11/22/63, a drama series adaptation of Stephen King‘s bestselling 2011 novel, produced by J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot, has landed at Hulu with a 9-episode straight-to-series order. The thriller is described as an event series, but the streaming service is open to additional seasons, possibly focused on other historic events. The pickup comes a year and a half after Bad Robot optioned the rights to the book through Warner Bros TV, where the company is based. “I’ve been a fan of Stephen King since I was in junior high school,” Abrams said. “The chance to work with him at all, let alone on a story so compelling, emotional and imaginative, is a dream.
Adapted for television by Bridget Carpenter (The Red Road), 11/22/63 centers on Jake, an unassuming divorced English teacher who stumbles upon a time portal that leads to 9/9/1958 and goes on a quest to try and prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy, which occurred on November 22, 1963. But his mission is threatened by Lee Harvey Oswald, his falling in love and the past itself … which doesn’t want to be changed. “If I ever wrote a book that cries out for long-form, event TV programming, 11/22/63 is it,” King said. “I’m excited that it’s going to happen, and am looking forward to working with J.J. Abrams and the whole Bad Robot team.” King, Abrams, Carpenter and Bryan Burk executive produce; Kathy Lingg co-executive produces, and Athena Wickham is producer.
11/22/63 marks the first original programming collaboration between Hulu and WBTV and reunites Craig Erwich, Hulu’s head of content, and WBTV. Before joining Hulu earlier this year, Erwich headed WBTV’s cable division Warner Horizon.
Bad Robot, which also produces CBS drama Person Of Interest, has been a little quiet on the TV front as Abrams has been busy directing and producing the next Star Wars movie. King’s books are a hot property for drama series at the moment. CBS has summer series Under The Dome and just gave a put pilot commitment to an adaptation of his novel The Things They Left Behind, produced by Greg Berlanti. King is repped by Paradigm.