PBS’ Masterpiece and BBC are bringing back classic Louisa May Alcott’s novel “Little Women” to the small screen. PBS announced on Thursday, May 4 that it would be a three-part miniseries and written by “Call the Midwife” scribe Heidi Thomas. Vanessa Caswill (BBC America’s “) is set to serve behind the lens.
The 1868 novel chronicles the story of the March sisters-Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy-as they grow up with their mother while their father serves during the Civil War. The foursome learn about love and loss with help from their mother as their father goes to the war.
The late 19th century novel was previously adapted into four feature films several years ago. The most notable one was the 1994 version which starred , , and . is also currently developing a movie based on the classic novel.
” ‘Little Women’ is one of the most loved novels in the English language, and with good reason. Its humanity, humor and tenderness never date, and as a study of love, grief and growing up it has no equal,” Thomas said in a statement. She continued, “There could be no better time to revisit the story of a family striving for happiness in an uncertain world, and I am thrilled to be bringing the March girls to a new generation of viewers.”
“Little Women” will be produced by Susie Liggat alongside Thomas, Colin Callender and Sophie Gardiner for Playground. Rebecca Eaton for Masterpiece and Lucy Richer for the BBC will serve as executive producers. Playground will produce for BBC and Masterpiece.
“Bringing alive this beloved American novel for a new generation of PBS viewers is a dream come true. In the hands of Rebecca Eaton and Colin Callender’s Playground, and with the superb talents of writer Heidi Thomas, we are confident this story of strong women will resonate with both new and longtime fans of Masterpiece,” added PBS chief programming executive Beth Hoppe.
Callender, meanwhile, said, “The miniseries is a storytelling form unique to television, and the opportunity to adapt Louisa May Alcott’s novel over three hours is a gift from the BBC and Masterpiece on PBS. This is a character study of young women rich in texture and detail, and it’s an honor to be able to bring it to life in this extended form with the great Heidi Thomas, one of the finest writers working in television today. In the hands of the exciting directorial style of filmmaker Vanessa Caswill, we hope to deliver a new screen version that will speak to contemporary audiences, meet the expectations of the book’s ardent fans and bring a whole new generation to this great classic.”
“Little Women” is slated to kick off its production in July, while casting on the miniseries will be announced at a later date.