Paramount+ Announces Series Order for New Original Drama ‘Happy Face’
The series is inspired by the highly rated and critically acclaimed podcast from iHeartMedia and Melissa Jesperson-Moore, the book “Shattered Silence” written by Melissa with M. Bridget Cook, and Melissa’s true-life story
From Emmy(R)-Nominated Executive Producers Robert and Michelle King and Written and Executive Produced by Jennifer Cacicio
The Series Is Inspired by the “Happy Face” Podcast by iHeartMedia and Melissa Jesperson-Moore and Produced by CBS Studios, in Association with King Size Productions and iHeartMedia
Nov. 10, 2021 – Paramount+, the streaming service from ViacomCBS, today announced a new series order for HAPPY FACE, written and executive produced by Jennifer Cacicio (“Your Honor”) and executive produced by Emmy(R)-nominated Robert and Michelle King. King Size Productions’ Liz Glotzer, Melissa Jesperson-Moore, and iHeartMedia’s Bob Pittman and Conal Byrne will also serve as executive producers.
The series is inspired by the highly rated and critically acclaimed podcast “HAPPY FACE” from iHeartMedia and Melissa Jesperson-Moore, the book Shattered Silence written by Melissa with M. Bridget Cook, and Melissa’s true-life story. At age 15, Melissa discovered her father, whom she loved dearly, was the prolific serial killer known as “HAPPY FACE.” As an adult, Melissa changed her name, guarded her secret, and cut off all ties to her father, who is currently serving life in prison.
Jumping off from Melissa’s true-life story, in the series for Paramount+, her father contacts her to take credit for another victim, and Melissa gets pulled into an extraordinary investigation of her father and his crimes. The series follows her as she discovers the impact her father’s crimes had on the families of his victims, which ultimately leads to a reckoning of her own identity.
“We’re obsessed with true-crime podcasts, and ‘HAPPY FACE’ is the best we’ve heard,” said Robert and Michelle King. “Melissa’s story screams out to be dramatized, and Jen is exactly the showrunner to do it.”
“Melissa’s unique, deeply personal and utterly shocking story has captivated listeners around the world. We couldn’t be more excited to have Jennifer at the helm of this project for Paramount+ alongside the incomparable Robert and Michelle King,” said Nicole Clemens, President, Paramount+ Original Scripted Series. “THE GOOD FIGHT and more recently EVIL are two of the most successful series on our service, and we look forward to bringing our subscribers yet another series for fans to love.”
“Melissa’s experience – and her bravery in sharing it with world – was one of the most remarkable partnerships we’ve been able to support here at iHeart,” said Conal Byrne, CEO of iHeartMedia’s Digital Audio Group. “And we know that audiences will be just as moved by the on-screen adaptation of ‘HAPPY FACE’ as they were with the hugely successful podcast. Paramount+ has quickly built a fantastic reputation, with some of today’s most exciting content. It’s the perfect home for this incredible story.”
“It’s been an incredible journey that I couldn’t have ever foreseen – how I’ve transcended being raised by a serial killer and now am helping survivors tell their stories,” said Melissa Jesperson-Moore, Executive Producer and CEO of Redletter Media. “HAPPY FACE gives me the chance to share the intense internal conflict, fear and peril felt by those affected by true crime. It also inspires me to share the strength that has allowed me to step up in front of the camera so that other survivors will not feel alone in their experience.”
HAPPY FACE, produced by CBS Studios in association with King Size Productions and iHeartMedia, is the third series from Robert and Michelle King to land at Paramount+. The series is distributed by ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group.
HAPPY FACE joins Paramount+’s growing lineup of prestige dramas, which includes Robert and Michelle King’s current hit series THE GOOD FIGHT and EVIL, as well STAR TREK: DISCOVERY and STAR TREK: PICARD, plus the upcoming revival of THE GAME and the highly anticipated Taylor Sheridan series MAYOR OF KINGSTOWN and 1883.
Paramount+, a direct-to-consumer digital subscription video on-demand and live streaming service from ViacomCBS, combines live sports, breaking news, and a mountain of entertainment. The premium streaming service features an expansive library of original series, hit shows and popular movies across every genre from world-renowned brands and production studios, including BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures and the Smithsonian Channel. The service is also the streaming home to unmatched sports programming, including every CBS Sports event, from golf to football to basketball and more, plus exclusive streaming rights for major sports properties, including some of the world’s biggest and most popular soccer leagues. Paramount+ also enables subscribers to stream local CBS stations live across the U.S. in addition to the ability to stream ViacomCBS Streaming’s other live channels: CBSN for 24/7 news, CBS Sports HQ for sports news and analysis, and ET Live for entertainment coverage. For more information about Paramount+, please visit www.paramountplus.com and follow @ParamountPlus on social platforms.
About CBS Studios
CBS Studios is one of the world’s leading suppliers of entertainment programming, with more than 70 series currently in production for broadcast and cable networks, streaming services and other emerging platforms. The Studio’s expansive portfolio spans a diverse slate of commercially successful and critically acclaimed scripted programming, which includes genre-defining franchises such as “NCIS,” “CSI” and the ever-growing “Star Trek” universe, award-winning late night and daytime talk shows, as well as an extensive library of iconic intellectual property. The Studio also develops and produces local language and international content originating outside of the U.S. with series in the U.K., Europe, the Middle East, Australia and Asia