The program will be based on the 2009 film of the same name by Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brockovich, Ocean's Eleven). The movie stars porn star Sasha Grey as Christine, a prostitute who specializes in the "girlfriend experience." In addition to sex, GFE escorts provide intimacies like cuddling and conversation that are more common to actual romantic partners.
Soderbergh and Philip Fleishman will serve as executive producers, and Lodge Kerrigan and Amy Seimetz will co-write and direct. Starz has ordered 13 half-hour episodes that will explore the relationships of several different escorts.
"We're in an exciting period of auteur-driven television right now," Soderbergh adds. "When Philip floated the idea of a Girlfriend Experience-inspired television show, I thought: 'Let's make it a different woman in a different city, let's pair two independent writer-directors, one male and one female, and let them do the whole thing.'"
"Many of these women are extremely accomplished," Fleishman adds of GFE escorts. "They range from musicians in major orchestras to Ph.D. candidates in the sciences and often feel empowered by the control and economic freedom their work as GFEs affords them. The question is whether they define a new genus of contemporary relationship, or have relationships always been transactionally based in one form or another?"