Sky and HBO have announced DGA and Emmy Award winner Nicole Kassell (Watchmen, The Leftovers) as lead director on Sky/HBO co-production The Baby.

Kassell will also serve as an Executive Producer on the eight-episode first season. The darkly comic horror is produced by SISTER (Giri/Haji, Chernobyl, Gangs of London) and Proverbial Pictures.

Also confirmed are writers Sophie Goodhart (Sex Education, My Brother Blind) Kara Smith (Kaos, Apple Tree House) Anchuli Felicia King (White Pearl, Golden Shield) and Susan Stanton (HBO’s Emmy-winning Succession) who join Siân Robins-Grace (Kaos, Sex Education) in the writers’ room with Bisha K. Ali (Ms.Marvel, Sex Education) as consultant.

Nicole Kassell said: “I am beyond honoured and thrilled to be reuniting with HBO and joining SKY and this incredible team to bring THE BABY to fruition. I read Sian’s brilliant script early in lock down, and it cut straight through the noise and anxiety of our times, to take me on a wild, zany ride with wonderfully complex women grappling with the toughest of decisions any of us are lucky enough to make – to have or not have a child. Embracing comedy AND horror the show catapults us through an incredible adventure all while tackling the real-life explosions that the question of procreation can have on the self, family and friendships. To be working with the powerhouse producers that are SISTER, all women whose work and careers I have long admired, is a life-long dream. I’m ever grateful to have Sian, Lucy, and Sister embrace my vision and trust me with their BABY.”  

Siân Robins-Grace and Lucy Gaymer said: “We can’t believe our luck that Nicole’s joining us on The Baby – her body of work speaks for itself. She’s a spectacular collaborator and creative, and working with her is an education. Our phenomenal team of writers are bringing the full force of their talent to the story. We’re surrounded by creative and technical brilliance, basically.”

The eight-episode first season will be produced by SISTER and Proverbial Pictures and Executive Produced by Jane Featherstone (Chernobyl, GiriHaji), Carolyn Strauss (Chernobyl, Game of Thrones), Naomi de Pear (The Power, Flowers), Katie Carpenter (Landscapers, The Bisexual), Siân Robins-Grace (Kaos, Sex Education) and Nicole Kassell (Watchmen, The Leftovers) with Lucy Gaymer (credits as Production Manager include Gangs of London, Liar) producing. The Baby is Robins-Grace’s screenwriting debut, following her work on critically-acclaimed hit Sex Education which she developed with Creator Laurie Nunn.

The Baby was commissioned for Sky by Zai Bennett, Sky UK’s Managing Director of Content and Cameron Roach, Director of Drama at Sky Studios, with Gabriel Silver, Senior Commissioning Editor at Sky Studios, as the commissioning editor. The series is commissioned for HBO by Casey Bloys and Amy Gravitt. The series is a co-production between Sky and HBO and will be filmed in the UK in 2021.

Jon Creamer