The company, run by Nick Witkowski, has acquired the rights to the books, written by John Grant, under the pen name Jonathan Gash, from agent Lisa Moylett at CMM Literary Agency. Grant wrote over 20 Lovejoy novels including The Judas Pair and The Vatican Rip.
Witkowski said that he planned to “update it for the 21st century for both the millions who followed the original and a whole new generation of viewers”.
The series ran for 71 episodes over six seasons on BBC One between 1986 and 1994. Originally adapted for television by Ian La Frenais and distributed by Fremantle, the show followed roguish antiques dealer Lovejoy, played by McShane, who had a reputation for recognizing exceptional items as well as distinguishing genuine antiques from fakes.
The show, which aired on A&E in the U.S., has been the subject of a number of attempted remakes. Sky attempted to reboot it in the early 2000s, while Allan McKeowan, who produced Tracey Ullman’s eponymous HBO comedy, tried in 2007. Tony Jordan, who runs Red Planet Pictures and produced series such as Hustle and Life on Mars, also attempted it in 2015.
McShane, who recently starred in the movie reboot of HBO’s Deadwood, told the Radio Times in 2015 that he wasn’t averse to a remake, although he should only have a cameo.
“If you’re gonna do it, why don’t you do a show…[where] in walks this 37-year-old, gorgeous redhead. And it’s not McShane having been transgendered, you know, it’s an actual, live daughter. Much more interesting than having me come back,” he said.
CMM Literary Agency’s Moylett said of the deal, “We are very excited to be working with Nick Witkowski who has a strong and compelling vision for the series. Jonathan Gash, who has written 24 critically-acclaimed Lovejoy novels, is absolutely thrilled at the prospect.” The Bookseller was first with the news.
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