Archive for the ‘Books & TV’ Category

FIFTY SHADES Meets … TV?

Friday, February 27th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 9.11.38 AMOn the heels of the massive success of Fifty Shades of Grey at the box office and the book’s return to bestseller lists, comes news that Anne Rice’s 1980s BDSM trilogy might become a television series.

The company behind Lifetime’s Devious Maids has bought the TV rights to Rice’s Sleeping Beauty trilogy (Plume. 2012; OverDrive Sample), according to The Hollywood Reporter. Rice will executive produce with Rachel Winter (who was nominated for an Oscar for her work on Dallas Buyers Club).

In contrast to her reactions to some of the adaptations of her previous novels, Rice seems happy with Thania St. John as the choice of screenwriter, telling The Hollywood Reporter “Thania’s voice resonates perfectly and will keep this story true to my original vision.” St. John has written for Grimm, Buffy the Vamipre Slayer, Chicago Fire, and Covert Affairs.

Long controversial and frequently challenged in libraries, The Nerdist says the hard core trilogy, first written under the pen name A. N. Roquelaure, “makes 50 Shades of Gray look like an episode of The Brady Bunch.”

USA Today reported last November that Rice is working on a fourth book in the series.

BOOK OF NEGROES On BET

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

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. Debuting last night, it will continue over the next two nights.

Critics are mostly favorable, with some predicting that this puts BET in line for its first Emmy nomination.

The following is from our December story about the series:

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

STATION ELEVEN
Film/TV Rights Acquired

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

9780385353304_db2df-2TV and movie rights to librarian and bookseller favorite, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, (RH/Knopf, Sept., 2014; RH Audio; Thorndike) have been acquired by Scott Steindorff (producer of Jon Favreau’s Chef).

A number of directors are circling the project according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The novel was a LibraryReads Top Ten Favorite for the year, a National Book Awards finalist and on multiple best books lists.

Oprah Adapting Debut Novel, QUEEN SUGAR

Monday, February 9th, 2015

9780670026135Selma director Ava DuVernay has signed to direct an original TV series for Oprah’s network OWN, based on the novel Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile (Penguin/Pamela Dorman; Thorndike; 2014), which was featured in our Penguin First Flights Debut author program.

Oprah herself will have a recurring role in the series. Production  is expected to begin later this year.

About a woman who leaves her L.A. life to move, with her teenage daughter, to Southern Louisiana, where she has in inherited a sugar cane plantation, it was selected as a book of the week by Oprah’s O magazine, saying, “In Queen Sugar, two bulwarks of American literature—Southern fiction and the transformational journey—are given a fresh take by talented first-time novelist Natalie Baszile.”

In the press release announcing the production, Oprah states, “I loved this book and immediately saw it as a series for OWN. The story’s themes of reinventing your life, parenting alone, family connections and conflicts, and building new relationships are what I believe will connect our viewers to this show.”

CASUAL VACANCY Gets U.S. Release Date

Sunday, February 8th, 2015

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Eat your hearts out, Colonists — the three-part adaptation of  J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy, (Hachette/Little, Brown), begins airing in the U.K. on Feb. 15.

Here in the U.S., we have to wait for its HBO debut on April 29th & 30th.

We are left to console ourselves with the crumbs from the recently released  trailer:

No tie-ins have been announced.

FRESH OFF THE BOAT, ABC Series, Premieres Tonight

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

9780679644880_e6ee1  Fresh Off the Boat Key Art embed

UPDATE: The two-episode debut did well last night, both in terms of ratings and response (“2015’s Best New Sitcom,” Flavorwire;  “Does Asian American Kids Right,” Jezebel):”the latest reason to be grateful for TV’s diversity push,” Slate). The show moves to Tuesday nights beginning next week.

Eddie Huang may sound ambivalent in a profile in the NYT Magazine about the ABC TV series based on his memoir,  Fresh Off the Boat, (RH/Spiegel & Grau; RH Audio; BOT), but reviewers are not. Premiering with 2 episodes tonight (recently rescheduled from next week), the L.A. Times calls it “a satire that works.” and New York magazine’s “Vulture” column calls, “One of TV’s Most Promising New Comedies.”

The trailer for the show’s pilot, below:

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.

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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):

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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.