Sky and HBO have announced that DGA and Emmy Award winner Nicole Kassell (Watchmen, The Leftovers) will board the Sky/HBO co-production The Baby as lead director. Kassell will also serve as an Executive Producer on the eight-episode first season. The darkly comic horror is produced by global content company SISTER (Giri/Haji, Chernobyl, Gangs of London) and Proverbial Pictures.
Also confirmed are writers Sophie Goodhart (Sex Education, My Brother Blind) Kara Smith (Kaos, Apple Tree House) Anchuli Felicia King (White Pearl, Golden Shield) and Susan Stanton (HBO’s Emmy-winning Succession) who join Siân Robins-Grace (Kaos, Sex Education) in the writers’ room with Bisha K. Ali (Ms.Marvel, Sex Education) as a consultant. The team are set to gleefully deconstruct the ‘joy of motherhood’ and explore the powerful anxiety of whether or not to have children.
Questioning who gets to choose and who doesn’t, The Baby is a funny, raw examination of motherhood as an institution: a set of unspoken and often horrifying rules that affect women differently depending on how they’re viewed by society. If you’re not scared by that, you should be.
Nicole Kassell said:
“I am beyond honoured and thrilled to be reuniting with HBO and joining SKY and this incredible team to bring THE BABY to fruition. I read Sian’s brilliant script early in lock down, and it cut straight through the noise and anxiety of our times, to take me on a wild, zany ride with wonderfully complex women grappling with the toughest of decisions any of us are lucky enough to make – to have or not have a child. Embracing comedy AND horror the show catapults us through an incredible adventure all while tackling the real-life explosions that the question of procreation can have on the self, family and friendships. To be working with the powerhouse producers that are SISTER, all women whose work and careers I have long admired, is a life-long dream. I’m ever grateful to have Sian, Lucy, and Sister embrace my vision and trust me with their BABY.”
Siân Robins-Grace and Lucy Gaymer said:
“We can’t believe our luck that Nicole’s joining us on The Baby – her body of work speaks for itself. She’s a spectacular collaborator and creative, and working with her is an education. Our phenomenal team of writers are bringing the full force of their talent to the story. We’re surrounded by creative and technical brilliance, basically.”
The eight-episode first season will be produced by SISTER and Proverbial Pictures and Executive Produced by Jane Featherstone (Chernobyl, GiriHaji), Carolyn Strauss (Chernobyl, Game of Thrones), Naomi de Pear (The Power, Flowers), Katie Carpenter (Landscapers, The Bisexual), Siân Robins-Grace (Kaos, Sex Education) and Nicole Kassell (Watchmen, The Leftovers) with Lucy Gaymer (credits as Production Manager include Gangs of London, Liar) producing. The Baby is Robins-Grace’s screenwriting debut, following her work on critically-acclaimed hit Sex Education which she developed with Creator Laurie Nunn.
The Baby was commissioned for Sky by Zai Bennett, Sky UK’s Managing Director of Content and Cameron Roach, Director of Drama at Sky Studios, with Gabriel Silver, Senior Commissioning Editor at Sky Studios, as the commissioning editor. The series is commissioned for HBO by Casey Bloys and Amy Gravitt. The series is a co-production between Sky and HBO and will be filmed in the UK in 2021.
About Nicole Kassell
Award-winning director and producer Nicole Kassell is known for her bold aesthetic and dynamic visuals that have made her one of Hollywood’s most in-demand filmmakers today. Kassell most recently directed the pilot, second, and eighth episode HBO’s critically acclaimed series WATCHMEN, in addition to executive producing the entire season. For WATCHMEN, she won the 2020 DGA award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series, 2020 Emmy Award for Outstanding Limited Series and was nominated for Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series for the show’s pilot episode. Nicole has directed the TNT pilot CLAWS and episodes of THE LEFTOVERS, WEST WORLD, CASTLE ROCK, THE AMERICANS, AMERICAN CRIME, VINYL, BETTER CALL SAUL, THE KILLING, THE FOLLOWING, and RECTIFY. Nicole’s first feature film THE WOODSMAN was co-written by Kassell and Steven Fechter, premiered in competition at the Sundance Film Festival, was distributed by Newmarket Films, and continued on to win multiple awards. Next up, Kassell will direct the feature film SILVER SEAS for Participant Media.
About Siân Robins-Grace
Siân acted as Co-Executive Producer for showrunner Charlie Covell on her upcoming Netflix series Kaos. Prior to this Siân worked at Eleven as Head of Development where she developed the hit Netflix series Sex Education with Creator Laurie Nunn and worked on Sky hit series The Enfield Haunting.
About Lucy Gaymer
Lucy has been working as a freelance Line Producer/Production Manager. Previous credits include The Witchfinder (BBC2), Wonderdate (BBC3), Living in Fear (Sky), Gangs of London (Sky), Liar (ITV) and True Horror (C4). She also worked in house at Carnival (Downton, The Last Kingdom, Stan Lee) and Eleven (Sex Education, Gap Year, The Enfield Haunting).