April 18, 2024

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EXCLUSIVE: Universal TV has acquired the rights to Liza Palmer’s latest book Family Reservations, which it will develop at NBC with writer/EP Ilene Chaiken and Keshet Studios.

The book that publishes April 1 follows culinary pioneer and world-renowned restaurateur Maren Winter, who is nearing retirement. Each of her three daughters is eager to take the reins of running her restaurant empire, the Winter Group. Ruled by her deep insecurities about becoming irrelevant, Maren pits her three daughters against each other, beginning her own dangerous descent into madness and starting the Winter sisters on their journey to freedom. 

Palmer will EP the project with Chaiken, along with Avi Nir (Keshet Media Group), Keren Shahar (Keshet International), Lisa Roos (Keshet Studios) and Peter Traugott (Keshet Studios). Heather Brewster (Keshet Studios) will co-EP.

Universal Studio Group’s Creative Acquisitions and IP Management team, led by Jordan Moblo, was instrumental in securing the rights to the novel. Keshet Studios has a first-look deal with Universal Television.

“Liza Palmer’s delicious book brings together the very things I love most in the world – food and family drama!” said Chaiken. “I’m thrilled and grateful that she has entrusted us with the television adaptation.”

“Family Reservations is a labor of love that was written every morning from 5:30 to 8:30 during cancer surgeries and day-job headaches,” said Palmer. “Over those long months and years, the Winters became family to me. I’ve ugly cried more times than I’d like to admit because I now know my little complicated family are in the best of hands with the brilliant, creative teams at Universal Television, Keshet Studios and NBC. Having these precious, complex women in the capable hands of Ilene Chaiken is truly a dream come true.” 

Best known for creating the Showtime series The L Word, Chaiken received an Emmy Award for Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale. She was the showrunner of the Fox series Empire and served as executive producer of The L Word: Generation Q for Showtime. She is repped by repped by WME, 3 Arts Entertainment, and Hansen Jacobson Teller Hoberman.

Palmer has written 11 novels and is best known for Nowhere but Home, the winner of the Willie Morris Prize for Southern Fiction. She is repped by WME.

Keshet Studios is repped by WME and by Range Management for unscripted.

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