Here is an anecdote a producer shared with me during the pitch portion of this development season. He’d taken a writer to a network meeting. The writer poured his heart out pitching a show based on his life, but the network executive appeared uninterested, barely paying attention. As they were heading out, the producer mentioned he also had the rights to a book. Upon hearing the title, the executive’s eyes immediately lit up. “I’ll buy that show,” the exec exclaimed before even hearing what the book was about. This has been the case over and over this season, with the networks going hard and heavy after book adaptations and remakes of TV shows and movies, betting on underlying material as well as the familiar or catchy titles that come with it.
Related: Primetime Pilot Panic Pages
In light of the blockbuster success of two series based on books, HBO’s Game Of Thrones and AMC’s The Walking Dead, there are a slew of literary adaptations this season. The book-driven pilots include CBS‘ dramas Backstrom, based on the Backstrom books by Leif G.W. Persson, and Anatomy Of Violence, inspired by the non-fiction book by Adrian Raine; Fox‘s drama Delirium, based on Lauren Oliver’s book trilogy; Fox’s comedy I Suck At Girls, based on Justin Halpern’s book; NBC comedies Girlfriend in a Coma, based on Douglas Coupland’s book, and Undateable, based on the book by Ellen Rakieten & Anne Coyle; NBC drama The Secret Lives Of Husbands and Wives, inspired by Josie Brown’s novel; the CW dramas The Hundred, based on the books by Kass Morgan, and The Selection, based on the book by Keira Cass; Fox comedy To My Future Assistant, based on the blog and upcoming book by Lydia Whitlock; ABC drama The Returned, based on an upcoming novel by Jason Mott; and CBS drama Intelligence, based on on an unpublished book by John Dixon, joined by CBS’ summer series Under The Dome, based on Stephen King’s book.