HBO Max has officially greenlit a new series based on the life of culinary icon Julia Child, which will film in the Boston area later this year.
The streaming service announced on Thursday that it ordered an eight-episode first season for “Julia” from Lionsgate Television and 3 Arts Entertainment, which filmed a pilot episode for the show in the Boston area in fall 2020.
“Julia” will be inspired both by the longtime Cambridge resident’s life and her long-running PBS series “The French Chef,” which pioneered the now-ubiquitous cooking show genre.
“Through Julia and her singular can-do spirit, the series explores an evolving time in American history — the emergence of public television as a new social institution, feminism and the women’s movement, the nature of celebrity and America’s cultural growth,” HBO Max wrote in a press release. “At its heart, the series is a portrait of a loving marriage with an evolving and complicated power dynamic.”
The show stars Sarah Lancashire (“Happy Valley”) as Child and David Hyde Pierce (“Frasier”) as her husband, Paul. The cast will be rounded out by Brittany Bradford (“Bernhardt/Hamlet”), Fran Kranz (“Homecoming”), Fiona Glascott (“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”), Bebe Neuwirth (“Madam Secretary”), Isabella Rossellini (“Silent Retreat”), and Jefferson Mays (“I Am the Night”).
An HBO Max spokeswoman confirmed to Boston.com that the show would be filmed in the Boston area. For the pilot episode, crews filmed scenes in Boston, Cambridge, Dedham, Framingham, Lexington, Lynn, Malden, Waltham, Woburn, and Worcester.
During one notable day of filming, crews took over Union Oyster House, transforming the interior of the restaurant to resemble the 1970s version Child frequently visited.
“It was one of Julia’s favorite restaurants,” Union Oyster House owner Joe Milano told WHDH. “She loved oysters, seafood. She was kinda the renaissance lady.”
Chris Keyser (“Party of Five”), who will serve as showrunner and executive producer for “Julia,” is no stranger to the area: Keyser attended Harvard College and Harvard Law School, and filmed the Netflix teen drama series “The Society” in Massachusetts in fall 2018. Keyser had planned to film a second season of “The Society” here last spring, but the series was canceled by Netflix due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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