Netflix is rebooting “The Baby-Sitters Club,” and Omaha native Rachel Shukert is running the show.

Shukert — also a playwright, an author, a Central High grad and producer of the Netflix series “GLOW” — has been named showrunner for this modern reimagining of Ann M. Martin’s best-selling book series, which follows a group of five friends who run a babysitting service in the fictional Stonybrook, Connecticut.

Netflix ordered 10 episodes of “The Baby-Sitters Club,” which is expected to start shooting this spring and be released in 2020, Shukert said.

Martin’s book series, which ran from 1986 to 2000, included more than 200 installments, with more than 180 million copies sold. (Martin wrote the first 35 books in the series.)

“The Baby-Sitters Club” books were previously adapted to the screen with a 1990 HBO series and then a 1995 movie starring Rachael Leigh Cook and Larisa Oleynik.

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The series has never entirely fallen out of the zeitgeist. Since their original run, the books have been reprinted and adapted into graphic novels. In a long-read think piece, the New Yorker celebrated the series’ “feminist legacy.”

“People seem to be super excited about it,” Shukert said of the Netflix show. “It’s such a beloved series.”

Shukert herself grew up reading the novels — as did pretty much every girl she knew. They all swapped books with each other.

Shukert thinks the series’ popularity and endurance came chiefly from the strong characters.

“You could see yourself in all of them,” she said, “although everybody had one they identified with the most. They were archetypal and individual the way that a lot of series about groups of female friends are. I also think girls love them so much because they were doing something (running a babysitting service) as opposed to just meandering around the neighborhood. There was a purpose to them. They were respected in the community. People listened to them. They had some gravitas.”

By the time the 1995 movie came out, Shukert had outgrown the series. But she never lost her fondness for the franchise.

The brand is in good hands. She and her creative team are well aware they’re dealing with a sacred text here — a story that resonated with millions of young readers.

The new show will revolve around the same group of characters, but in a contemporary setting: no landline, just texting.

“It’s based in 2019, that’s the world they’re living in,” Shukert said. “There’s necessarily some things that are a little updated just in terms of how they communicate with each other. (The books) were very inclusive, they were very aware, they were very much about expanding people’s comfort zones, and I think we’re going to try to carry that through and amp it up a little bit.”

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