The yet-to-be-published political thriller written by President Bill Clinton and author James Patterson, titled The President is Missing, has already been optioned by Showtime as a new television series for the network. With a publication date set for June 11, 2018, the novel is already considered to be a high commodity, with the two authors meeting with various studios before settling on Showtime.
According to Deadline, Clinton and Patterson were involved in 16 meetings where they pitched the novel to various producers and networks. CBS Corp., the parent company of Showtime, is thrilled to have secured the rights to the novel, though no details regarding a production start date or release date have been announced. Both Clinton and Patterson have a well established relationship with CBS, which likely played a role in the deal. Clinton has a personal connection to chairman and CEO of CBS Corp., Leslie Moonves, while Patterson has several projects in development with CBS, including Zoo and the upcoming Instinct.
Showtime Networks president and CEO David Nevins made a statement regarding the partnership with Clinton and Patterson, saying:
“Bringing The President Is Missing to Showtime is a coup of the highest order. The pairing of President Clinton with fiction’s most gripping storyteller promises a kinetic experience, one that the book world has salivated over for months and that now will dovetail perfectly into a politically relevant, character-based action series for our network.”
Clinton, whose previous books fall more in line within political, non-fiction categories, is excited about the prospect of pairing up with Patterson, who has dealt with the adaptation process for a number of his previous best-selling novels, including Along Came a Spider, Kiss the Girls, and most recently, Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life. He commented on how he is "really enjoying writing this book and working with Jim."
Patterson opened up about the benefits of bringing an actual president into a writing process which just so happens to exist within the very environment in which a POTUS would be exceptionally familiar. He said:
“The White House is such an exciting world to explore and is made even more so with the unique insights of a former President. Rich storytelling opportunities for this series abound.”
The official synopsis (via Amazon) of the book is skim on details, though it does confirm the story centers around a sitting U.S. President that goes missing, and will contain "insider details that only a President can know." It sounds like a recipe for a gripping drama, and hopefully the end result lives up to its on-paper potential.
Showtime's The President is Missing currently has no release date.