Happy Face: Robert & Michelle King Adapting Podcast for Paramount+

Happy Face is the next TV series from prolific showrunners Robert and Michelle King. The creators of The Good Wife, The Good Fight, Brain Dead, Your Honor, The Bite & Evil are adapting the true-crime podcast of the same name for Paramount+. The original podcast series Happy Face is based on the book Shattered Silence, which tells the true-life story of Melissa Jesperson-Moore, who discovered when she was 15 years old that her father was the serial killer known as Happy Face. The adult Jesperson-Moore changed her name, moved away, and cut off all ties to her father, who is currently serving life in prison. The Kings' TV series will use Jesperson-Moore's story as a jumping-off point to explore what happens when her father contacts her to take credit for another killing and pull her into an investigation of her father and his crimes. This is the dark material that's typical of true crime podcasts that make them so popular amongst a mostly-female audience. "We're obsessed with true-crime podcasts, and Happy Face is the best we've heard," the Kings said. "Melissa's story screams out to be dramatized, and Jen is exactly the showrunner to do it."

Happy Face: Robert and Michelle King to Adapt Podcast for Paramount+
"Happy Face" podcast graphic, IHeartRadio

Jennifer Cacicio, who worked with the Kings on Your Honor at Showtime, will write the script for the pilot of Happy Face and have an executive producer credit with the Kings. This suggests the series might have a dark and serious tone rather than the often snarky, ironic, and satirical tone that their other shows like The Good Fight and Evil take.

"Melissa's unique, deeply personal & utterly shocking story has captivated listeners around the world. We couldn't be more excited to have Jennifer at the helm of this project for Paramount+ alongside the incomparable Robert and Michelle King," Nicole Clemens, the new Head of Paramount Studios, said. "The Good Fight and more recently Evil are two of the most successful series on our service, and we look forward to bringing our subscribers yet another series for fans to love."

Happy Face is the third original series for the Kings at Paramount+ along with The Good Fight and Evil. All three series are produced by CBS Studios, where the Kings and their King Size Productions have been based for years with an overall deal. iHeartMedia, which distributes the podcast, will also exec produce the series.

"Melissa's experience — and her bravery in sharing it with the world — was one of the most remarkable partnerships we've been able to support here at iHeart," said Conal Byrne, CEO of iHeartMedia's digital audio group. "And we know that audiences will be just as moved by the on-screen adaptation of Happy Face as they were with the hugely successful podcast. Paramount+ has quickly built a fantastic reputation, with some of today's most exciting content. It's the perfect home for this incredible story."

Melissa Jesperson-Moore also said, "It's been an incredible journey that I couldn't have ever foreseen — how I've transcended being raised by a serial killer and now am helping survivors tell their stories. Happy Face gives me the chance to share the intense internal conflict, fear, and peril felt by those affected by true crime. It also inspires me to share the strength that has allowed me to step up in front of the camera so that other survivors will not feel alone in their experience."

The original Happy Face podcast is available on its website and podcast apps.

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Adi TantimedhAbout Adi Tantimedh

Adi Tantimedh is a filmmaker, screenwriter and novelist. He wrote radio plays for the BBC Radio, “JLA: Age of Wonder” for DC Comics, “Blackshirt” for Moonstone Books, and “La Muse” for Big Head Press. Most recently, he wrote “Her Nightly Embrace”, “Her Beautiful Monster” and “Her Fugitive Heart”, a trilogy of novels featuring a British-Indian private eye published by Atria Books, a division Simon & Schuster.
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