Starz orders Sharon Horgan & Jeff Astrof paranormal comedy, Starzplay takes int’l rights

Horgan & Rob Delaney in Catastrophe

US cablenet Starz has greenlit a paranormal comedy from Trial & Error’s Jeff Astrof and Catastrophe’s Sharon Horgan, which will also be available via streamer Starzplay around the world.

Shining Vale follows a dysfunctional family that moves from the city to a small town and into a house in which terrible atrocities have taken place. It stars Courteney Cox’s (Friends) character as she befriends a paranormal being, convinced she’s either depressed or possessed.

Courteney Cox

The 8 x 30-minute show is being produced by Astrof from Other Shoe Productions, Horgan and Clelia Mountford from Motherland prodco Merman, The Chi’s Aaron Kaplan and Dana Honor from Kapital Entertainment.

It was created by Astrof and Horgan, with Astrof writing the pilot teleplay and Cox producing, while Dearbhla Walsh (The Handmaid’s Tale) directed and executive produced the pilot episode.

Warner Bros. Television and Lionsgate Television is producing in association with Other Shoe Productions, Merman and Kapital Entertainment. The series, which also stars Greg Kinnear and Mira Sorvino, is set to air on Starz in North America and via Starzplay across Europe, Latin America and Japan.

Shining Vale is a smart, chilling and funny series that tells the story of a family in turmoil who is suddenly living with a paranormal who helps Courteney Cox’s character get her groove back as she starts to question her own sanity,” says Christina Davis, Starz president of original programming.

The order comes just over a year since Horgan signed an exclusive first-look deal with Apple TV, which was struck after a similar agreement with Amazon expired.

Merman, which was founded by Horgan and Mountford, also has a two-year funding and distribution deal with Comcast-owned Sky Studios, which was struck in December 2019 and covers overhead and development funding. It also includes a first-look distribution arrangement via Comcast sibling NBCUniversal Global Distribution.


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