February 28, 2019
Many young readers who grew up in the late '80s and '90s were downright obsessed with Ann M. Martin's book series The Baby-Sitters Club. Some of us saw ourselves as style-savvy Claudia or boy-crazy, outgoing Stacey, while others related to shy, aspiring writer Mary Ann, sporty Kristy, or eco-conscious Dawn. Martin's characters were so memorable that it's no wonder they were brought to life in two screen adaptations (a one-season series for HBO in 1990 and a major motion picture in 1995). Now, the BSC is set to hit TVs once more, and this time, the BFFs are getting a 21st century update. Variety reported on February 28 that Netflix has put out a straight-to-series order for live-action dramedy The Baby-Sitters Club. The company said the new adaptation will be "a contemporary take on the original books," but will feature the original four characters' adventures in Stoneybrook, Connecticut.
The Hollywood Reporter stated back in May 2018 that the modern twist will come in the form of the new family-friendly series reportedly tackling topics such as divorce, racism, and inclusivity. The show is being produced by Walden Media, the production company behind The Chronicles of Narnia, and Michael De Luca Productions, which produced Moneyball, so you know it's in good hands. Not to mention that Broad City's Lucia Aniello is currently in talks to direct, while Rachel Shukert, from GLOW and Supergirl, is talking about getting involved as a showrunner.
The 1995 movie starred Rachael Leigh Cook, Larisa Oleynik, and Schuyler Fisk, among others, making for a fairly memorable cast. It'll certainly be interesting to see which young stars end up on this new iteration.
No matter what, it sounds like the producers plan to do the original story justice.
Melissa Cobb, VP of Kids & Family at Netflix noted, “The themes of The Baby-Sitters Club still resonate 30 years after the original book series was released and there has never been a more opportune time to tell an aspirational story about empowering young female entrepreneurs. Together with Ann M. Martin and the team at Walden Media, our ambition is to contemporize the storylines and adventures of this iconic group of girlfriends to reflect modern-day issues.”
As for how Martin about the new iteration of BSC? "I’m amazed that there are so many passionate fans of The Baby-Sitters Club after all these years, and I’m honored to continue to hear from readers—now grown, who have become writers, editors, teachers, librarians, filmmakers—who say that they see a reflection of themselves in the characters of Kristy and her friends," she said, according to Variety. "So I’m very excited about the forthcoming series on Netflix, which I hope will inspire a new generation of readers and leaders everywhere."