Why the Marley & Me Pilot Should Refocus Its Storyline


NBC recently announced that it has green lit a pilot based on the popular film, Marley & Me, which was in turn inspired by a memoir of the same name. The script for the pilot will be written by Jenny Bicks, who won Emmy Awards for her work on Sex and the City. Director David Frankel is currently tied to the project as the director.


The series is being marketed a single-camera comedy series which picks up where the film left off. The Grogan family–complete with their three kids–move back to Florida in order for John to restart his popular newspaper column. A stray dog who was abandoned by his abusive owners appears on their doorstep and the family decides to adopt the dog as their own. In a strange twist of fate, they ultimately decide to call the dog Marley (though she is a female) and attach Marley’s old tags to her collar. The ‘new’ Marley, like the original Marley, is a rambunctious, willful dog who brings joy and chaos to the Grogan family.

So far, NBC has only green light the show for a pilot, which may premiere as early as 2015. However, fans of the original film, the memoir and “dog” cinema in general have criticized NBC’s current plan for the show. The following are the major criticisms that Marley and Me fans are leveling at the plans for the pilot.


It’s essentially the same storyline as the film
The current plot for the TV show is essentially the same as the film: a rambunctious dog who doesn’t behave like people think he should bring chaos and love wherever they go. The dog will even literally have the same name and personality as Marley, and serve the same function as the original Marley did in the film.

It’s too far-fetched (no pun intended)
 Many fans have noted that it’s just a bit too coincidental for the family in the show to adopt a stray dog who was being abused by its owners, only for the dog to have the same personality as Marley. If the show does want to begin where the film left off and include a new dog character, it would be more realistic if the dog was not a copy of Marley but was a unique character that brought something different to the family dynamic.

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