Octavia Spencer is set to add to her eternally busy slate with new project “The Bobby Love Story,” a one-hour drama she will star in and executive produce, currently in development at FX. Also on board as exec producers are Simpson Street’s Kerry Washington and Pilar Savone; “Girls’”Jenni Konner, who helped package the project; and, under Spencer’s Orit Entertainment banner, Shalisha Francis-Feusner, who also serves as writer and showrunner. Deadline broke the news.
The project tells “the dramatic true account of an escaped convict, Bobby Love, and his wife of 35+ years, Cheryl Love, who never knew his secret.” The two — who will also exec produce — had their story featured in 2020 on the hugely popular “Humans of New York” blog. The Loves’ story went viral when published, and reportedly led to a 10-way bidding war for the rights.
The blog detailed how, in the face of limited options, Bobby Love, who grew up as a Black child in the Jim Crow South, became a master thief. Facing a 30-year prison sentence, he escaped to New York, changed his name, and began a new life. Then his past caught up with him.
Spencer has most recently headlined TV’s “Truth Be Told” and “Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker” — on both of which she also served as exec producer. The prolific actress won an Oscar for her supporting role in 2011’s “The Help,” and has been nominated two additional times for her roles in “Hidden Figures” and “The Shape of Water.”
Having found fame with TV’s “Scandal,” Washington’s most recent credits include TV miniseries “Little Fires Everywhere,” adapted from Celest Ng’s best-selling novel, which Washington starred in and exec produced. The Emmy winner has a packed slate herself, with Netflix surfing pic “Rockaway,” Victoria Mahoney-helmed feature “Kill Them All,” and Eva Longoria’s “24-7” all reportedly in the pipeline.
Konner is best known for co-showrunning and writing HBO’s “Girls,” for which she earned two Emmy nominations. Her other TV producing credits include Jennifer Garner-starrer “Camping,” for which she also wrote, and this year’s teen dramedy “Generation.” She is a co-showrunner on upcoming series “Single Drunk Female.”
Francis-Feusner has served as producer and writer on TV’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Seven Seconds,” “The Wilds,” and “Station 19.”
The Loves’ memoir, “The Redemption of Bobby Love: A Story of Faith, Family, and Justice,” was published on October 5 by Mariner Books/William Morrow.