EXCLUSIVE: Nicholas Sparks is making his first foray into TV writing. The bestselling novelist, whose books have spawned several hit feature films, has sold an original story idea to ABC for a drama series that will be produced by ABC Studios and Twilight producer Temple Hill. The drama, titled The Watchers, tells the story of a fallen angel looking for his mortal love. Sparks teamed for the project with Temple Hill, which previously produced the film adaptation of Sparks’ novel Dear John and is now in pre-production on another Sparks feature adaptation, that of his 2010 novel Safe Haven. Sparks and Temple Hill then took the idea to ABC Studios, where Temple Hill has an overall deal. Kristin Hahn was brought in to co-write the script with Sparks and the pitch was taken to ABC, which bought it right away. Sparks is executive producing with Temple Hill’s Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey. Theresa Park, Sparks’ longtime publishing agent and president of his production company, is producing.
“I’ve always wanted to create a smart, unconventional show about angels on Earth, and ABC is the perfect home for this kind of imaginative, character-driven drama,” said Sparks who, along with Park, is repped by UTA. This is Sparks’ first original TV project. Several years ago, CBS developed a drama based on his book The Rescue. Temple Hill is off to a strong start in television. The feature producer entered the TV arena last December when it signed a two-year deal at ABC Studios and sold its first TV project, a contemporary re-imagining of Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo, to ABC. The project, Revenge, was picked up to pilot and then series and is slated to premiere tomorrow night.