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Lifetime Orders 'The Clan of the Cave Bear' Drama

The cable network has ordered a pilot based on Jean M. Auel’s series of best-selling novels for a potential 2015 launch.

The Clan of the Cave Split Ron Howard Allison Shearmur - H 2014
"The Clan of the Cave Bear"

Lifetime is taking a plunge back in time.

The cable network has ordered a pilot for The Clan of the Cave Bearbased on Jean M. Auel’s series of best-selling novels. The drama project, which is targeting a 2015 launch, hails from Imagine's Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo along with Allison Shearmur (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), Auel and writer Linda Woolverton (Maleficent).

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“I’ve always admired Jean M. Auel’s timeless work,” said Lifetime GM Rob Sharenow in a statement announcing the news Wednesday. “With the visionary creative team of Ron Howard, Linda Woolverton, Brian Grazer, Alli Shearmur, Jean M. Auel and Francie Calfo behind it, this project has it all — epic storytelling, great characters and a unique world that’s never been explored on television before. This is exactly the type of top-tier creative talent and great stories we embrace at Lifetime.”

The ambitious effort, which is a co-production of Fox 21 and Lionsgate in association with Imagine and Allison Shearmur Productions, is part of Lifetime's continued push to be a destination for high-end scripted drama. The cable network will look to leverage Auel's built-in readership. Her book series, which includes six New York Times best-sellers, has sold more than 60 million copies globally.  

The first book of the series, The Clan of the Cave Bear, takes place more than 25,000 years ago, when Neanderthals shared the Earth with the first early modern humans and a band of cave dwellers adopt blond, blue-eyed Ayla, a child of the “Others.”  As Ayla matures into a young woman of spirit and courage, she must fight for survival against the jealous bigotry of Broud, who will one day be clan leader.

  Woolverton is repped by Resolution.