After ‘Little Fires Everywhere,’ Celeste Ng’s Debut Novel Sells Big to Annapurna TV

Celeste Ng’s “Little Fires Everywhere” novel was adapted into a star-studded Hulu series that dropped earlier this year. Now, Annapurna Television has acquired the rights to “Everything I Never Told You,” the author’s debut novel.

Variety reports that Annapurna won the rights to adapt the novel in a multi-studio bidding war and will develop the novel into a limited series. Ng and Mary Lee of A-Major Media, which produces Asian American film and TV projects, will serve as executive producers. Megan Ellison, Sue Naegle, Patrick Chu, and Ali Krug will executive produce the project for Annapurna.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed and other details about the project were not provided. IndieWire has reached out to Annapurna for comment.

“Everything I Never Told You” centers on a Chinese American family thrown into turmoil after one of their children’s body is found in a lake.

Ng’s executive producing work on the upcoming “Everything I Never Told You” series comes after her producing credit on Hulu’s “Little Fires Everywhere.” The series, which starred Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, was a high-profile release for the streamer but received a mixed reception from critics. IndieWire’s Ben Travers noted that the show offered “consistent, soapy entertainment” but was critical of the show’s overt melodrama in his C+ review.

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“’Little Fires Everywhere’ loves drama so much you’d be forgiven for going all-in with it — yelling at the screen, mocking whoever loses each verbal sparring match, making fun of all the white people who are so painfully un-woke it makes you hate yourself for using the word ‘un-woke,’” Travers said in his review.

“As a nighttime soap, the episodes can be juicy, biting entertainment, but as the drama stacks up, it loses power. Watching Washington dig deep again and again dulls the effect of her quivering lip and trembling voice; seeing Witherspoon wrap her villainous cloak ever-tighter feels suffocating, and somewhere amid the first seven episodes, the fire goes out under a blanket of melodrama.”

As for Annapurna TV, the company also has the scripted rights to the Harrison Ford-led Netflix documentary “The Staircase,” which will mark the “Star Wars” actor’s first major television role.

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