If you grew up as a bookworm, you probably have The Baby-Sitters Club to thank for developing your plucky, entrepreneurial spirit as well as a love for horror stories of babysitting experiences. Reminding you that girls can do just about anything, the long-running book series introduced a group of teen girls who team together to provide their neighborhood with a reliable babysitting service. Fitting your need for a boost of nostalgia, a The Baby-Sitters Club series is officially coming to Netflix, and I'm already telling every teenage girl I know about it.
According to Deadline, Netflix has ordered a live-action series that brings the chronicles of five best friends' babysitting adventures in a fictional Connecticut town to life. Published between 1986 and 2000, Ann M. Martin's middle grade chapter books incorporated discussions of racism, divorce, illness, friendship, and more into the episodic tales of the girls' time with local kids. More main characters were introduced as the series continued, but the 10-part TV adaptation will focus on the books' original quartet of tomboy Kristy, shy Mary Anne, artistic Claudia, and glamorous Stacey. Earthy California transplant Dawn appeared soon into the book series' run, filling in the fifth character slot that Netflix references.
Rachel Shukert, a writer and executive story editor of Netflix's GLOW, will lead the adaptation as its showrunner. She will work alongside Broad City's Lucia Aniello as the director and author Martin as a producer. Focusing on the books' themes of female friendship and empowerment, the TV series will reportedly target kids, teenagers, and adults. While episodes will explore topics and situations covered in the book series, the adaptation will also cover issues relevant to modern teens. It seems that rather than setting the show in its traditionally '90s era, Netflix will move the story up to the present day. Do you think the girls will still use Claudia's landline to book jobs?
I'm amazed that there are so many passionate fans of The Baby-Sitters Club after all these years, and I'm honored to continue to hear from readers — now grown, who have become writers, editors, teachers, librarians, filmmakers — who say that they see a reflection of themselves in the characters of Kristy and her friends. So I'm very excited about the forthcoming series on Netflix, which I hope will inspire a new generation of readers and leaders everywhere.
The books were previously adapted for television in a short-lived HBO series in 1990. A movie version that inserted characters into an original story was then released in 1995, but like a lot of '90s culture, it didn't exactly take off for future generations to enjoy. As the new TV series is arriving when the books' original fans are all grown up and younger readers are discovering the stories, this Netflix adaptation might be the one to watch.
It's about time we celebrate young women devoted to each other and their job prospects, so here's to Netflix and The Baby-Sitters Club delivering what should be a sweetly empowering series. Time to track down your old copies of the books!