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Bess Wohl to Adapt Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour as Limited Series

October 12th, 2021 | By Caitlin Moynihan

The Children’s Hour, Lillian Hellman’s 1934 play, is getting a small-screen series adaptation by Tony nominee Bess Wohl and Anonymous Content, according to Deadline. Two-time Pulitzer finalist Jon Robin Baitz and John Goldwyn are executive producing the series. A premiere date and casting is to come.

The Children’s Hour tells the story of two women who run an all-girls school in a fictional New England town and are falsely accused of having an “unnatural” lesbian relationship by one of their students. The allegation upends the women’s lives and destroys their careers and forces them to reckon with the true nature of their friendship.

Wohl made her Broadway debut with Grand Horizons, which was nominated for Best Play at the 74th Tony Awards. She is currently working on Scott Z. Burns’ climate change anthology series Extrapolations. Wohl’s adaptation of The Children’s Hour will keep the material rooted in its 1930s context but expand the story to include details from the legal case on which Hellman’s play is based and delve deeper into the community surrounding the school and the psyche of the young accuser.

The play first bowed on Broadway in 1934 and had a Broadway revival was seen in 1952. In 2011, a starry production arrived in the West End, featuring Kiera Knightly, Elisabeth Moss and Ellen Burstyn. The Children’s Hour was adapted as a feature film in 1961 and starred Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine, James Garner and Fay Bainter.


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