The Little Mermaid

A New Show Inspired By ‘The Little Mermaid’ Will Ask If Life On Land Was Worth The Trouble

by Ani Bundel

NBC's new streaming service Peacock took a different tack when it launched back in April of 2020. Instead of rolling out with giant fanfare and a smorgasbord of high profile series, it opted for a soft open. No major titles, just an app accessible only to those who subscribe to NBC's parent company, Comcast. That soft launch will end come July 15, when Peacock does the nationwide rollout, with a lineup of impressive titles. And there's more on the way, such as Washed Up, Peacock's show inspired by The Little Mermaid.

Most immediately think of Disney when a Hans Christian Andersen title of that stature gets mentioned. In this case, The Little Mermaid brings to mind the 1989 film that put Disney back on the map. But the House of Mouse doesn't own the exclusive rights to the story of a mermaid and her questionable life choices. The initial fairytale dates back to 1837, and while "Part of Your World" may be under copyright for the foreseeable next century, the bones of the story are not. For instance, Universal Pictures currently has a live-action adaptation in development with Chloë Grace Moretz in the title role, alongside Disney's planned live-action recreation of the 1989 animated film.

Peacock is taking a different path than the romance or horror that usually accompanies these longstanding tales. According to the press release, Washed Up will fit the mold of what NBC has been doing best for the last two decades: Comedy.

According to Deadline, the show's synopsis makes it sound like a sitcom mixed with an under-the-sea version of Law & Order.

In Washed Up, it’s Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid – but fifteen years after giving up her tail to marry a prince at age 17, our princess is now miserable, unmotivated, and in a loveless marriage. In other words, just a basic b*tch human. But when her father suddenly dies, she suspects foul play and embarks on an epic adventure to save not only her underwater kingdom but all of humankind!

The series idea comes from writer-producer Gracie Glassmeyer, who worked on Merry Happy Whatever and wrote for Jane the Virgin. Washed Up is her first series with Peacock. It's not known as of yet when the series will premiere, though the 2021-2022 TV season is probably a good guess at this juncture.