The massive hack of the cheating website Ashley Madison has stirred up quite a bit of trouble for the website's 30 million subscribers, which exposed the identities of politicians and public figures like 19 Kids and Counting's Joshua Duggar who had paid, active subscriptions on the site. It seems the site's controversial brand may get a lot bigger, with a new TV series being developed entitled Thank You Ashley Madison. OutEast Entertainment and Toronto-based Marblemedia are currently pitching the project to networks, but it remains to be seen if it will get picked up.
The pilot was written by Jennifer Kennedy (Justified) and Ian MacDonald, with OutEast Entertainment partners Steven Marrs and Courtney Hazlett producing. While the real AshleyMadison.com website was founded by Noel Biderman in 2001, the producers thought having a male launch the site was too "stereotypical." Instead, they took a different approach to their story, with a "good mother" launching the illicit website to support her family. Here's what Courtney Hazlett had to say about the series.
"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?" What if you didn't need a hack to have this conversation? Maybe this is where your life just is, and no shows on television are offering that. Anytime 30 million people are doing anything, it becomes worthy of a real discussion."
The producer added that the real-life hack that happened last week will be explored in the TV series, in some capacity, although no further story details were given. It's possible that the show may explore polyamorous relationships, where married couples take on different partners, other than their spouses. The idea for the show was concocted well before the site's hack went public, but it isn't known how long this idea has been in development for. Here's what Marblemedia CEO Matt Hornburg had to say about the show.
"We are in the early stages of developing a scripted series inspired by the site which, given the events from the past week, make the themes explored more timely."
Do you think a show based on this website would make for compelling television? It remains to be seen if any networks are even interested in a premise like this, but there likely aren't many shows as timely as this project, even if it never does see the light of day. We'll have to wait and see if any of the Big 4 or cable networks will express interest in this project, so stay tuned for the latest on Thank You Ashley Madison.