New details have emerged about YouTube’s upcoming comedy series The Edge of Seventeen, based on the lauded 2016 film of the same name. The series, for which YouTube ordered a pilot back in May, is one of the platform’s numerous YouTube Original projects led by female creative teams.
Although YouTube still has not released any casting details, it has revealed that the half-hour series won’t be a direct remake of or sequel to the 2016 film. Instead, writer/director Annabel Oakes (Netflix’s Atypical and Amazon’s Transparent) will reflect The Edge of Seventeen’s tone and thematic elements while introducing new characters and stories, Deadline reports.
Kelly Fremon Craig, the writer/director of the original film and an executive producer on the series’ pilot, told Deadline that Oakes has “created a new set of characters so full of truth, humor, and specificity, I’ve fallen completely in love with them.”
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In the original film, a teenager confides in her teacher after a series of personally devastating events leave her considering suicide. YouTube said in May that Oakes’ series will focus on a fraught friendship between two teen girls. Filming for the pilot is due to begin in January 2019. Studio STXtv is signed on to produce. (STXtv’s parent company, STX, produced the 2016 film.)
YouTube has been pushing for more female-led Originals this year, with its global head of content Susanne Daniels saying in January, “A priority for me is finding diverse new female voices and championing them. You have to make it a conscious effort to do it.”
That conscious effort is becoming more and more evident. YouTube recently ordered a pilot for another half-hour, woman-led comedy, It’s A Man’s World, in which a woman blacklisted from the gaming industry disguises herself as a man to re-enter the field. In June, the platform debuted Liza On Demand, a half-hour comedy starring YouTuber Liza Koshy, and in July, it premiered Sideswiped, from creative team Carly Craig and Robin Schiff. Female-led Step Up: High Water, created by Holly Sorensen, was given a second season this year.