Ben Stiller to Direct Patricia Arquette-led ‘High Desert’ Comedy on Apple TV+

Patricia Arquette and Ben Stiller are reuniting for a new TV series following their acclaimed work on "Escape at Dannemora"
Ben Stiller
Ben Stiller
Katie Jones for Variety

Apple has ordered “High Desert,” a half-hour comedy series starring Patricia Arquette that will be directed and executive produced by Ben Stiller.

The news serves as a reunion for Arquette and Stiller who previously worked together on the 2018 limited Showtime series “Escape at Dannemora.” Arquette starred in the series which Ben Stiller directed and executive produced. Stiller will direct the first episode of “High Desert.”

“High Desert” follows Peggy (Arquette), a former addict, who decides to make a new start after the death of her beloved mother with whom she lived in the small desert town of Yucca Valley, California, and makes a life-changing decision to become a private investigator. Apple did not provide a release date for “High Desert.”

The series is created and written by Nancy Fichman (“Nurse Jackie,” “Damages”), Katie Ford (“Miss Congeniality” films) and Jennifer Hoppe (“Grace and Frankie,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Damages”), who will also serve as executive producers alongside Arquette and Stiller.

“High Desert” marks Apple’s second partnership with Arquette and Stiller following the series order for “Severance,” an upcoming workplace thriller starring and executive produced by Arquette and Adam Scott, and directed and executive produced by Stiller

Outside “Escape at Dannemora,” Arquette has recently appeared in a handful of acclaimed projects; she starred in Hulu’s true crime series “The Act” and won an Emmy for Oustanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series. She also had a minor role in Pixar’s “Toy Story 4.”

Stiller has acted in a variety of recent films and television shows, ranging from “Saturday Night Live” and the Netflix documentary “Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics,” to the upcoming “Madagascar 4.” Stiller has also executive produced several recent projects, including “Plus One” and “In the Dark.”

Apple TV+, which launched last year, will be home to a variety of other TV series featuring high-profile actors such as the Gal Gadot-led “Hedy Lamarr,” Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd-led “The Shrink Next Door,” and the Justin Timberlake-led “Palmer” feature film.

Apple TV+ picked up its first Emmy for its tentpole launch title “The Morning Show,” which stars Jennifer Anniston and Reese Witherspoon, during the 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday.

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