NBC is developing a weekly drama series based on Valley Of The Dolls, Jacqueline Susann’s classic showbiz-and-sleeping pills soap opera about how life is just an endless parade of adultery and abortions, until all you want to do is take barbiturates and eventually work up the nerve to kill yourself. Naturally the show is in the hands of Precious director Lee Daniels, America’s premier chronicler of anguished melodrama, with Valley marking his first foray into making people miserable on the small screen. Since its 1966 publication, Susann’s story has, of course, been adapted several times over as a movie, a miniseries, and countless theme nights at your local gay bar, and even briefly became a late-night syndicated soap in 1994. This version will retain the original 1960s setting for its story of a Broadway talent agent, spoiled movie star, and talentless showgirl who experience the dark, downer-laced side of fame, suggesting it’s the network’s contingency plan for aping Mad Men when The Playboy Club is inevitably canceled.
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