog, Marley, on their lives. According to Deadline, the show will follow-up on the couple and their now-adolescent children as they make a move to Florida so that John can write a column for the local newspaper. The family takes in a new dog, which they name Marley. Why name the new dog Marley? First it makes it easier for them since they can use Marley’s old leash and tags on her, and the puppy turns out to be just as will-full, destructive, and delightful as her original namesake. In the series, Deadline notes that the dog will help shed light not only on the growing pains of the Grogan family, but also the lives of the neighbors, and fellow dog-owners, around them.
It is currently not clear if Frankel has any specific actors in mind for the lead roles in the series. However, it is safe to assume that Aniston and Wilson will not be working on this project.
Some are skeptical about how well an animal-based television show will do with today’s viewers. Though Lassie was able to pull it off, that was 40-plus years ago. One Cinema Blend writer notes that TV series with live animals as the main character are a thing of the past. Instead, they are typically a support character to the overall plot. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case for the new Marley and Me sequel, which notes that Marley, the dog, will play a vital role in the series.
Cinema Blend also notes that series might be a better fit for ABC Family or Hallmark networks. Even on one of those “fluffier” networks, the writer still doesn’t believe Marley and Me will be able to last more than one season.
What do you think? Does Marley and Me stand a chance on the NBC network? Do you think the show will even make it out of pilot and into an actual full series?