The Harry Potter franchise may be finished, but the work of J.K. Rowling has continued with her adult novel The Casual Vacancy. It was always assumed that the book would eventually get a movie deal, but instead, the first adaptation looks to be headed for television.
BBC One and BBC Drama in the United Kingdom have landed the rights toCasual Vacancy for a TV series, though the number of episodes have yet to be determined, as Rowling’s manager Neil Blair is working on independently producing the series himself.
For those who haven’t yet read the book that sold over a million copies in just three weeks, here’s the official synopsis:
When Barry Fairbrother dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…. Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town’s council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?
It sounds like the story would be better suited for a miniseries rather than a traditional TV series; however, considering the short seasons (or “series”) that usually come out of British television, a single six or eight episode season might work just fine for the book if it can’t be stretched to fit a multiple season structure. That will likely be figured out as the deal is finalized.
Deadline says The Casual Vacancy is being eyed to start airing in 2014, but since this is a BBC One production, there’s no telling when the show might make its way to the United States. HBO has been really good about snagging series from across the pond (especially series’ from Ricky Gervais), so this might be a nice acquisition for the cable network – especially since they’ve landed the Harry Potter movies for their initial cable premiere over the years.
In a fluffy publicity statement, Rowling said, “I’m thrilled that the BBC has commissioned The Casual Vacancy. I always felt that, if it were to be adapted, this novel was best suited to television and I think the BBC is the perfect home.”
Stay tuned as more information on the adaptation of The Casual Vacancy becomes available.