HBO Max Orders Pilots For 'Practical Magic' Prequel And A "Psychological Horror" Series 'Red Bird Lane'
Warner Brothers

Warner Brothers’ upcoming HBO Max streaming service has ordered two new genre pilots.  From Melissa Rosenberg (‘Jessica Jones‘) comes ‘Rules of Magic’, a prequel to ‘Practical Magic’, the 1995 novel by Alice Hoffman, about a family of witches, which was made into a 1998 film starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman.  Meanwhile, from John Wells (‘ER’, ‘The West Wing’) comes a “psychological horror” series ‘Red Bird Lane’.

Rosenberg serves as executive producer and a writer on ‘Rules of Magic’, which is described as an “epic, generational family drama set in 1960s New York City” centered on three witchy siblings, Frannie, Jet, and Vincent, who have been isolated because of their “abnormalities.”  They will have to grapple with “grief, war, bigotry and dark magic, not to mention a centuries-old curse designed to keep them away from love.”

The 1998 film focused on sisters Sally (Bullock) and Gillian (Kidman).  Frances/”Franny” and Bridget/”Jet” were their aunts, and were played by Stockard Channing, and Dianne Wiest, respectively.  In the film, Sally and Gillian and others in their family are cursed to keep them away from love, and Sally’s husband dies, as did Sally and Gillian’s father.  On the TV show, Vincent “will leave an unexpected legacy.”


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Meanwhile, Wells serves as executive producer of ‘Red Bird Lane’, which was written by Sara Gran (‘Southland’).  The plot follows eight strangers who arrive at an “isolated house– all for different reasons– and quickly realize that something sinister and terrifying awaits them.”  Gran’s most recent project was an episode of the thriller series ‘Berlin Station’ on Epix.  Wells and Gran previously worked together on cop series ‘Southland’.

These two projects join ‘Generation’, a high school-based romance from 17-year-old Zelda Barnz, which counts Lena Dunham as an executive producer.

HBO Max will launch later this year, although original programming isn’t expected to be rolled out until next year.  As this point, the service has only ordered pilots of these show, so they have not been ordered to series yet.

Do they sound intriguing to you?


Source: TV Line