Meghan McCain moves on! TV host lands first job since quitting The View - producing a Lifetime movie adaptation of a book that 'helped her through grief' - which will also mark Heather Locklear's return to the screen
Meghan McCain has yet to make her official exit from The View, but she has already lined up her next big project: producing the movie version of a book that 'helped her through her journey in grief' after the death of her father, US senator John McCain.
The 36-year-old mother-of-one shared the news on Instagram on Monday afternoon, just weeks after she announced that she was resigning from the ABC talk show, voicing her 'excitement' over the project - which will also mark actress Heather Locklear's return to the small screen.
Meghan is set to serve as executive producer on the Lifetime movie, which Deadline reports will 'tell the emotional and inspiring true story of Kristine Carlson', co-author of the best-selling book series Don't Sweat the Small Stuff.
The movie will focus on Carlson's life and and her struggle to come to terms with the sudden death of her husband, author and psychotherapist Dr. Richard Carlson, who passed away from a pulmonary embolism in 2006 when he was just 45 years old, leaving behind and his wife and their two daughters.
Heather, 59, will star as Carlson in the film - which has been given the working title Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff: The Kristine Carlson Story - alongside former Vampire Diaries actor Jason MacDonald, who will take on the role of her husband.
'In the film, co-authors of The New York Times bestselling book series, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, Kristine Carlson and her husband Dr. Richard Carlson had an amazing life with their two daughters,' Deadline says of the movie's plot.
'But when Richard tragically passes away, Kristine is knocked off balance. Comfortable with living in Richard’s shadow, she is now forced to navigate the unchartered territory of becoming a single mom while dealing with pressure to become the new face and voice of the Don't Sweat the Small Stuff brand.'
Speaking about her new gig on Instagram, Meghan opened up about the personal significance of the project, explaining that the Don't Sweat the Small Stuff book series - which began in 1997 - helped her to process her own feelings of loss and grief in the wake of her father's death from brain cancer in 2018.
'I am beyond excited and honored to be partnering with @lifetimetv and @kristine_carlson to executive produce the legendary “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” book into a Lifetime film with icon @HeatherLocklear starring as Kristine,' she wrote.
'This book helped me through my own journey in grief and loss with inspiration from Kristine and the “Dont Sweat The Small Stuff” story.
'I can’t wait to continue on this journey with the creation of this movie and to be given the opportunity to share it with all of you and be a part of the “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” family.
'I know this movie, like the book is going to help and inspire so many people and there is no better time than now for it to be made!'
The movie - which also stars Natasha Bure, daughter of Full House actress Candace Cameron Bure - will be filmed in Nashville and is set to premiere later this year.
News of Meghan's involvement in the project comes less than four weeks after she announced live on air that she was quitting the ABC daytime talk show, following a four-year run, in order to spend more time focusing on raising her daughter.
DailyMail.com had revealed hours earlier that Meghan was planning to step away from the daytime talk show at the end of this month, despite still having two years left on her contract.
Her co-hosts, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sara Haines, Sunny Hostin and Ana Navarro, were not aware prior to Thursday that McCain had resigned, a source told DailyMail.com at the time.
Meghan addressed her resignation during the The View's opening segment, saying: 'I'm going to rip the bandaid off'.
'I am here to tell you - all of my wonderful co-hosts and viewers at home - that this is going to be my last season here at The View. It's not easy to leave but I feel like this is the right decision for me at the moment.'
The outspoken co-host said she had built an 'incredible life' in Washington DC after leaving New York City while she was still pregnant with daughter Liberty during the COVID pandemic.
'When I think about where I want Liberty to have her first steps, her first words - I just have this really wonderful life here that ultimately I felt like I didn't want to leave.'
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff: The story behind the best-selling book series that is now set to take the small screen by storm
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff is a multi-book series authored by late psychotherapist Dr. Richard Carlson, who penned more than a dozen books during his life.
The first book in the series, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff... and It's All Small Stuff, was published in 1997 and spent more than 100 weeks on the New York Times best seller list.
Each book in the series focuses on relieving stress, with each volume concentrating on a different demographic or issue, from teens and family to money and work.
Dr. Carlson went on to author and co-author six more books in the series, which was then carried on by his wife Kristine following his death in 2006.
The father-of-two passed away suddenly at the age of 45 after suffering from a pulmonary embolism during a flight from San Francisco to New York.
He was survived by his wife Kristine and their two daughter, Jasmine and Kenna, and their family's story is now set to be re-told in the Lifetime movie Don't Sweat the Small Stuff: The Kristine Carlson Story.
Meghan also praised her co-hosts, who she regularly spars with on the show, saying it had been 'one of the greatest, most exhilarating, wonderful privileges' of her life working on The View.
'It is a privilege to work alongside such strong, brilliant, intelligent broadcasters... You are the most talented women on all of television,' she said of her co-hosts.
Speaking about when she first landed the role, Meghan said: 'I didn't want to join the show as I think I've talked about it in the past. It was my dad who encouraged me to do it. He was right.'
Meghan, who is due to leave the show at the end of this month, then quipped: 'I will still be here another month so if you guys want to fight a bit more we still have a few more weeks.'
Her co-hosts took turns praising the mother-of-one following the announcement, describing her as 'tough' and acknowledging her 'important point of view'.
Joy Behar, who Meghan clashed with regularly over their differing political opinions, commended her for sticking her neck out on the show.
'You and I have had some fights and disagreements. You and I have in common where we're on a show where we stick our necks out. We stick by our points of view. You've done that brilliantly for four years,' Behar said.
'You're no snowflake missy.'
The View and ABC had fought to keep McCain on the show, according to DailyMail.com's source.
'We have tried to keep her, but she is adamant that now is the right time for her to leave,' they said.
ABC News issued a statement after the segment aired, saying: 'For the past four years, Meghan McCain has brought her fierce determination and vast political knowledge and experience to The View.
'She recently came to us with her decision to depart the show at the end of this season, a difficult choice that she made for her and her family that we respect and understand.
'We wish the best for Meghan as she plans her next chapter, and thank her for the passion and unique voice that she shared with us and our viewers each day.'
Meghan joined the show back in October 2017 and she has become a leading Republican voice in the media over the years.
Prior to her hosting gig on The View, Meghan was propelled onto the media scene as a columnist for The Daily Beast, a Fox News host and an MSNBC contributor.
Meghan launched a docuseries in 2013 - Raising McCain - in which she was followed around the country covering current events and topics, including feminism and bullying.
She then went on to host the late-night news program 'TakePart Live' on Pivot TV.
Meghan is also a New York Times best-selling author having published her first book in 2008: My Dad, John McCain.
She has been married to her husband Ben Domenech since 2017 and the pair welcomed their first daughter Liberty in September last year.
As well as serving as Meghan's first major movie project, the film will also mark Heather's first significant on-screen role since 2017, when she appeared in the TLC series Too Close to Home, which was canceled after just two seasons.
The movie is one of the first projects that Heather - who shot to fame while starring on Melrose Place in the 1990s - has worked on since she marked a year of sobriety in April 2020, the same month that she got engaged to her high school sweetheart Chris Heisser, with whom she rekindled her romance in 2017.
The road to true love has been a difficult one for the couple, who first dated while attending Newbury Park High School, from which they graduated in 1979 - after being named Prom King and Queen.
Heather then went on to marry rockers Tommy Lee, 58, from 1986 to 1993 and Richie Sambora, 61, from 1994 to 2007, with whom she has a daughter, Ava, 23.
Meanwhile Chris gained success as an AMA motocross racer and a contractor; he has also been married and divorced, and has four children.
The couple reconnected in 2017, with Heather posting a photo in September of that year to her Instagram account of them in bed with the caption: 'My favorite person on earth. 40 years later.'
However Heather's battle with addiction almost derailed the romance.
She was arrested on February 25, 2018 after allegedly fighting with Chris and attacking the police officers that responded to the 911 call her brother Mark made to her home.
According to reports filed about the incident, Chris was found to have visible marks on his body due to the intense altercation.
Domestic violence charges against the star were later dropped, but a stint in rehab followed.
Chris was arrested on a DUI charge on February 26, 2018, following the incident.
In June of 2018, Heather was arrested again, under similar circumstances for two counts of misdemeanor battery on first responders.
More than a year later she pleaded 'no contest' to charges stemming from that arrest and was sentenced to 30 days in a residential mental health facility.
Following the 2018 scandal, Heather committed to herself to getting sober, and celebrated her one-year milestone with an emotional Instagram post in which she shared a long quote from Maya Angelou, presumably in reference to some of the things she has learned over the past 12 months.
In the caption, she wrote: 'Hugs will come later!' in a reference to the fact that everyone is currently self-isolating due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The quote she posted included the following: 'I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad its seems today, life does go on and and it will be better tomorrow....
'I've learned that making a ''living'' is not the same thing as making a ''life''..... 'I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.
'I've learned that I still have a lot to learn. I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.'