the babysistters coven

Shauna Phelan & Zack Olin upped at Nick

The co-heads of live action for Nickelodeon and Awesomeness have been elevated to EVPs and will oversee a whole new development slate of girl-skewing book adaptations.
June 14, 2022

Shauna Phelan and Zack Olin have both been promoted to EVP, and will now jointly head up live-action films for Nickelodeon and Paramount+, in addition to  continuing to oversee live-action series for Nick and Awesomeness. They still report directly to Brian Robbins, president and CEO of Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon, and chief content officer of movies and kids & family at Paramount+.

They’re also about to get a whole lot busier, with Nick announcing several new book adaptations—primarily for tween/teen girls—that will be joining their development slate.

Included is Barbara Park’s Junie B. Jones book series, which spans 32 titles and was published by Random House from 1992 to 2013. The range follows its curious main character with an inflated sense of justice through the trials and tribulations of kindergarten and first grade.

Targeting an older-girl audience, Megan McCafferty’s Sloppy Firsts has also been optioned by Nick. The first book in the best-selling Jessica Darling series published by Wednesday Books centers on a protagonist who faces the ups and downs of high school life, often to devastatingly embarrassing results.

Kristy Boyce’s teen romance novel Hot British Boyfriend features a teen named Ellie Nichols who heads to England for a fresh start after being publicly rejected by her crush. There, she rebuilds her confidence, her reputation and looks for love. The book was published by HarperTeen last year and targets 13- to 16-year-olds.

Kate Williams’ The Babysitters Coven (pictured) series, targeting over-12s and published by Delacorte, is described as “babysitting meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and see a young teenager named Esme Pearl join a coven of witches to save the world from evil.

Skewing more broadly is Dan Gutman’s My Weird School book series for six to 10s, published by Harper Collins. These chapter books tell comedy-driven stories about a boy named A.J. who dislikes school and finds himself in bizarre situations in the midst of off-kilter teachers and student rivals.

There’s also a journalism adaptation in the mix: Nick and BuzzFeed Studios are partnering on a coming-of-age series titled Majorettes, based on an original BuzzFeed News article written by Frederick McKindra (“The Rich, Black, Southern Heritage of Hip-Hop Majorettes”). The series is about a group of high school majorettes and their dance tradition, with stories about friendship and family.

Finally, This is What Happy Looks Like is a movie based on a book for 13 to 17s written by Jennifer Smith and published by Little, Brown. It tells the story of a small-town girl who becomes friends with a celebrity by accident.

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