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PRODUCTION / FUNDING UK

Paramount+ announces new drama series Little Disasters, toplined by Diane Kruger and Jo Joyner

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- The six-episode show, based on Sarah Vaughan’s bestselling novel, promises to be a complex psychological thriller exploring female friendships and motherhood

Paramount+ announces new drama series Little Disasters, toplined by Diane Kruger and Jo Joyner
l-r: actresses Diane Kruger (© Harald Krichel) and Jo Joyner (© YellowBellyPhoto)

Paramount+ has announced the making of a new original drama series titled Little Disasters, based on Sarah Vaughan’s 2020 bestselling novel of the same name. The 6x60-minute show, now in production, promises to be “a complex psychological thriller exploring female friendships and motherhood.”

Diane Kruger (Troy, Inglourious Basterds [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, In the Fade [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Fatih Akin
film profile
]
) and Jo Joyner (The Wives, For Her Sins, Shakespeare & Hathaway) play the leading roles, Jess and Liz, starring alongside Shelley Conn (Gen V, Alex Rider, Bridgerton) playing ambitious corporate lawyer Charlotte, and Emily Taaffe (The Rising [+see also:
trailer
series profile
]
, The Beast Must Die, War and Peace) playing free-spirited Mel.

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Other cast members include JJ Feild (Turn, Austenland [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, The Peripheral) as wealthy and overstretched family man Ed, Ben Bailey Smith (Star Wars: Andor, The Split, Brief Encounters), who plays Liz’s husband Nick, and Stephen Campbell Moore (The History Boys [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Masters of the Air, Criminal Record) as Mel’s husband Rob.

The story of Little Disasters focuses on the decade-long friendship between Jess (Kruger), Liz (Joyner), Mel (Taaffe) and Charlotte (Conn), four expectant mothers who were thrown together with little in common apart from their due dates. When Jess takes her baby daughter to hospital with a head injury that she can’t explain, her close friend and on-duty A&E doctor Liz must make the excruciating decision of whether to call social services on her long-time friend. This decision sets in motion a chain of events that show how one moment can fracture and nearly destroy entire families and friendships.

As the plot unfolds, the consequences of Jess’s and Liz’s actions come to light, families unravel and the women begin to articulate long-held judgements against each other. As the truth is unmasked, deep-rooted issues and insecurities are thrust into the spotlight as the women question what really happened to Jess’s baby.

Commenting on the project, Kruger said: “I think this series will offer a relatable story that examines the crippling judgement levied upon mothers by society. The story so wonderfully explores the fragility of reputation, with the rapid unravelling of Jess’s seemingly perfect life. I can’t wait to begin developing Jess’s character and explore the challenges of motherhood through her eyes.”

Joyner added: “We meet Liz at a moment when she has to make an impossible choice between her duty as a doctor and loyalty to her friend. I’m really looking forward to working alongside this great cast and to start exploring the impact of Liz’s decision.”

Ruth Fowler and Amanda Duke adapted the series with Roughcut Television executive producers Ash Atalla, Alex Smith and Marianna Abbotts on board alongside Vaughan. Simon Judd serves as the executive producer for Fremantle. Iceland’s Eva Sigurdardottir (Fractures) is attached to direct. Myf Hopkins is the producer. The show was commissioned by Sebastian Cardwell and Paul Testar for Paramount+ UK & Ireland.

Little Disasters is being produced by Roughcut Television (UK) in association with Fremantle, which is also handling its global sales. It will be available exclusively on Paramount+ in the UK and Ireland.

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