Award-winning screenwriter and television producer Jenji Kohan, known best for her Netflix drama “Orange is the New Black,” is developing a new series about Jesus as a teenager.
Kohan, also known for producing the Showtime series “Weeds,” said during a recent roundtable discussion with The Hollywood Reporter that the upcoming Netflix series about the young Jesus will be an adaptation of “The Wonder Years” and it’s already “got some people nervous.”
“It’s like ‘The Wonder Years’ but with Jesus, and there are all sorts of things where we cross lines — and there are crazies out there,” the producer said.
Kohan made the comment after saying she had to purchase “terrorism insurance” out of fear for what those who dislike the Jesus-centered series might try to do. Terrorism insurance, according to the Insurance Information Institute, “provides coverage to individuals and businesses for potential losses due to acts of terrorism.”
“The Wonder Years” was a popular family-centered, comedy-drama series that aired from 1988 to 1993. The show chronicled the experiences of an average American boy living in middle-class suburbia in the late 1960s and early 1970s from the ages of 12 to 17. The show was so well-liked, it won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series after only six episodes had aired. Ultimately, the show won four Emmys and earned 28 nominations.
If nothing else, it will certainly be interesting to see how Kohan, who is Jewish, adapts “The Wonder Years” storyline to walk through Jesus’ teenage years.
Kohan, along with her longtime husband Christopher Noxon, who only recently converted to Judaism, are raising three Jewish children. They attend temple and observe Jewish holy days, according to the Jewish Journal.
The “Orange Is the New Black” creator, who was raised in Beverly Hills, comes from a show-business family. Her dad, Buz, was a producer for “The Carol Burnett Show,” a frequent writer for the Academy Awards, and has won 11 Emmys. Her mother, Rhea, is a novelist.
At the start of her career, Kohan worked with her eldest brother, David, creator of the NBC sitcom “Will & Grace.” She ultimately decided, though, that his humor was too tame for her taste.
“David took the big, commercial, funny route; I was always a little darker, personally,” she told the Jewish News of Northern California, adding that she was “not terrific within the system” and “had to make my own way.”
Season 5 of “Orange is the New Black” premieres on Netflix on Friday. A release date for the Jesus series has not yet been announced.