Paramount+ has given a series order to an adaptation of the Happy Face true crime podcast, to be exec-produced by Evil creators Robert and Michelle King and writer Jennifer Cacicio (Your Honor).
The series is inspired by the highly rated eponymous podcast hosted by Melissa Jesperson-Moore, the book Shattered Silence written by Jesperson-Moore with M. Bridget Cook, and Jesperson-Moore’s true-life story. (At age 15, Melissa discovered that her father, whom she loved dearly, was the prolific serial killer known as “Happy Face.” As an adult, she changed her name, guarded her secret, and cut off all ties to her father, who is currently serving life in prison.)
In the scripted Paramount+ series, Melissa’s father contacts her to take credit for another victim, pulling her into an extraordinary investigation of both him and his crimes, as well as the impact his treachery had on the families of his victims. That ultimately leads Melissa to a reckoning of her own identity.
“We’re obsessed with true-crime podcasts, and Happy Face is the best we’ve heard,” the Kings said in a statement. “Melissa’s story screams out to be dramatized, and Jen is exactly the showrunner to do it.”
Jesperson-Moore, Liz Glotzer, Bob Pittman and Conal Byrne will also serve as EPs.
Said Jesperson-Moore, who is CEO of Redletter Media, “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.”
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