What happens when a famous actress falls for an ordinary man?
ABC's new 'The Baker and the Beauty' tackles the romantic fantasy (and complexity) of dating the rich and famous.
An ordinary Joe starts a relationship with a world-famous superstar. It sounds like the premise to the 1999 romantic comedy "Notting Hill," starring Hugh Grant as a London bookstore owner who falls in love with a famous American actress played by Julia Roberts. But fast-forward two decades and it's actually the basis for a new ABC romantic dramedy called "The Baker and the Beauty."
The television network announced on Tuesday that the show will debut in early 2020, around the same time that "American Idol" is set to return for its new season.
The ABC show is based on the hit Israeli series of the same name. Over the course of two seasons and 20 episodes, fans have fallen in love with the gluten-meets-glamorous couple. And not just in Israel: the original "Beauty and the Baker" airs in more than 200 countries.
Karni Ziv is the head of Drama and Comedy at Keshet, the Israeli studio behind the show. "All over the world, people want to see what will happen when a boy meets a girl, and to hope for a very happy ending," she told From The Grapevine. "And it's a kind of story that is universal."
In the ABC version, the action moves from an Israeli bakery to one in Miami. Daniel (played by Victor Rasuk) works at his family's shop during the day. Fate intervenes one night when he meets international superstar and fashion mogul Noa (played by Nathalie Kelley). Daniel's Cuban parents are portrayed by Lisa Vidal and Carlos Gomez.
Although the show takes place in Miami, most of the pilot was filmed in Atlanta. The series is being executive produced by Dean Goergaris, who is also working on a new legal drama starring Jimmy Smits at NBC. The show's executive producers include Keshet's Avi Nir and Alon Shtruzman from Israel.
Ziv said that romantic shows are experiencing a renaissance because they provide a respite from the turmoil of the news cycle. "I think that romantic stories can comfort you for an hour when you sit in front of your TV," she explained. "There is space for that hour after we watch a lot of news that – especially women – want to sit in front of the screen and just have fun, and a bit of escapism from reality."
While the new ABC edition of the show won't debut until January, fans can binge and enjoy the original Israeli version, which is currently available to watch with English subtitles on Amazon Prime.
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