Archive for the ‘Books & TV’ Category


Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

The first teaser trailer for HBO’s adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s 2014 best seller, Big Little Lies, has just been released. Shailene Woodley plays Jane, a young single mother who moves to a coastal community so her son can attend a better school. There she becomes entangled in the messy lives of the seemingly perfect mothers of her son’s classmates, Celeste (Nicole Kidman) and Madeline (Reese Witherspoon). PopSugar gives a full rundown of the cast, with comparisons to the characters in the book.

The setting has been changed from the book’s Australia to Southern California. The seven-episode series is directed by Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club), who also worked with Witherspoon on the adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild.

Release is planned for some time in 2017. No specific start date has been set.

Witherspoon, who set up her production company Pacific Standard to develop better roles for women, worked with Kidman to produce the series. The pair have also acquired the rights to Moriarty’s most recent book, Truly Madly Guilty (Macmillan/Flatiron; Macmillan Audio).

Tie-ins will be published in February.

Big Little Lies (Movie Tie-In)
Liane Moriarty
PRH/Berkley trade pbk; February 7, 2017
Mass Market

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

The adaptation of Margaret Atwood ‘s novel The Handmaid’s Tale is currently still in production, but that didn’t prevented Hulu from promoting the streaming network’s upcoming series at the just concluded NY Comic Con.

The Revelist website reports that marketers placed special, women’s only, PR in the bathrooms of the conference center, writing a line from the book on the mirrors of the women’s room, “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum,” a phrase from the book that translates to, ‘Don’t let the bastards grind you down.'”

Don't let the bastards get you down (some solid marketing at Comic Con) #MargaretAtwood #HandmaidsTale #NYCC

A photo posted by Courtney (@mrwinklevoss) on

Revelist says “the show doesn’t have much of a presence at the convention beyond these cryptic bathroom signs. But make no mistake, this is a brilliant way to spread the show’s message directly to its target audience — and in a space that, despite the best efforts of geeky women and activists alike, is still considered very male-dominated.”

Here is the first brief look:

As we wrote earlier, Hulu announced in May that it is adapting the novel into a 10-episiode drama. The news sent the book rising on Amazon’s sales charts. Elisabeth Moss, who made her name on Mad Men, will star. Joseph Fiennes also stars, in the role of The Commander. Atwood serves as a consulting producer.

The series is set to debut in 2017.

MIDNIGHT, TEXAS Gets a Trailer

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

The first look at the next TV show based on Charlaine Harris’s novels has just been released.

The NBC series adapts her Midnight, Texas trilogy:

Midnight Crossroads (PRH/Ace, 2014; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample)

Day Shift (PRH/Ace, 2015; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample)

Night Shift (PRH/Ace, 2016; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample)

The town in question harbors vampires, witches and psychics, who have selected the out-of-the-way locale as a safe hide out.

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Tor. com offers a summary of all three titles:

“the story is wacky, ya’ll. Immensely wacky, but, like, in a fun way. Midnight Crossroad starts off as a book about a pawnshop owner’s dead girlfriend and turns into a murder conspiracy involving white supremacists. Day Shift is ostensibly about the suspicious circumstances in which one of Manfred’s clients [he is the psychic] dies and ends up with a pack of weretigers wandering through town and vampires hunting a telepath visiting his grandpappy. Night Shift goes from people and animals killing themselves at the crossroads to a magic sex ritual with a pitstop at a subplot with a hangry Etruscan-literate vampire.”

But if the supernatural references recall True Blood, the popular HBO series, Bustle warns to think instead of another cult hit,  “Midnight, Texas is basically Twin Peaks with vampires.” Not the least of the many ways in which new show will be different, it’s a network TV production, rather than cable.

The series debut is set for midseason 2017.

Hitting Screens,
Week of Oct 10, 2016

Monday, October 10th, 2016

Despite fears about Hurricane Matthew closing many theaters, Girl on the Train rolled to its expected major box office opening over the weekend. On the other hand, The Birth of a Nation, about a slave uprising, considered a major Oscar contender, did not do as well as expected.

mv5bmjiyoty0mjcxmv5bml5banbnxkftztgwodgxmte5ote-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_Next week, two film adaptations open, one in theaters and the other on TV, and a new BBC series begins on PBS Masterpiece.

Set in Montana and opening in limited release on Oct. 14 is Certain Women, which the Toronto Film Festival site describes as “a tripartite portrait of striving, independent women whose lives intersect in suggestive and powerful ways.”

It is getting strong reviews. Calling the director among the “great American filmmakers,” Variety said few “can do quite as much with quiet as Kelly Reichardt. Superficially empty soundscapes are layered so intricately with the rustle of nature, the brooding of weather and the breathing of preoccupied people that her films come to seem positively noisy to a sympathetic ear. So it is in the marvelous Certain Women, where the storytelling has a similarly latent impact.”

It stars Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, Michelle Williams, and Lily Gladstone and is based on short stories from Maile Meloy’s collection, Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It (PRH/Riverhead, 2009), specifically, says Variety “Tome,” “Native Sandstone” and “Travis B.”

A tie-in edition has not been released.

mv5bnzq3zjm1ntctognjzc00mgywltkwodatnwu3ndmyytywotnixkeyxkfqcgdeqxvyntezmzqznzq-_v1_sy1000_cr0010371000_al_Coming to Masterpiece, The Durrells in Corfu. It is a six-part adaptation of Gerald Durrell’s My Family and Other Animals and its two sequels says PBS.

It airs Sundays, October 16th through November 20th and stars Keeley Hawes from Upstairs Downstairs “as the an intrepid widow who decamps from dreary England to a sun-dappled Greek island with her four recalcitrant children, ages 11 to 21.”

A hit across the pond, ITV reports the show will run in the UK for its second season.

There is a tie-in:
My Family and Other Animals, Gerald Durrell (PRH/Penguin).

mv5bmtcznzk2mzawof5bml5banbnxkftztgwntkxmtu5ote-_v1_sy1000_cr006661000_al_Also airing on TV is The Julius House: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery, based on the Charlaine Harris character of a crime-solving librarian. The series began in 2007 with Real Murders, the most recent is the 2016 title All the Little Liars.

Hallmark has previously aired episodes based on the first three novels in the series: Real Murders, A Bone to Pick, and Three Bedrooms, One Corpse.

The newest adapts the fourth novel, The Julius House. All star Full House alum Candace Cameron Bure.

New tie-ins have not been issued.


Snicket’s UNFORTUNATE Trailer

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

lemony_snicket_a_series_of_unfortunate_events_the_bad_beginning_coverThe first trailer for the Netflix adaptation of Daniel Handler’s (aka Lemony Snicket) A Series of Unfortunate Events (HarperCollins) has just been released. In keeping with the books’ tongue-in-cheek tone, it is not a traditional trailer. Rather than building anticipation with a litany of exciting scenes and major stars, just one character appears, Patrick Warburton as Lemony Snicket, wandering through the dimly-lit stage set, warning people to “look away.”

The entire series will be available on Netflix beginning January 13, 2017 (which happens to be a Friday).

Watch closely, several visual jokes are embedded in the teaser.

According to Neil Patrick Harris, who plays Count Olaf in the show, the series is Netflix’s most expensive production to date. While co-hosting Live! with Kelly last month, he described the new adaptation as “super dark … a much darker take on the material than has been seen before”  but also “fun” and “exciting” and said it’s been planned as a “four-quadrant show,” to appeal to kids, teens, 20-somethings, and adults. The eight-episode first season will cover the first four titles in the 13-book series.

So far, no tie-ins have been announced.

LUKE CAGE: To Watch and To Read

Sunday, October 2nd, 2016

mv5bmtcymzc1mji5mf5bml5banbnxkftztgwmze4ody2ote-_v1_sy1000_cr007041000_al_The premiere of Netflix’s new 13-episode Luke Cage series, based on the Marvel comics’ character, was so successful that it may have caused the streaming service to go down for two hours on Saturday.

The NYT television critic offers a lukewarm take on the new run, but he is in the minority. Most other critics agree with Deadline Hollywood which calls it “one of the most socially relevant and smartest shows on the small screen you will see this year.”

New York magazine calls the comic book Cage “one of the most important black characters in sequential art,” noting, however, that over his 44-year history, Marvel struggled to “make the character relevant in a world where conceptions of black characters in American pop culture were rapidly evolving.”

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-12-02-06-pmCharting the character’s evolution in “5 Comics to Read Before You Watch Luke Cage,” New York magazine writes that the first stories, collected in Luke Cage, Hero For Hire vol. 1, represent “Marvel Comics’ blatant attempt to cash in on the Blaxploitation craze.” As a result, the collection is “somewhat awkward to read today, with its urban patois (penned by white men, of course) and simplistic depictions of avarice.”

The Netflix series is quite the opposite. As the show’s creator Ched Hodari Coulter tells Wired magazine in a cover feature on the series, “There have been African ­American super­heroes on our screens before—such as Wesley Snipes’ titular turn in Blade—but Luke Cage is the first to be surrounded by an almost completely black cast and writing team and whose powers and challenges are so explicitly linked to the black experience in America.”

A collection of comics featuring the character was released in August,  Luke Cage: Avenger, (Marvel).

Trending: Time Travel

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

9780307908797_9e581“The shelves of every library in the world brim with time machines. Step into one, and off you go.”

So says Anthony Doerr in his engaging and story-filled NYT‘s Sunday Book Review (online now, in print Oct. 2) of James Gleick’s Time Travel: A History (PRH/Pantheon; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Fittingly for a book that considers the concept of time travel, including how it has been imagined and used in literature, Doerr begins his review by sharing his favorite time travel stories (a key one is Ray Bradbury’s “A Sound of Thunder”) and then moves on to Gleick’s history, calling it,

“a fascinating mash-up of philosophy, literary criticism, physics and cultural observation. It’s witty (“Regret is the time traveler’s energy bar”), pithy (“What is time? Things change, and time is how we keep track”) and regularly manages to twist its reader’s mind into … Gordian knots … he employs time travel to initiate engrossing discussions of causation, fatalism, predestination and even consciousness itself.”

Time is a subject bound to be at the forefront this fall. In addition to Gleick’s book there is Now: The Physics of Time, Richard A. Muller (Norton) and a surprising number of TV shows on the subject. So many that it has lead the WSJ to call time a “hot concept” for the upcoming season, writing, “Television networks are consumed with time-shifting in every sense.”

Shows about time travel include Frequency, Legends of Tomorrow, Making HistoryTimeless and Time After Time (adapted from the 1979 novel by Karl Alexander).

Not exactly time travel, more deja vu,  are the many remakes and spin-offs of older shows. WSJ lists “Taken (a prequel to the Liam Neeson revenge movies) and Emerald City (billed as an edgier Wizard of Oz fantasy). Then there are the franchise expansions, with spin-off The Blacklist: Redemption and a fourth (fourth!) addition to the Chicago line of dramas from Dick Wolf (Chicago Justice) … Lethal Weapon (Fox), and Training Day (CBS) … Fox’s Prison Break sequel and a series based on 43-year-old horror classic The ExorcistMacGyver.”

All this led Jimmy Kimmel, WSJ reports, to say: “All your favorite VHS tapes are now becoming shows.” It leads Glamour magazine to point out “The past is a franchise.”


Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

Amazon’s hit series, Transparent,  won a second Emmy for Best Comedy Series earlier this month and the show’s creator, Jill Soloway won her second Best Director Emmy. Good timing, as the third season premiered just a week later.

Soloway is now set to create a new series. Amazon Studios announced today that I Love Dick, based on the cult novel by Chris Kraus, published by the indie press Semiotext(e) in 1997, has been ordered to series and will  begin streaming in 2017. It stars Kevin Bacon and Kathryn Hahn, who also stars in Transparent.

Profiling the production, New York magazine writes that Soloway turns “one of the most compelling cult novels of the last 20 years into a television show with the potential to be as groundbreaking in its examination of gender politics as her first.”

The cult status of the book was explored last year in a piece in the New Yorker and the Guardian celebrated its UK debut last fall.

The pilot is still available free on Amazon Prime. Below is the trailer.

Hitting Screens, Week of Sept. 26, 2016

Monday, September 26th, 2016

Making a splash at the box office over the weekend was Disney’s heavily-promoted Queen of Katwe, in a limited run. The adaptation of a book with the same title about a chess champion, it will expand to more theaters over the coming weeks. Also expanding to more theaters is the Australian hit adaptation, The Dressmaker.

mv5bmta1ndg2mzm5ndleqtjeqwpwz15bbwu4mda5otg5mtkx-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_9781594749025_ba21eLeading films opening at the end of this week is Tim Burton’s adaptation of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

Based on Ransom Riggs’s eerie photo-fantasy hit novel, it stars Samuel L. Jackson, Asa Butterfield, Eva Green, Chris O’Dowd, Ella Purnell, Allison Janney, Rupert Everett, Terence Stamp and Judi Dench.

Early reviews are not enthusiastic. The Hollywood Reporter says that during the first hour of the movie, it “appears Tim Burton seems well on his way to making one of his best films,” but after that special effects take over and undermine the story. Predicting the movie will “generate some robust initial business based on the built-in teen fan base as well as Burton fans, but whether it’s enough to spur sequels to the two remaining books in the trilogy is an open question.”  The novel is currently #6 on The USA Today Best-Selling Book list.

There are multiple tie-ins.

mv5bmjmzodexndezml5bml5banbnxkftztgwmdg3njiyote-_v1_sy1000_sx675_al_Denial is a courtroom drama about the legal fight to prove the Holocaust occurred. It is based on Deborah E. Lipstadt’s book History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier and is directed by Mick Jackson. Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson and Timothy Spall star.

It centers on a libel case brought against Lipstadt and her publisher, Penguin Books, by David Irving, a Holocaust denier, who posts videos Variety says are like watching “the hate version of a man claiming that the Earth is flat.”

Its debut at the Toronto Film Festival brought mixed reviews. Variety calls it “a curiously awkward and slipshod movie that winds up being about nothing so much as the perverse, confounding eccentricities of the British legal system.”

The Hollywood Reporter says it is “compelling” and “sensitively dramatized” and that “Rachel Weisz’s arresting, combative Lipstadt, a shining woman warrior, is a role she will be remembered for.”

A tie-in is out: Denial: Holocaust History on Trial, Deborah E. Lipstadt (HC/Ecco).

mv5bmtcymzc1mji5mf5bml5banbnxkftztgwmze4ody2ote-_v1_sy1000_cr007041000_al_Comic fans can rejoice as Luke Cage, a live action series on Netfilx, finally airs. It is based on the comic superhero which first appeared in 1972’s Luke Cage, Hero for Hire.

Mike Colter plays Cage, a role he first created on the Jessica Jones series, also on Netflix.

Deadline Hollywood says it is “one of the most socially relevant and smartest shows on the small screen you will see this year. In fact, with star power deluxe from lead Mike Colter and House Of Cards alum Mahershala Ali as the villainous Cornell Cottonmouth Stokes, the 13-episode first season is one of the best shows on the air and on the horizon.”

A collection of comics featuring the character was released in August,  Luke Cage: Avenger, Mike Benson, Adam Glass, Brian Michael Bendis, Frank Miller, Dalibor Talajic, Leinil Francis, Billy Tan and, Eric Canete (Hachette/Marvel).

mv5bmje0nduyotc2mv5bml5banbnxkftztgwodk2nzu3ote-_v1_sy1000_cr006791000_al_ A Man Called Ove opens as well. The film, based on Fredrik Backman’s book of the same name, is directed Hannes Holm (who also adapted the novel) and stars Rolf Lassgård.

Sweden has already picked it as their entry for this year’s Foreign Language Film Oscar race, reports Deadline Hollywood.

The Daily Beast examines the novel’s word-of-mouth success.

Reviews for the film are glowing with Variety calling it “irresistible … A touching comic crowdpleaser that may call for a tissue or two by the end.”

mv5bmjqwntq2mzmzov5bml5banbnxkftztgwmzgwmtk2ote-_v1_sy1000_cr006921000_al_9781571745774_fe035Milton’s Secret is based on the children’s book Milton’s Secret: An Adventure of Discovery through Then, When, and the Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle and Robert S. Friedman with illustrations by Frank Riccio (Red Wheel Weiser Conari/Hampton Roads).

Directed by Barnet Bain, it stars Donald Sutherland, Michelle Rodriguez, Mia Kirshner, David Sutcliffe, and William Ainscough.

So far, there are few reviews for the film about being present and aware and creating a happy family.

DARKTOWN Gains Attention

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

9781501133862_bc1ceNPR’s Morning Edition this week featured Thomas Mullen’s newest novel, about Atlanta’s first black officers.

Inspired by a 1947 Newsweek article estimating “that one-quarter of Atlanta policemen were, in fact, members of the Ku Klux Klan,” NPR calls Darktown (S&S/Atria/37 INK; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample) “a blend of history, mystery and violence.”

The new officers faced tough restrains. They operated out of a YMCA for fear they would cause a riot at police headquarters, “they could only patrol the back neighborhoods; they weren’t supposed to set foot in the white parts of town,” Mullen says. “They couldn’t drive squad cars; they had to walk their beat with a partner” and were not allowed to arrest white people.

NPR notes “some of the tensions described in Darktown — like the ability of white police to injure or kill black citizens with impunity without being charged or punished — sound disturbingly familiar.”

Mullen plans this as the first in a series with each book focusing on new officers who replace those that retire “as the story of Atlanta’s racial coming-of-age moves into contemporary times.” The second book is expected in fall 2017.

In a publishing twist, NPR reports that Mullen’s agent “circulated his manuscript without his name or photo attached.” Mullen, who is white, has lived in Atlanta for 15 years. The influential Dawn Davis of Simon & Schuster bought the book for her imprint. She told NPR she found the blind submission forced her “to read it just as a piece of literature … I couldn’t look up what kind of reviews the author got, I couldn’t look up anything about the author. What his previous books were, even — or if it were even a man. I had to just kind of read it, and explore it for what it was.”

It  is already heading to the small screen. In what Deadline Hollywood terms “a very competitive situation,” Sony won the rights to the novel for a TV project headed by the high-powered producer Amy Pascal and Oscar winner Jamie Foxx.

The Washington Post review suggests it could transfer well to TV, calling it “gripping,” “unflinching,” “complicated crime fiction that melds an intense plot with fully realized characters.”

The New York Times adds “One incendiary image ignites the next in this highly combustible procedural, set in the city’s rigidly segregated black neighborhoods during the pre-civil-rights era and written with a ferocious passion that’ll knock the wind out of you.”

Librarians and booksellers agree; it is a September LibraryReads and Indie Next selection.

Bookers on Screen

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

9781510719217_2caa3Another of the 2016 Man Booker Prize shortlist titles had made the first step towards adaptation.

Deadline Hollywood reports that Graeme Macrae Burnet’s historical crime thriller His Bloody Project: Documents Relating to the Case of Roderick Macrae (Skyhorse; OverDrive Sample), has been optioned for a TV series.

The Scottish production company Synchronicity Films, known in the UK as the force behind Not Another Happy Ending, has bought the rights.

Originally published by a tiny 2-person house Saraband, the novel earned praise from The Guardian, which said “The book’s pretense at veracity, as well as being a literary jeux d’esprit, brings an extraordinary historical period into focus.”

Skyhorse picked it up for US publication after its Booker nod.

Another of this year’s shortlist titles, Ottessa Moshfegh’s literary thriller Eileen, as we noted earlier, is being adapted by screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson, “Hollywood’s Go-To Scribe for Thrillers” for producer Scott Rudin, known for his many successful literary adaptations.

If the projects make it to screens, they will follow in the footsteps of adaptations of previous Booker titles. Hilary Mantel’s two winners Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies were made into a BBC/PBS Masterpiece series. Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally became the now iconic 1993 film Schindler’s List. Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day and Yann Martel’s Life of Pi were also successfully adapted.

Hitting Screens, Week of
September 19, 2016

Monday, September 19th, 2016

While Sully still soars at the box office, other book-related movies were considered flops, including the heavily promoted Bridget Jones Baby.

mv5bmja4mzaxntc5of5bml5banbnxkftztgwmjgzmde4ote-_v1_sy1000_sx675_al_  9780143129066_aa751

Five adaptations open this week, three films and two TV shows, beginning with a movie that has been an enormous success in Australia, but has taken a perplexingly long time to make it to the U.S. The Dressmaker stars Kate Winslet as a fashionable Australian woman who returns to her rural home, shaking things up and getting revenge. It was the second highest grossing Australian film of 2015, losing out to  Mad Max: Fury Road.

Amazon bought the US film rights reports Variety, and will release the film in a limited number of theaters on the 23rd, before making it available via streaming.

In the U.K. and Australia, much was been made of Liam Hemsworth’s nudity in the film. As it arrives in the U.S. attention is turning to the age difference between Winslet and Hemsworth (and the fact that Winslet dares to play a woman five years younger than she is).

The book was published in the U.S. for the first time last year, when it was expected that the film would get its U.S. release,  The Dressmaker, Rosalie Ham (PRH/Penguin; Penguin Audio; Thorndike Large Print;  OverDrive Sample).

mv5bnzq0mdg2nty4n15bml5banbnxkftztgwotk2nzu3ote-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_9781501127182_5e089Disney’s big movie, Queen of Katwe opens in limited release Sept. 23rd, expanding to more theaters the next week. Starring Lupita Wyong’o, who won an Oscar for 12 Years a Slave, David Oyelowo (Selma), and newcomer Madina Nalwanga, it is directed by Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding).

Vanity Fair calls it a “Bright and Inspiring Success,” while Roger says it is “thoroughly crowdpleasing.Collider writes that the Disney production “stands alongside some of the studio’s best efforts, and it’s the best family film involving chess since the charming 1993 film Searching for Bobby Fischer.”

A tie-in is out: The Queen of Katwe: One Girl’s Triumphant Path to Becoming a Chess Champion, Tim Crothers (S&S/Scribner; Mass Market, (S&S/Pocket Books; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample).

mv5bmtuxnjg1ody3ml5bml5banbnxkftztgwodeynjuzote-_v1_ux182_cr00182268_al_9780399591426_ad32bGoat also opens on the 23rd. Directed by Andrew Neel, starring Ben Schnetzer, Nick Jonas, and Gus Halper, it is a college fraternity film that traces a series of brutal induction rituals and the strain they place on two brothers. The Hollywood Reporter calls it “A harsh but gripping study in uncontrolled male aggression.”

The Guardian writes that it is  “a pointed, astute and unflinching look at unbridled machismo and its consequences … everything is designed to provoke disgust – and there’s a lot to be disgusted with.”

Variety says “this testosterone-drenched indie-movie adaptation feels like something that might have come out under the MTV Films banner a decade ago (back when the book was published), as director Andrew Neel can’t quite decide whether to indict or endorse the hard-partying behavior on display — painfully aware that half the audience has pledged or will pledge the Greek system.”

A tie-in has been released, Goat (Movie Tie-in Edition): A Memoir, Brad Land (PRH/RH; OverDrive Sample).

y648mv5boduxndu3mdm1ml5bml5banbnxkftztgwmjm3ndc0ote-_v1_ux182_cr00182268_al_The Exorcist TV series begins playing on Fox on the 23rd, over 40 years after the film adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s novel.

Cosmic Booknews says it is “a propulsive psychological thriller” and Cavalcade says it “delivers on both scares and drama. Though not always compelling, it manages to be consistently engaging.”

The series stars Alfonso Herrera, Ben Daniels, and Geena Davis. A tie-in has not been released but 2011 marked the release of the 40th Anniversary Edition (HC).

MV5BMTc0NjYxNDkzNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTM2NjQyNTE@._V1_SY1000_SX1000_AL_On the 25th Poldark, Season 2, begins airing on PBS Masterpiece, starring Aidan Turner, Eleanor Tomlinson, and Heida Reed. Of season one, The New York Times wrote:

Sweeping, stirring, rousing, lush. These are the sorts of adjectives suggested by Poldark … It’s the kind of show in which every plot twist appears to require a shot of someone pounding on horseback along the Cornish coast, close to the cliffs and outlined against the sun … Another adjective that comes to mind is shameless, in the sense of nonstop audience-pandering melodrama. But there’s good shameless and bad shameless, and Poldark is reasonably good stuff, milking the emotions and pleasing the eye without unduly insulting the intelligence.”

The series is based on the Poldark novels by Winston Graham. There are a number of tie-ins and associated titles.


Oh, Dear! Count Olaf Returns

Friday, September 16th, 2016

mv5botg3ode2nzgtodfkms00odhlltgzodktzmy2nzu5ndc5nwu4xkeyxkfqcgdeqxvynju0njk5nzc-_v1_Neil Patrick Harris co-hosted Live! With Kelly this week and spilled some Lemony Snicket news.

He has been in Vancouver this summer, playing the lead in Netflix’s adaptation of Daniel Handler’s books,  A Series of Unfortunate Events.

He tells Kelly that the new adaptation will be “super dark … it is a much darker take on the material than has been seen before” but also “fun” and “exciting.”

The older version he references is the 2004 film, starring Jim Carrey, which compressed the 13 book series into a single movie [CORRECTION: As pointed out in the comments, Harris exaggerated, the movie was actually based on just 2 titles from the series]. Harris reports that the Netflix series will treat each book in 2 episodes, so the show will be much more expansive. The cast and crew have finished filming the first four titles.

The plan is to create what is called a “four-quadrant show,” one that appeals to a range of audience demographics including kids, teens, 20-somethings, and adults.

He also says the series is Netflix’s most expensive production to date.

Barry Sonnenfeld (Men in Black) is the executive producer and directs half of the episodes.

There is no trailer yet and Harris declined to say much more, but Flickering Myth has some more details, including photos of Harris in costume.

The series is expected to begin on Jan. 10, 2017.


Friday, September 16th, 2016

mv5bmji4mzu5ntexnf5bml5banbnxkftztgwnzy1mtewmdi-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_The “world premiere first look” at the trailer for Disney’s next major animated movie, Moana was featured on Good Morning America yesterday.

The story features Moana, a Polynesian teenaged girl, voiced by Hawaiian native and movie newcomer Auli’i Cravalho, who sets sail in the South Pacific to find Maui, a shape shifting demi-god, voiced by Dwayne Johnson, to enlist his help to save her community.

The score features songs co-created by Lin-Manuel Miranda who tweeted the trailer’s premiere.

As The Hollywood Reporter wrote recently, the studio is the now the one “to beat when it comes to nonwhite leads,” citing this movie as well as the diverse casting for A Wrinkle in Time and the upcoming African chess drama Queen of Katwe, starring Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo, opening in September.

9780736435741_f3789There are many tie-ins, most set to publish on Oct. 4, such as Moana: The Deluxe Junior Novelization (Disney Moana), RH Disney (PRH/RH/Disney).

For a full list see our catalog of tie-ins.

Late Night Literati

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

9780385542364_b2a61Last night, Seth Meyers turned his attention from celebrities to an author he’s been a “fan of for a long time,” Colson Whitehead and his book The Underground Railroad (PRH/Doubleday; RH Audio; BOT).

Although he features authors on his show relatively rarely, Meyers is known for reading widely and for personally selecting the books he features.

The book is currently at #2 on the New York Times Hardcover Fiction best seller list, after 5 weeks.

First segment:

Click here for the second segment.