NBC is developing a new series based on the 2001 film Serendipity. Directed by Peter Chelsom, the romantic comedy starred John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale. Serendipity was distributed by Miramax Films.
In Serendipity, Jonathan Trager (Cusack) and Sara Thomas (Beckinsale) first meet during the holiday season in New York City. The characters discuss life and love at the restaurant Serendipity III, but leave their destiny to fate because they’re both in relationships, and because the universe seems to be guiding them in a certain direction, evidenced by Sara’s phone number literally blowing away in the wind. From there, Serendipity follows the hopeless romantics’ trials and tribulations as genre tropes build towards the film’s climax. Produced for $28 million, Serendipity earned over $77 million at the box office. The film was written by Marc Klein (A Good Year) and co-stars Molly Shannon, Jeremy Piven, and Bridget Moynahan. Serendipity currently holds a 59 percent Tomatometer score at Rotten Tomatoes, along with a 79 percent audience score.
Per THR, NBC is moving forward with a Serendipity television adaption. Jonny Umansky has been enlisted to write and executive produce the series, and stated that "Never has the world needed a show like Serendipity more, and the love stories we have in store are big, bold and filled to the brim with whimsy and wonder.” Umansky wrote the 2016 TV movie Legends of the Hidden Temple starring Isabela Moner (Dora and the Lost City of Gold), and will co-write the upcoming series The Keys. Miramax Television will produce NBC’s Serendipity.
On August 14, NBC announced plans to adapt the 1985 film St. Elmo’s Fire into a TV series. The original film includes numerous Brat Pack members such as Demi Moore, Emilio Estevez, and Robe Lowe, with the storyline following the ups and down of Georgetown classmates post-graduation. Despite poor critical reviews, St. Elmo’s Fire became a box office hit. The film also co-stars Andie McDowell, the mother of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood actress Margaret Qualley. In July, NBC ordered an untitled comedy series starring Ted Danson. Tina Fey will write and produce with long-time collaborator Robert Carlock (30 Rock, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt).
The announcement of NBC’s Serendipity adaptation seems to foreshadow another new wave of nostalgia entertainment. Whereas the Netflix series Stranger Things focuses on the adolescent experience, the original Serendipity and even St. Elmo’s Fire are geared towards a 20-something demographic. With streaming services changing the industry via edgy, smart, and progressive series, traditional networks like NBC seem invested in tapping into a universal concept like romantic confusion in order to connect with a specific millennial crowd.