ABC and Lee Daniels Have a Waiting to Exhale TV Reboot in the Works

Waiting to Exhale, the iconic 1995 film starring Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett, Lela Rochone and Loretta Devine, is officially getting a TV reboot. Here’s what we know.

By Jonathan Borge Nov 19, 2020 6:00 PMTags
Watch: Remembering Whitney Houston 11 Years Later: E! News Rewind

"Four friends determined to face reality, to find the perfect love, to take control of their lives, and to make dreams come true."

Those words were used in the original trailer to describe the 1995 classic film Waiting to Exhale. Starring Whitney Houston as Savannah, Angela Bassett as Bernadine, Lela Rochone as Robin and Loretta Devine as Gloria, director Forest Whitaker's film was a box office smash that stands the test of time. And now, it's officially getting reimagined for your TV.

According to Deadline, ABC is working with Empire's Lee Daniels to produce a reboot adaptation of the movie. The show will be written by Atticka Locke (When They See Us) and Tembi Locke (Never Have I Ever) while Anthony Hemingway (Genius: Aretha) will step up as director. Inspired by the film, it'll introduce a new group of four friends—the daughters of the original characters. 

The 1995 film was based on Terry McMillan's 1992 novel of the same name. Following its release that December, it opened at number one and was ranked among the top 30 movies of 1995, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Whitney Houston's Highs & Lows

For so many fans, it's the soundtrack—which features songs by Houston, Brandy, Toni Braxton and Mary J. Blige—that makes the film unforgettable. 

In a 1995 interview with Oprah Winfrey, the cast opened up about landing their roles and developing their chemistry. "I actually told Forest, ‘If Angela does it, I'll do it,'" Houston told Winfrey. Basset shared her side of the story, too.

Randee St Nicholas/20th Century Fox/Kobal/Shutterstock

"I saw [Forest] in the parking lot at FOX and he said, ‘Angela, I'm going to New York to talk to Whitney. And will you do it?'" she said. "And I said, ‘Forest, I can't say yes, but if you're directing and Whitney's in it, how could I say no?'"


As for who will be cast to bring the energy of those four women back to life? Let the guessing games begin.