Ryan Murphy, look away. This does not concern you. There’s a new TV show in the works about Stevie Phillips, the high-powered female manager and agent for Judy Garland. Phillips also managed numerous other stars, including Garland’s daughter Liza Minnelli, Bob Fosse, Robert Redford, Henry Fonda, David Bowie, and more. Yes, this does seem like something that would spawn forth from the Murphyverse, but somehow, it has not.
Deadline reports that Stevie is an adaptation of Phillips’s 2015 memoir Judy & Liza & Robert & Freddie & David & Sue & Me. The book is described as a dishy examination of one woman’s journey from being a Mad Men–era secretary in Manhattan to managing some of the biggest stars of the day, as well as a look at Garland’s tumultuous career. Stevie will also include time spent with Sue Mengers, the legendary agent and a close friend of Phillips. (She’s the “Sue” in the memoir title.) A brief New York Times review of the book characterized it as an unsparing, if cruel, look at some of the legendary figures in Phillips’s life, namely Garland. Phillips writes bluntly about Garland’s issues, including allegations that the star self-harmed.
The show will be developed by Athena Pictures, the newly created shingle from producers Andra Gordon and Sarena Khan; Gordon will pen the script, per Deadline. “Stevie is a true inspiration who paved the way for women in the entertainment industry,” Gordon tells the outlet. “She is an unapologetic, strategic force of nature who in her own words ‘learned to play her cards close to her chest and never fold.’”
The show is not yet attached to a streaming service or network, nor have any actors been announced as part of the cast. But it’s certainly well-timed. Stevie will arrive after the success of Judy, the biopic starring Renee Zellweger as the late icon; Zellweger is predicted to be an Oscar frontrunner thanks to her tip-top performance. The show also arrives on the heels of news that Darren Criss is set to star in Hollywood, a Netflix show about the town’s golden age in the 1940s. Hollywood is created by…Ryan Murphy. Who should definitely not be reading any of this right now.