Networks Go For Dramas Based On Source Material; 3 More Adaptations Enter The Fray

With drama sale season in full force, book and format adaptations have emerged as a red-hot commodity. ABC is working on a U.S. version of hit British series Spooks with writer Michael Seitzman, NBC is developing an adaptation of Stephen King’s novel The Dark Tower with Imagine and writer Akiva Goldsman, Fox handed a series commitment to an Alex Kurtzman/Roberto Orci/DreamWorks TV-produced adaptation of King’s son Joe Hill’s graphic novel Locke & Key, CBS has picked up Treadstone, a spy drama based on Robert Ludlum’s novels from CSI creator Anthony Zuiker and feature writer John Glenn, and Warner Bros. is looking to turn DC comic The Sandman into series.

Three new projects are about to join them. Sony TV is developing a single-camera half-hour comedy based on the 2009 indie Breaking Upwards with the film’s co-writers/stars Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones and producer Aaron Kaplan. It centers on a young couple exploring alternatives to monogamy as they decide to spend 4 days a week together and the other 3 as single people. Kaplan is executive producing through his Kapital Entertainment. Wein, who also directed the movie, and Lister-Jones are expected to co-exec produce. The duo, repped by Gersh, recently sold comedy pitch Motherf***er to Fox Searchlight.

Glenn, who is writing Treadstone, is behind another adaptation that has received a premium script order, a drama based on the British series Identity, which is in the works at ABC. It deals with identity theft, hails from ABC Studios, ITV Studios and the Mark Gordon Co. The original series, created by Ed Whitmore, aired its six-episode first season on ITV this summer. In addition to writing, Glenn, repped by ICM and manager Brian Lutz, is executive producing along with Mark Gordon and Deborah Spera of the Mark Gordon Co. and ITV Studios’ Paul Buccieri and Julie Meldal-Johnsen. On the film side, Glenn has Junkers set up at 20th Century Fox and Merlin at Warner Bros.

And Warner Bros TV-based Bruckheimer TV is looking to do a half-hour series based on the comic strip Zits which is looking for a writer. It centers on Jeremy, a teen from Midwestern suburbia, as he juggles his social life, high school, family life, & his plans for the future. The strip, syndicated in 1,500 papers, debuted in 1997 and is written by cartoonist Jerry Scott and illustrated by Jim Borgman. Developing comedies has been a priority this season for Bruckheimer TV whose series slate is dominated by one-hours.

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