It's been a good year for legendary horror author Stephen King - the sequel to his classic horror novel The Shining was well-received, and while some of the big screen projects based on his novels are either moving slowly (Tod Williams' feature based on the zombie novel Cell) or stalled completely (The Stand, The Dark Tower), television adaptations are faring well. SyFy's Haven - very loosely based on King's novel The Colorado Kid - is going strong, and the CBS series adaptation of his novel Under the Dome is a big success. Plus, King finally joined Twitter.
While Under the Dome's source novel is massive, containing plenty of material for an ongoing series, there is a strong case for taking the basic premise of a short story and spinning it off into an episodic format, just as FX's Justified took off from an Elmore Leonard story.
Now, a boutique television production company called Signature, based at ABC Studios, is bringing a Stephen King story to the air. THR reports that the show, called Grand Central, will be based on "The New York Times at Special Bargain Rates" from the 2008 short story collection Just After Sunset.
The short story follows a widow who suddenly receives a phone call from her husband, who died in a plane crash two days before. The husband - who describes the afterlife he experiences as a "movie set of Grand Central Station" correctly predicts two tragedies, saving lives in the process.
Here are the details on the show:
From writers Sam Ernst and Jim Dunn ('Haven'), the drama is based on Stephen King's short story and is in development at ABC for a potential summer straight-to-series order. It's described as a character-driven procedural with a supernatural twist. Shawn Pillar, Lloyd Segan and Scott Shepherd ('Haven,' 'Greek,' 'The Dead Zone') will exec produce.
Grand Central is one of five shows the production company is setting up at networks such as ABC, TBS, A&E and WE tv - the others are a supernatural thriller called Corridors from the screenwriter of The Number 23; Strega is described as a "psychological horror story;" Suburban Shootout is a dark comedy about a suburbanite with mob ties; Born to be Wilde is a sitcom featuring squabbling siblings running an auto parts store; and WE tv will develop it's first original show called The Divide, from Behind The Candelabra screenwriter Richard LaGravenese.
The King story Grand Central is based on is a fun little read, with all the hallmarks of a Stephen King ghost story: well-drawn characters, a spooky premise and a lot of heart. The series will presumably need to expand a great deal from the source - if the wife character stays, will she be fed predictions by her husband somehow? Will the showrunners keep only the basic premise of predictions from the afterlife? The plot details remain to be seen, but if the show is slated to air on ABC next summer, expect more development news shortly.
Are you looking forward to more Stephen King on the small screen?
Grand Central will presumably air on ABC during the summer of 2014.