April 23, 2014 9:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
J.K. Rowling, HBO, BBC Team for 'Casual Vacancy' Miniseries
J.K. Rowling is bringing her magic to HBO.
The Harry Potter author is teaming with the premium cable network and the BBC to adapt her best-seller The Casual Vacancy into a three-hour miniseries, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The Casual Vacancy, Rowling's follow-up to the Harry Potter series, centers on Pagford, a seemingly idyllic English village with a cobbled market square and ancient abbey. Behind its pretty facade, however, is a town at war: rich at war with the poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands and teachers at war with their students.
Rowling will executive produce the mini via her Bronte Film and Television production company that she runs with Neil Blair, her longtime literary agent and producing partner. Blair is also on board to exec produce alongside Paul Trijbits (Saving Mr. Banks, Dancing on the Edge) and Rick Senat. Sarah Phelps (EastEnders, BBC's Great Expectations) will pen the mini, which will be produced by Ruth Kenley-Letts (The Hour). Jonny Campbell (Eric & Ernie) will direct.
Production will begin in the summer in South West England.
The series is a co-production with the BBC, who announced in 2012 that the novel for adults would be produced for television on BBC One.
The Casual Vacancy has sold more than six million copies worldwide since its debut in 2012, despite mixed reviews.
The move marks Rowling's latest teaming with a division of Time Warner. Studio counterpart Warner Bros. produced all eight Harry Potter feature films, which collectively have grossed more than $7.7 billion.
For HBO, Casual Vacancy joins a growing roster of originals that includes seven-hour mini Criminal Justice, starring John Turturro; the expected second season of anthology True Detective; as well as drama series Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones and the upcoming Damon Lindelof series The Leftovers.