With how much attention the Ashley Madison hack has drawn, we can’t say we’re surprised that there’s now a TV series in the works inspired by the infidelity website. The scripted series is in the early stages of development with Steven Marrs and Courtney Hazlett of OutEast Entertainment set to produce, THR reports.
The show’s premise is only loosely based on the website, so there will be noticeable deviations from reality. One of these changes, for example, is that a woman founded the show’s fictional website. She’s described as “a good mother who launches the business to help support her family.” Ashley Madison, on the other hand, was founded by Canadian Internet entrepreneur Noel Biderman. Hazlett explained that this decision was made because focusing on a male founder seemed “stereotypical.”
The hope for the show seems to be for it to provide an alternate look at marriage. “There are a lot of TV shows doing a great job of presenting marriage storylines in new ways, but what we’re positing here is, what if there is a third lane to run in and what if you were honest about it?” said Hazlett. “Maybe this is where your life just is, and no shows on television are offering that.”
It’s certainly true that some viewers may relate in some way to the show. “Anytime 30 million people are doing anything, it becomes worthy of a real discussion,” Hazlett pointed out, referring to Ashley Madison’s user base.
The hack is likely to be be incorporated into the series as well, Hazlett revealed, though it’s unclear how true to actual events it will be. In real life, Ashley Madison went from being a cheaters’ paradise to the cause of public shame after the website’s 36 million members saw their personal information posted online by hackers earlier in August. Among those named were several high-profile individuals.
The show will be written for Marblemedia of Toronto by Jennifer Kennedy (Justified) and Ian MacDonald. So far, the working title is Thank You Ashley Madison, but we’d be surprised if that didn’t change at some point in the development process.