It’s been nearly 25 years since Harriet the Spy was turned into Nickelodeon’s first movie. An adaptation of the 1964 children’s novel by Louise Fitzhugh, the film followed Michelle Trachtenberg in the coming-of-age adventures of the irrepressible and curious Harriet M. Welsch, a young girl who dreams of being a spy and practices her skills around New York. Now the book is being turned into an animated series at Apple TV+, and Beanie Feldstein (Booksmart, Lady Bird) will be voicing Harriet.
Apple TV+ made the announcement about the Harriet the Spy TV series in a press release today. If you’ve never read the book series, here’s the synopsis of the first title in the four-book series:
Harriet M. Welsch is a spy. In her notebook, she writes down everything she knows about everyone, even her classmates and her best friends. Then Harriet loses track of her notebook, and it ends up in the wrong hands. Before she can stop them, her friends have read the always truthful, sometimes awful things she’s written about each of them. Will Harriet find a way to put her life and her friendships back together?
That’s the story that was turned into the Nickelodeon movie, but the three books that followed each have a different story. It’s not clear if the series will adapt each book as a season or if they will expand Harriet’s adventures with new stories not seen in the books.
Along with Beanie Feldstein, the series is bringing Jane Lynch on board to play Harriet’s wonderful, wise, no-nonsense nanny Ole Golly. On top of that, Lacey Chabert (Mean Girls) has been cast as Marion Hawthorne, the smug ringleader of the popular girls at Harriet’s school.
The Jim Henson Company and Rehab Entertainment are behind the series, which will be executive produced by Will McRobb (co-creator of The Adventures of Pete & Pete) with Sydney Clifton (Black Panther) producing. Lisa Henson and Halle Stanford will serves as EPs for The Jim Henson Company while John W. Hyde and Terissa Kelton will do the same for Rehab Entertainment. Wendy Moss-Klein and Nancy Steingard of 2 Friends Entertainment will also executive produce.
Titmouse Animation will take care of the animation, and considering the outstanding work they’ve done on Star Trek: Lower Decks and Star Wars: Galaxy of Adventures, this series should look incredible. It’s not hard to envision them bringing real style to the 1960s New York setting from the book that the producers will be utilizing for the series.
Though the series will be geared towards kids, Harriet the Spy is the kind of story that has appeal to adults as well. There’s a chance this series might be strictly geared towards kids, but plenty of family friendly animated fare has delivered quality entertainment that everyone can enjoy. Hopefully this series adaptation follows suit.
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