Archive for the ‘Books & TV’ Category

Amazon Turns to Books

Monday, January 19th, 2015

A few years ago, Netflix introduced the world to the idea of bingeing on an entire season of a new series, by streaming al the episodes of House of Cards at one time, following up by doing the same with Orange is the New Black.

Amazon also got into that game. Its series Transparent just made history as the first online series to win two Golden Globe awards, one for best comedy and another show’s star, Jeffrey Tambor as best actor,

Now they have announced their fist drama series. This time, it is based on books. Boschfeaturing the character from Michael Connelly’s best-selling Harry Bosch series, debuts February 13 on Prime Instant Video.

+-+31003037_140   9781455519644

Connelly, who is also a producer for the show, co-wrote the script. According to a story in the production in the Wall Street Journal, it is based on two Bosch titles,,  The Concrete Blonde, (1991, Hachette/Little Brown; #3 in the series) and (City of Bones, 2002; #8).

Amazon has also just  released their 4th “pilot season,” which gives viewers the opportunity to watch and rate seven new pilots aimed at adults and six more for kids (Woody Allen who recently struck a deal with Amazon to create his own series next year, will not have to go through this process. His series will go direct to release).

One of those pilots is based on a book, The Man in the High Castle, adapted by Ridley Scott from the iconic alternate reality novel by Philip K. Dick. The press is giving it high marks (see Entertainment Weekly, the Telegraph and the Seattle Times).

THE SLAP Is “Not About the Slap”

Monday, January 19th, 2015

The SlapThe first full-length trailer for the 8-episode TV series based on the controversial award-winning Australian novel, The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas, (Penguin, 2010) was released on Friday.

TV critics asked the cast questions about the act that sets off a series of events, a man slapping someone else’s child at a neighborhood barbecue. At one point, during panel at the Television Critics Association winter press tour, Zachary Quinto, the actor who administers the act of corporal punishment told the critics, “It’s not really about the slap. All of these characters come to the table with a tremendous amount of internal conflict and struggle about different aspects of their lives. The great thing about it is it’s a launching point for very little black and white and a lot of gray.”

Also starring Uma Thurman, the series is directed by Lisa Cholodenko, (HBO’s Olive Kitteridge and the movie The Kids are All Right). It premieres Thursday, Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. NBC.

The book became a reading group staple in both Australia and the U.K. and was made into a popular Australian TV series in 2011 (as a result, some reports cite the new adaptation as a remake of that series, without noting the original source material).

Released in the U.S. as an original trade paperback, it received a strong endorsement from the Washington Post. The reviewer praised it for giving American readers a sense of life in Australia, while exploring subjects that resonate here,

In The Slap we live for a few short weeks in suburban Australia, learning the language, becoming intimate with the characters and experiencing their customs. But finally the novel transcends both suburban Melbourne and the Australian continent, leaving us exhausted but gasping with admiration.

The setting for the American version is Park Slope, Brooklyn.

The Next STAR TREK

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

The debut on Friday of the Syfy Channel’s new series 12 Monkeys, based on Terry Gilliam’s 1995 movie, is part of the cable network’s plan to lure back its audience by returning to its roots in scripted, hard-core science fiction.

9780316129084Other upcoming series are based on books. Just released is a trailer for The Expanse, based on James S.A. Corey‘s series of the same title that begins with Leviathan Wakes, (Hachette/Orbit, 2011). The 10-episodes series, aims, says Entertainment Weekly to be “the next great Star Trek/Firefly/Farscape space drama” or “Game of Thrones in space.”

 

The date for the series has not yet been announced, but the release of the trailer indicates it is not far off.

9780345423498_f0263  9780765331533  9780765348258

Also on tap are adaptations of  two Arthur C. Clarke novels, 3001 The Final Odyssey, (RH/Del Rey, 1997) in development with Ridley Scott as the executive producer and Childhood’s End, (RH/Ballantine, 1953), currently being cast, as well as  Hunters, based on Whitley Strieber’s novel Alien Hunter, (Macmillan/Tor, 2013) and the just-announced adaptation of Robert Charles Wilson’s 2005 novel Spin. (Macmillan/Tor, 2005).

FINDERS KEEPERS Follows
MR. MERCEDES

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Mr. MercedesIn June, Stephen King announced a followup to Mr. Mercedes, the second in a planned trilogy, titled Finders Keepers, (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio; 6/2/15).

Yesterday, it was announced that the first book is being developed as a limited series for the small screen, to be directed by Jack Bender who did the adaptation of King’s Under the Dome, that aired on CBS last year.

DOVEKEEPERS Trailer Debuts

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

The trailer for four-hour mini-series adaptation of The Dovekeepers, (S&S/Scribner, 2012), Alice Hoffman’s historical novel about the Siege of Masada has just debuted online. The series will air in two parts on CBS, March 31 and April 1, 9-11 p.m. ET/PT.

Produced by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, dubbed by Deadline, “Hollywood’s It Couple when it comes to religious programming,” it stars Cote de Pablo, with Rachel Brosnahan, Kathryn Prescott, Diego Boneta and Sam Neill.

Speaking to TV critics on Monday during the Winter TV Press Tour, Downey explained why she wanted to adapt the novel, “What attracted me is it had these amazingly powerful and courageous women. For many years as an actress myself I was always looking for the story or scripts that really put women out front and center. This does that. It’s profoundly moving.”

Tie-ins (for tie-ins to all upcoming movies and TV see our catalog on Edelweiss):

9781476790381_e6b30

The DovekeepersAlice Hoffman
S&S/Scribners, March 17, 2015
Trade Paperback

Mass Market, S&S/Pocket Book

Simon & Schuster Audio

NIGHT MANAGER Coming To AMC

Monday, January 12th, 2015

ibg.common.titledetail.imageloader-2AMC has landed the rights to a TV mini-series adaptation of The Night Manager, based on the 1993 novel by by John le Carré. Starring Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers) and Hugh Laurie (House), it will be directed by Academy Award winner Susanne Bier (In a Better World) and is set to begin shooting this spring.

The author’s first post-Cold War novel, it was a best seller, but is no longer in print and is not on recent critics’s lists of the author’s best works:

John le Carré Starter Kit – Dwight Garner, NY Times

Which Is the Best John le Carré Novel?  David Denby, The New Yorker

6 Classic le Carré Novels to Read After A Most Wanted Man, New York magazine

Top 10 John le Carré novelsTelegraph

Shooting has wrapped on a movie adaptation of another le Carre novel, Our Kind of Traitor, (Penguin/Viking, 2010), starring Ewan McGregor, Naomie Harris and Damian Lewis, directed by Susanna White. A U.S. release date has not been announced.

OUTLANDER Returns

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

The first full trailer has landed for the second half of Starz adaptation of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, which begins on April 4.

Helping to promote it, Diana Gabaldon spoke to the Television Critics Assn. last week. Noting that the TV version’s audience  is 47% male, she said, “I mean no disrespect to the hordes of female readers whom I value immensely, but the TV show has brought me a lot more male readers.”

She also said she is at work the ninth book in the series, which brings the characters into their early sixties (the most recent, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, RH/Delacorte, came out in June, 2014).

Starz has renewed Outlander for a second season, based on the second book in the series, Dragonfly In Amber (RH/Delacorte, 1992). Company CEO Chris Albrecht said he is hopeful they will “get through every book,” which may be a challenge, since the series includes at least 9 books, as well as several novellas and “bridge books” (see Gabaldon’s web site for a full chronology).

TV Land Goes YOUNGER

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

younger-9781416505587_lg  younger-9781416510215_lg

Working to reach a “younger” audience, that is, Gen-Xers rather than baby boomers, TV Land presented its new slate of shows to the Television Critics Assn. this week. The centerpiece, appropriately titled Younger, is based on the 2005 novel by Pamela Redmond Satran (S&S/Downtown Press; OverDrive Sample).

As Variety puts it, “At TV Land it’s goodbye Betty White [Hot in Cleveland, ending with the current season], hello Hillary Duff when it comes to original comedy series.”

Younger stars Sutton Foster as a 40-year-old,  newly-divorced empty nester, who uses a new makeover to pass as 26 and lands a job in a publishing. Duff plays her twentysomething co-conspirator and Debbie Mazur her best friend.

Created by Sex and the City‘s Darren Star, the series also makes use of another SATC veteran, Patricia Field as the costume consultant. Author Satran, profiled in the regional edition of the New York Times, enjoys the potential parallel with the author of the SATC books, “I’d love it if I could be the next Candace Bushnell. And if I could have her face and body, too.”

Note: the trailer lists a January start, but that date has been pushed to March 31.

Coming To Comedy Central,
Week of Jan. 5

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Jon Stewart returns from the holiday hiatus this week, with two shows featuring authors:

Monday, Jan 5, Steven Brill

9780812996951_2fd15America’s Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System, Steven Brill, (Random House)

As we noted earlier, Brill’s book is  an expansion of Brill’s award-winning Time magazine story. Brill is scheduled for appearances  on CBS This Morning and on  NPR’s Fresh Air.

 

Tuesday, Jan. 6, Cass Sunstein

9781422122990_b0f08Wiser: Getting Beyond Groupthink to Make Groups Smarter, Cass R. Sunstein, Reid Hastie, (Harvard Business Review Press, 12/23/14)

Sunstein’s philosophy of “libertarian paternalism” has caused Glenn Beck to call him “the most dangerous guy out there.” Considered a major influence on President Obama’s political thinking, The Washington Post reports that, as the administration’s former “regulatory czar,” he “become a symbol of a central contradiction of Obama’s White House. In seeking bipartisan common ground, the administration has often embraced policies that disappointed its friends — without disarming its enemies.” He has written several other books including Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness (Penguin, Rev. Ed., 2009).

No Colbert Report

Sadly, the other Comedy Central show that has been very good for books, The Colbert Report, will not be returning. Host Stephen Colbert is headed to a new gig, replacing David Letterman on CBS’s The Late Show. We won’t know until he begins in May whether he will revolutionize late-night network TV by including authors.

Replacing Colbert is The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore, hosted by the Daily Shows‘s former “senior black correspondent.” Debuting on January 19, it is created by book lover Jon Stewart, so we can hope Wilmore will also include regular appearances by authors.

Welcome Back, DOWNTON ABBEY

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

The most popular drama in PBS history, Downton Abbey,  returns tonight, in its fifth season (there will be a sixth, and while there is speculation that it will be the final one, there are also rumors of a spinoff movie).

In celebration of the new season, the New York Times offers an episode-by-episode look at the historical context of the series with links to NYT stories (in 1913, British suffragist, Sylvia Pankhurst, addressed the question, “Shall American Women Become Militant?”).

Entertainment Weekly runs down the  “new faces of Downton Abbey” (as if anyone cares — all that really matters is whether Maggie Smith is still on the show and, happily, she is).

Trailer:

Tie-ins:

9781250066329_8028e 9781250065384_b1d2e

A Year in the Life of Downton Abbey: Seasonal Celebrations, Traditions, and Recipes
Jessica Fellowes, Julian Fellowes
Macmillan/St. Martin’s: October 28, 2014

Downton Abbey: Rules for Household Staff
by “Carson” (the show’s head butler )
Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin: November 25, 2014

WOLF HALL, Trailer

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

The trailer for BBC’s adaptation of the first two books in Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall series was just released.

The six-part series will air as part of “Masterpiece,” beginning April 5 (it begins in the U.K. next month). It stars Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell and Damian Lewis, known to many American primarily as Brody in the first three seasons of Showtime’s Homeland, as Henry VIII.

After previewing the full series, author Mantel gave it the thumbs up, saying, “Every face seems to me one that Holbein would recognize,” referring to Henry VIII’s court painter. Earlier, she had warned the BBC against indulging in the kind of historical “nonsense” that marred what she called the “big, all-singing, all-dancing American TV series The Tudors” produced by Showtime in 2010.

It seems there is one deviation from history, however. The Wolf Hall cod pieces may be too small. We’re to be blamed for that as well, since the real size was considered a “little too much for American television viewers.”

Tie-ins:

Wolf Hall: As Seen on PBS Masterpiece : A Novel
Hilary Mantel
Macmillan/ Picador: March 17, 2015
9781250077585, 1250077583
Trade Paperback
$16.00 USD

Bring Up the Bodies: The Conclusion to PBS Masterpiece’s Wolf Hall : A Novel
Hilary Mantel
Macmillan/ Picador: March 17, 2015
9781250077608, 1250077605
Trade Paperback
$16.00 USD

The Royal Shakespeare Company’s theatrical adaptation opens on Broadway on March 20th, also with a tie-in (note: the Theater Arts Communication tie-in we noted earlier has been cancelled). The Daily Mail quotes Mantel saying that the TV version is very different from the play.

9781250064172_13982Wolf Hall & Bring Up the Bodies: The Stage Adaptation
Hilary Mantel, Mike Poulton
Macmillan/Picador: February 24, 2015
9781250064172, 1250064171
Trade Paperback, $16.00 USD

 

 

As to when the third book in the trilogy, The Mirror and The Light will appear, Mantel has said it is “unlikely to be ready until 2016.” She is working under a bit of pressure. The BBC is waiting for its release so they can begin that adaptation.

BOOK OF NEGROES
To Air in February

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

Lawrence Hill’s novel, Someone Knows My Name, (Norton, 2008) has been adapted as a 6-part TV series, using the book’s original Canadian title, The Book of Negroes. Set for release in Canada in January, it will begin airing on BET in the U.S. on February 16, 2015.

The novel, a fictional slave narrative,  is based on the stories of American slaves who escaped to Canada after the Revolutionary War and were then recruited by British abolitionists to settle in Sierra Leone. The Washington Post praised its “heart-stopping prose” and noted that “Hill balances his graphic depictions of the horrors of enslavement with meticulously researched portrayals of plantation life.”

Directed by Clement Virgo, the movie stars Aunjanue Ellis, Louis Gossett Jr., Cuba Gooding Jr., and Lyriq Bent.

Gossett was interviewed about the series during its premiere at the  Toronto International Film Festival in November. He compares it to another TV mini-series he starred in, Roots.

Learn more at the Official Web Site.

Trailer:

Tie-in:

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Lawrence Hill
W.W. Norton; January 12, 2015
9780393351392, 0393351394
Paperback
$15.95 USD

Celebrating the Colbert Bump

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

One of the many people who helped say goodbye to Stephen Colbert during his finale show on Thursday was an author he often refers to after making an indelicate remark, “Once again, my apologies to Doris Kearns Goodwin” as well as an author he’s had on the show three times, George Saunders.

Colbert has been very, very good to books and authors, from shining a light on Amazon’s strong-arm tactics against publisher Hachette to featuring an average of two authors per week on the show.

New York magazine dubs him “Late Night’s Most Passionate Book-Nerd,” in an article that gives insight on what it was like to get the Colbert treatment. Poet Billy Collins compares it to getting a spinal tap, ” … it’s actually completely painless, but the anticipation of it is nerve-racking.”

The big question is whether the book nerd in Colbert will make the transition to broadcast TV when he replaces David Letterman on CBS’s Late Night.

Meet Mr Norrell

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

The following brief clip from the BBC series based on Susanna Clarke’s 2004 best selling debut novel, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, can’t be accused of giving away too much, but it does give a sense of Eddie Marsan’s portrayal of Norrell.

No news on when the series will debut in the U.S., but the tie-in (Macmillan/Bloomsbury USA) is now showing a May release date, indicating it’s not expected until later in 2015.

THE SLAP TV Series To Debut

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

NBC’s 8-part adaptation of the controversial award-winning novel, The Slap by Australian Christos Tsiolkas, (Penguin, 2010) has been scheduled to begin airing on Feb. 12.

The SlapStarring Uma Thurman (shown in some recent photos from the Brooklyn set), it is directed by Lisa Cholodenko, (HBO’s Olive Kitteridge and the movie The Kids are All Right).

About the repercussions of a man slapping an obnoxious four-year-old boy at a barbecue, the book was a hit in both Australia and the U.K., where it became a reading group staple. It was made into a popular Australian TV series in 2011 (as a result, some reports cite the new adaptation as a remake of that series, without noting the original source material).

Released in the U.S. as an original trade paperback, it  received a strong endorsement from the Washington Post. The reviewer praised it for giving American readers a sense of life in Australia, while exploring subjects that resonate here,

In The Slap we live for a few short weeks in suburban Australia, learning the language, becoming intimate with the characters and experiencing their customs. But finally the novel transcends both suburban Melbourne and the Australian continent, leaving us exhausted but gasping with admiration.