Anderson Cooper ventures into a scripted TV series – one based on his family history.
The CNN anchor will be an executive producer of Vanderbilt, a drama in development at Amazon’s Prime Video. Patrick Macmanus (Dr. Death, the girl from Plainville) is set to write and executive produce Cooper and Katherine Howe’s 2021 book Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty. UCP from Universal Studio Group, where Macmanus has an overall deal, and Amazon Studios are producing.
The logline of the project describes Vanderbilt as “an epic drama about 400 years of the rise and fall of one of America’s most powerful dynasties. From the family’s humble beginnings in New Amsterdam, patriarch Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt weaponized cunning, ruthless business tactics to amass unimaginable wealth, leading to power struggles between heirs over control, scandal and financial ruin. That is, until Gloria, the last of the Vanderbilts’ — and Cooper’s mother — “rises above complicated family history and personal tragedy to blaze her own path as an artist and fashion designer.”
Cooper has previously explored his mother’s and his family’s past on screen, in the 2016 HBO documentary Nothing left unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper. His and Howe’s book about the family’s eventful past was a bestseller and received good reviews. Vanderbilt will be Cooper’s first time producing a scripted show.
Macmanus and Cooper will executive produce with Kelly Funke of Macmanus’ Littleton Road Productions. Cooper is represented by UTA and Janklow & Nesbit Associates. Macmanus is with UTA, The Cartel and Hansen Jacobson.