Downton Abbey producer Carnival Films is developing a TV adaptation of Francesca Segal’s novel The Awkward Age with the BBC. The NBC Universal-owned production company is in development with the BBC on the project.

Carnival Films acquired the rights to the book, which was published by Chatto & Windus in May 2017 and has been lauded by the likes of Nick Hornby, who called it “smart, soulful and compelling”.

An Inspector Calls and The Suspicions of Mr Whicher writer Helen Edmundson is adapting the book for the screen. The Awkward Age tells the story of two stories from north-west London, who unite in imperfect harmony. It follows Julia, who after five years of widowhood, falls madly in love. However, her daughter hates her new partner and his son Nathan, making bringing the two families together slightly more difficult.

The Awkward Age will be executive produced by Carnival’s Gareth Neame, Nigel Marchant and Joanna Strevens, with Tara Cook as development producer. NBC Universal International Distribution will distribute the series worldwide.

Neame, who is exec producing Julian Fellowes’ Downton follow-up The Gilded Age for NBC, said “Francesca Segal’s The Awkward Age is an extraordinary work in its sensitivity, honesty and ability to explore the many aspects of these deeply authentic characters.  We are delighted to have the perfect screenwriter to adapt this material in Helen Edmundson, who is deeply passionate about the book and bringing all of the strengths of the novel to screen.”