It’s been almost 20 years since “Reality Bites” became one of the cinematic landmarks of ’90s slackerdom, and director/co-star Ben Stiller is looking to bring it back on the small screen.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Stiller has a “Reality Bites” TV series adaptation in development at NBC, with Helen Childress, who wrote the original screenplay, on board to pen the script. Stiller will executive produce via his Red Hour company.
Like the film, the potential series will be set in the early 1990s, making it a period piece of sorts — no internet, recession in place, everyone wearing chokers and Doc Martens with dresses. Lelaina Pierce will still be the main character, a recent college grad struggling to find her way in Houston, where she uses a no doubt giant, decade-appropriate video camera to chronicle the lives of her Gen X friends and roommates.
The project is coming through Universal Television, with Debbie Liebling and Stuart Cornfeld set to executive produce alongside Stiller and Double Feature Films’ Stacey Sher and Michael Shamberg, who produced the film.
“Reality Bites” originally starred Winona Ryder as Lelaina, Ethan Hawke and Stiller as her rival suitors Troy and Michael, Janeane Garofalo as her promiscuous friend Vickie and Steve Zahn as the gay Sammy. It was Troy who noted that life is just “a random lottery of meaningless tragedy and a series of near escapes. So I take pleasure in the details. You know… a Quarter-Pounder with cheese, those are good, the sky about ten minutes before it starts to rain, the moment where your laughter become a cackle… and I, I sit back and I smoke my Camel Straights and I ride my own melt.”