‘Happy Face’ Gets Green Light at Paramount Plus

Paramount Plus
(Image credit: ViacomCBS)

Happy Face, a drama based on a podcast about a serial killer’s daughter, has gotten a series order from Paramount Plus. Robert and Michelle King are behind the series. 

Happy Face is inspired by the podcast of the same name, from iHeartMedia and Melissa Jesperson-Moore, and book Shattered Silence by Jesperson-Moore with M. Bridget Cook. At age 15, Jesperson-Moore discovered her father was the serial killer known as Happy Face. As an adult, she changed her name, guarded her secret, and cut off all ties to her father, who is serving life in prison.

Jennifer Cacicio is writing the series. She’s an executive producer with the Kings, King Size Productions’ Liz Glotzer, Melissa Jesperson-Moore, and iHeartMedia’s Bob Pittman and Conal Byrne.

In the series, Melissa’s father contacts her to take credit for another victim, and Melissa gets pulled into an extraordinary investigation. “The series follows her as she discovers the impact her father’s crimes had on the families of his victims, which ultimately leads to a reckoning of her own identity,” according to Paramount Plus.  

“Melissa’s unique, deeply personal and utterly shocking story has captivated listeners around the world. We couldn’t be more excited to have Jennifer at the helm of this project for Paramount Plus alongside the incomparable Robert and Michelle King,” said Nicole Clemens, president, Paramount Plus Original Scripted Series. “The Good Fight and more recently Evil are two of the most successful series on our service, and we look forward to bringing our subscribers yet another series for fans to love.”

Robert and Michelle King are behind The Good Fight and Evil on Paramount Plus and The Bite on Spectrum. 

“We’re obsessed with true-crime podcasts, and Happy Face is the best we’ve heard,” said Robert and Michelle King. “Melissa’s story screams out to be dramatized, and Jen is exactly the showrunner to do it.”

Jesperson-Moore is CEO of Redletter Media. “It’s been an incredible journey that I couldn’t have ever foreseen–how I’ve transcended being raised by a serial killer and now am helping survivors tell their stories,” she said. “Happy Face gives me the chance to share the intense internal conflict, fear and peril felt by those affected by true crime. It also inspires me to share the strength that has allowed me to step up in front of the camera so that other survivors will not feel alone in their experience.”

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.