Amazon Freevee has ordered the half-hour scripted pilot “Open Book,” based on the memoir by reality TV and pop star Jessica Simpson. The project stars Katelyn Tarver (“Ballers”) as Sadie Sparrow, a young singer based on Simpson, while John Stamos (“Full House”) is on board as Butch, an older musician who’s tasked with writing songs with Sadie — but soon their connection is much more than that.
Tom Kapinos (“Californication,” “Lucifer”) is the writer and executive producer behind “Open Book,” while Adam Bernstein (“Californication,” “Billions,” “Better Call Saul”) is director and EP.
Simpson also serves as an EP, along with Patrick Moran, Laren Auslander and Lacy Lynch. PKM Prods. is behind the show, along with Amazon Studios. Here’s the logline: “‘Open Book’ follows pop star Sadie Sparrow’s mid-twenties rise from ingenue to mogul, introducing us to the family, friends, and lovers she collects along the way. Touching on themes of love, friendship, divorce, family and sisterhood, relationships, soul connections, Hollywood and the music business, ‘Open Book’ follows Sadie’s unexpected journey as she ultimately comes to embrace herself and the fact that her heart inevitably wants what it wants at every stage of life.”
“Open Book” comes out of Simpson’s multi-media rights deal that she signed with Amazon in 2020. Under that pact, Amazon Original Stories has also published a series of short stories from Simpson, including the upcoming “Movie Star: They Always Say They’re Single — A True Story,” which drops in February 2023.
Dey Street Books first published Simpson’s “Open Book” in 2020; according to Amazon, the memoir sold more than 500,000 copies in 14 weeks. In the book, Simpson recounted her 1980s Texas upbringing, her first record deal, her marriage to Nick Lachey, her troubled relationship with John Mayer and more.
For the scripted half hour “Open Book,” the character of Sadie is described as “a hot ‘of-the-moment pop star’ from a singing competition show, who seemingly has it all — legs for days, glorious hair and a powerhouse voice. An adorable combo of sunshine and sin, Sadie Sparrow always maintained a ‘good girl’ image on her rise to fame, but her wild side has begun to emerge as life in the spotlight becomes predictably messy. As the relationship drama piles on and her career hangs in the balance, Sadie can’t decide if she should do things by the book, or start breaking some rules.”
And here’s how the character of Butch is described: “Once a young and pretty singer-songwriter on top of the world, Butch Thorn went through one-too-many divorces and far too many drinks, eventually securing his own fall from grace. Despite his self-destructive tendencies, Butch still maintains a dangerous charm and his signature voice. He’s attracted to Sadie and the two make an immediate connection, which makes things awkward when he realizes she’s the young pop star he’s been tasked to write songs with.”
Tarver began her career as a contestant on “American Juniors.” Her other credits include “Big Time Rush,” “The Secret Live of the American Teenager” and “Famous in Love.” Her most recent album, “Subject to Change,” was released in 2021. Stamos, of course, has been in the public eye since “General Hospital” in the early 1980s and has regularly performed music through the years via his own band and also with The Beach Boys. His current series is Disney+’s “Big Shot.”
This story first appeared on Variety.com.