Today, E! released a trailer for its upcoming series The Arrangement. The footage depicts a young actress, Megan (Christine Evangelista), who gets a chance to audition opposite a motorcycle-riding Hollywood heartthrob, Kyle West (Josh Henderson). They start to fall in love, but there's a problem: He's a member of a mysterious organization and buddies with its nefarious leader, Terrence Anderson (Michael Vartan). As Kyle and Megan get serious — a contract marriage is on the table — Terrence wants to exert an ominous amount of control over Kyle's personal life. Sound familiar? Megan and Kyle seem to share many things in common with Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise. The institute evokes Scientology, and Terrence has a dose of David Miscavige. While E! disavowed to The Hollywood Reporter that Kyle's character was "inspired by anyone in particular," the trailer does not back away from the real-life parallels. In fact, it only makes them more glaring.
The Arrangement follows in the footsteps of Hulu's The Path, which also generated buzz for seeming to draw on Scientology, even as its creator, Jessica Goldberg, played down the similarities between her show's fictional religion and L. Ron Hubbard's. Perhaps The Arrangement will diverge from its True Hollywood Story-ish premise, but right now it definitely seems like it's ripped from the tabloid headlines.