NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Paramount+ today announced that Emmy Award and two-time Golden Globe-nominated actor Dennis Quaid (LAWMEN: BASS REEVES, The Rookie, The Day After Tomorrow) will star in the new original drama series HAPPY FACE. Quaid will play the titular role of the real-life serial killer notoriously called “Happy Face” because of the smiley faces he drew on evidence where he bragged about his crimes. He joins the cast alongside previously announced actress Annaleigh Ashford, who is set to star as his daughter, Melissa. The eight-episode first season will begin production this spring in Vancouver and premiere exclusively on Paramount+ globally in 2025.

HAPPY FACE is inspired by the true-life story of Melissa Moore; the critically acclaimed Happy Face podcast from iHeartPodcasts and Moore; and the autobiography Shattered Silence, written by Moore with M. Bridget Cook.

HAPPY FACE for Paramount+ jumps off from Moore’s true-life story. Happy Face (Quaid) is an incarcerated serial killer who also is Melissa’s (Ashford) once-beloved father. After decades of no contact, he finally finds a way to force himself back into his daughter’s life. In a race against the clock, Melissa must find out if an innocent man is going to be put to death for a crime her father committed. Throughout, she discovers the impact her father had on his victims’ families and must face a reckoning of her own identity.

Quaid is an Emmy Award and two-time Golden Globe® nominee who’s known for his roles in hit films such as The Rookie, The Day After Tomorrow, Traffic, Vantage Point, Frequency, The Parent Trap, Soul Surfer, The Right Stuff, Breaking Away, Midway and many more. His recent credits include a starring role in the hit Paramount+ series LAWMEN: BASS REEVES. Quaid recently completed production portraying the 40th president of the United States in the biopic Reagan, produced by Mark Joseph and directed by Sean McNamara.

HAPPY FACE is produced by CBS Studios in association with King Size Productions, iHeartPodcasts and Semi-Formal Productions. Michael Showalter (The Dropout, The Eyes of Tammy Faye) will direct the first episode. HAPPY FACE is executive produced by Jennifer Cacicio – who also serves as showrunner – and Robert and Michelle King, Liz Glotzer, Melissa Moore, Conal Byrne, Will Pearson, Showalter and Jordana Mollick. The series is distributed by Paramount Global Content Distribution.

Dennis Quaid is an Emmy® Award and two-time Golden Globe® nominee, who’s known for his roles in hit films THE ROOKIE, THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, TRAFFIC, VANTAGE POINT, FREQUENCY, THE PARENT TRAP, SOUL SURFER, THE RIGHT STUFF, BREAKING AWAY, MIDWAY and many more. On the film and television side, Quaid’s recent big-screen credits include starring roles in Netflix’s uplifting film, BLUE MIRACLE, Sony’s thriller THE INTRUDER, Universal’s A DOG’S JOURNEY and A DOG’S PURPOSE and Roadside Attractions’ I CAN ONLY IMAGINE, among others. Quaid recently completed production portraying the 40th president of the United States in the biopic, REAGAN, produced by Mark Joseph and directed by Sean McNamara. In 2022, Quaid co-starred with Jake Gyllenhaal in Disney’s animated adventure film STRANGE WORLD. Alongside his acting career, Quaid is also a respected singer-songwriter with hundreds of thousands of miles under his belt as a recording and touring musician who’s been playing music since his grandfather bought him his first guitar. A riveting performer, Quaid captivates the audiences with engaging stories about his illustrious film career and stories behind the highly personal songs that populate his new inspirational album, Fallen: A Gospel Record for Sinners, released on July 28, 2023, via Gaither Music Group. Quaid is represented by UTA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners, Adkins Publicity and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller. 

To keep up with Dennis Quaid, follow him on Instagram and visit  

Paramount+, a direct-to-consumer digital subscription video on-demand and live streaming service, combines live sports, breaking news and A Mountain of Entertainment™. The streaming service features an expansive library of original series, hit shows and popular movies across every genre from world-renowned brands and production studios, including BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures and the Smithsonian Channel. Paramount+ with SHOWTIME®, the service’s cornerstone plan, is also home to SHOWTIME® content, including scripted hits and critically acclaimed nonfiction projects and films. This premium plan includes unmatched events and sports programming through the local live CBS stream, including golf, basketball and more. All Paramount+ subscribers have streaming access to CBS News Network for 24/7 news and CBS Sports HQ for sports news and analysis.

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CBS Studios is one of the world’s leading suppliers of entertainment programming with development and production for broadcast, cable networks, streaming services, and other emerging platforms. The Studio’s expansive portfolio spans a diverse slate of commercially successful and critically acclaimed scripted programming, which includes genre-defining franchises such as NCIS, CSI and the ever-growing Star Trek universe, award-winning late night and daytime talk shows, as well as an extensive library of iconic intellectual property. The Studio also develops and produces local language and international content originating outside of the US for viewers around the world.
Paramount+ Press Contact:
Eve Kenny:
[email protected]
CBS Studios Press Contacts:
Liz Rolnik:
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