EXCLUSIVE: Amazon has set for development The Inheritance Games, a TV series based on Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ upcoming YA novel, the first in a two-book series. The project hails from Sony Pictures TV and Josh Berman’s studio-based Osprey Productions, which landed the rights to the books in a competitive situation. Barnes will co-produce the adaptation, which is looking for a writer.
In The Inheritance Games, when an eccentric billionaire dies and leaves his fortune to a teenage girl he’s never met, the world—and his relatives—are obsessed with figuring out why.
The Inheritance Games will be published in October 2020 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, with an untitled second YA title to follow.
YA has been a rapidly growing area for Amazon Studios since it was identified as a priority by Jennifer Salke when she took over the studio. Last year, the company ordered its first YA series, The Wilds and Panic.
Barnes wrote her first published novel when she was nineteen-years-old and sold her first five books while still in college, according to her bio on her website. In additional to writing YA novels, Barnes has also written original pilot scripts for networks such as USA and MTV. She has advanced degrees in psychology, psychiatry, and cognitive science, including graduate degrees from Cambridge University, where she was a Fulbright Scholar, and Yale University, where she received her Ph.D. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma, where she holds a dual appointment in Psychology and Professional Writing. Barnes is repped by Holly Frederick at Curtis Brown Ltd.
Berman also has The Gordita Chronicles, a coming-of-age kids and family comedy with Sony TV set at HBO Max, along with a modern adaptation of Turn of the Screw and Murder House Flip, a true-crime renovation series, both with Sony Pictures TV, set at Quibi. Berman created ABC’s Notorious and created and served as an executive producer on Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva.