Televisa USA, a division of the Mexican media company Televisa, S.A. de C.V., has acquired the English-language television and digital rights to world-famous author Anne Rice’s best-selling The Sleeping Beauty series of erotic novels, announced Televisa USA Managing Director Paul Presburger and Chief Creative Officer Michael Garcia. Rice will executive produce in partnership with Academy Award®-nominated producer Rachel Winter (Dallas Buyers Club and the untitled LeBron James bio pic); prolific TV-film-digital producer and Endemol North America Co-Chairman-CEO Charlie Corwin (Oscar-nominated films Half Nelson, The Squid and the Whale); and former CAA motion picture literary agent-turned-producer Jessica Matthews.
The books are elegantly written, but with steamy, hot and very detailed sex scenes. The story follows a beautiful young princess who is awakened from her long sleep, but in a much more provocative way than the traditional fairytale. And that’s where her journey to find herself begins.
Originally published in 1983-85 under the pseudonym A.N. Roquelaure, the books remained top-selling underground erotica until the success of "Fifty Shades of Grey" catapulted them into the mainstream. A longtime fan of the novels, Winter first approached Rice about developing the book series for television in 2012.
Said Rice, “I wrote this to be fun, in the belief that dominance and submission can be romantic and delightful as well as erotic.” Rice’s books have sold nearly 100 million copies and made her among the most popular authors in recent American history.
“Now is the perfect moment for this project,” Garcia commented. “On the heels of such boundary-pushing adaptations as 50 Shades and HBO’s Game of Thrones, the topics explored in this series are in the zeitgeist and we feel television is finally ready for them. We are now going out to writers and talent, and will put all the creative, production and distribution elements in place quickly.”
Televisa USA is a producer on the Lifetime/Marc Cherry drama Devious Maids, and is the co-studio (along with Lionsgate and ABCF/Disney) behind the ABC Family series Chasing Life. It was also the studio behind Nickelodeon’s 80-episode primetime soap Hollywood Heights, which aired in 2012.
Ryan Likes, Chief of Operations and Business Affairs for Televisa USA, said, “We have worked diligently to secure rights to the most prized and highest-profile properties from both our parent company and outside rights holders. It is exciting to see all of that effort coming to fruition, starting with the brilliant works of an icon like Anne Rice.”
The deal was brokered by CAA, Christine Cuddy of Kleinberg, Lange, Cuddy & Carlo, Janklow Nesbit, Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer, and Loeb & Loeb. Rice is also represented by the Janklow Nesbit Agency.