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'Practical Magic' streaming series coming from 'Jessica Jones' writer

By
Fred Topel
Melissa Rosenberg will write and produce The Rules of Magic, a prequel to Practical Magic, for WarnerMedia's HBO Max streaming service. File Photo by David Silpa/UPI
Melissa Rosenberg will write and produce "The Rules of Magic," a prequel to Practical Magic, for WarnerMedia's HBO Max streaming service. File Photo by David Silpa/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 19 (UPI) -- WarnerMedia announced three new pilots for their HBO Max streaming service on Monday. One is Rules of Magic, based on the novel by Alice Hoffman, author of Practical Magic. Warner Brothers produced the movie adaptation of Practical Magic in 1998. Hoffman wrote Rules, a prequel to her first novel, in 2017.

The Practical Magic movie starred Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman as Sally and Gillian Owens respectively. The Owens sisters are witches and they can't resist casting love spells. The Rules of Magic series will be set in 1960s New York when their aunts, Frannie and Jet, were young girls.

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"In this epic, generational family drama set in 1960s New York City, three troubled siblings - Franny, Jet and Vincent Owens - wrestle with 'abnormalities' that have kept them isolated," WarnerMedia's press release reads. "But the tumultuous times unearth the extraordinary discovery that they are, in fact, descendants of a bloodline of witches. In their aspirational journey towards self-discovery and self-acceptance, they'll contend with grief, war, bigotry and dark magic, not to mention a centuries-old curse designed to keep them away from love. The two sisters, Franny and Jet, will become the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while their beloved brother, Vincent, will leave an unexpected legacy."

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Vincent was not a character in the film. Stockard Channing played Frannie and Diane Weist played Jet in the movie.

Melissa Rosenberg and Dan Baratta are writing the pilot for The Rules of Magic and WarnerMedia ordered a 10 episode first season. Rosenberg adapted Marvel's Jessica Jones and show ran the three seasons of that Netflix show, as well as Red Widow and she wrote on the first four seasons of Dexter and wrote every Twilight film. Baratta was on her Jessica Jones team. Hoffman and Denise Di Novi, who produced Practical Magic, are also executive producers joined by Nina Tassler.

WarnerMedia announced two more new streaming series including Generation from executive producer Lena Dunham. 17-year-old Zelda Barnes created the series and her father Daniel Barnz is co-writing and directing. Her father Ben Barnz is also an EP.

"A dark yet playful half-hour, Generation follows a group of high school students whose exploration of modern sexuality (devices and all) tests deeply entrenched beliefs about life, love and the nature of family in their conservative community," the press release reads.

Finally, Red Bird Lane is a horror series aimed at YA audiences.

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"Morality and psychological horror series about eight strangers who arrive at an isolated house-all for different reasons-and quickly realize that something sinister and terrifying awaits them," the press release reads.

ER and The West Wing's John Wells will produce with Erin Jontow for writer/producer Sara Gran.

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