She famously belted the lyric "I wanna see you be brave," and now that Sara Bareilles' musical series with J.J. Abrams was picked up by Apple, the singer-songwriter is going to be able to take a shot at helping 20-somethings do just that. As revealed by The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, June 6, the half-hour dramedy, Little Voice, "explores the universal journey of finding your authentic voice in your early 20s." So, yeah, it's safe to say it will resonate with — and likely inspire — many in that age group.
"I've been keeping a secret," the the Grammy nominee tweeted after news broke of Apple's straight-to-series order for 10 episodes of what is further described as "a love letter to the diverse musicality of New York" and that promises to "explore the search to find one's true voice — and then the courage to use it."
And if anyone knows how to use her powerful voice, it's Bareilles, who will reportedly also provide original music for the series, which shares a name with the 2007 platinum-selling album that earned her Song of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Grammy noms for her hit "Love Song." While it has not yet been decided if she'll appear onscreen, in addition to her executive producer credit, we can only hope, of course.
For his part, as if Abrams wasn't busy enough writing and directing next year's highly anticipated Star Wars: Episode IX, he also has a full slate of upcoming TV projects, in addition to Little Voice — his Bad Robot production company's first-ever half-hour series. Among said shows are Hulu's Stephen King anthology, Castle Rock, as well as Demimonde and Lovecraft Country, which will both air on HBO. Oh, yeah, and he has a executive producer credit on the premium network's megahit Westworld, too.
Little Voice seems to be kicking off a trend for Apple of delving into cool, millennial-aimed shows. The tech giant also recently ordered to series a feminist coming-of-age series about a young Emily Dickinson, which will star Hailee Steinfeld. Also sure to be on your streaming must-watch list are its Octavia Spencer-led drama, Are You Sleeping and an untitled morning news drama starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston. Witherspoon has also signed on to produce another Apple comedy starring Kristen Wiig.
Before Bareilles gets to work pulling double duty on the new show, though, she has another big gig on her mind: She and fellow musician Josh Groban are co-hosting this year's Tony Awards on Sunday, June 10 (airing on CBS at 8 p.m. ET). And the composer (and eventual star of) the 2016 musical Waitress, who also played Mary Magdalene in NBC's live broadcast of Jesus Christ Superstar in April.
While fans wait to hear her new tunes on Little Voice, Bareilles — who earned her first Tony nomination for best score last year (and a Grammy best musical theater album nod as well) for her work on Waitress — may give us a little music treat to hold us over this weekend as well.
"It would feel really out of character if we didn't sing at all," she recently told THR of sharing the stage at Radio City Music Hall with her friend Groban. "I think we're both excited to use our voices onstage."
See? She's already helping others exude excitement about using their voices — and without too many nerves, either: "I'm no stranger to being onstage, and in my line of work you endlessly get thrown into a position of having to lead a room. I don't feel intimidated about that part."
With an inspirational musical powerhouse like Bareilles and an A-list producer like Abrams at the helm, Little Voice is sure to inspire viewers in a big way.