The long-running and best-selling Sweet Valley High series of young adult novels are getting a new television adaptation at The CW, according to Deadline. The new TV series hails from Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, the same pair that brought to life another hit YA series for the network in Gossip Girl, and will air under the title of Sweet Valley. It’s the second attempt at adapting Francine Pascal‘s beloved series for the small screen following a four-season show that ran from 1994 to 1996 starring Cynthia and Brittany Daniel.
Sweet Valley High falls into the category of the typical high school teen drama YA novels, albeit ones with absurd twists and turns that would make M. Night Shyamalan blush. The series began its run in 1983 with over 180 books coming out in its 20-year lifespan, including a large number of spinoffs that had twins Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield in various stages of their life, from middle school to university. The CW‘s adaptation pulls from the series as a whole while making a few changes to the source material, like changing Elizabeth’s best friend Enid Rollins to Enid Ruiz.
CBS Studios and Paramount TV Studios are teaming up to bring the project to fruition with Ashley Wigfield, a writer and producer for Schwartz and Savage‘s HBO Gossip Girl reboot, writing, and Fake Empire producing. In an intriguing wrinkle, Peter Chernin‘s Chernin Entertainment is involved in the series. If that sounds at all familiar in regards to Sweet Valley High, it’s because Chernin Entertainment was tapped to produce a movie adaptation of the novels from Paramount Pictures back in 2017, a project that has received few updates since its announcement.
Executive producers for Sweet Valley include Wigfield along with Schwartz, Savage, and Lis Rowinski from Fake Empire and Chernin and Jenno Topping from Chernin Entertainment. It’s the fourth time Schwartz, Savage, and Wigfield have united for a project following work on Gossip Girl, Marvel’s Runaways, and Looking for Alaska. Schwartz and Savage signed a broadcast-only deal with CBS Studios back in 2019 and have since developed other novel adaptations including Nancy Drew and The Astronaut Wives Club.
So far, there’s no expected release window for Sweet Valley or any casting details. For now, here’s the official synopsis for the new CW adaptation:
Sweet Valley is the town everyone dreams of growing up in. And there’s no better example of that promise than Elizabeth Wakefield. But when her missing twin sister Jessica miraculously returns, it reignites a lifelong rivalry. It falls to new girl Enid Ruiz to discover that someone (or something) is pulling all the strings, but can she convince the twins that putting their personal war aside is the only way to drag Sweet Valley’s dark roots into the California sunshine?