4:44pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Nicholas Sparks Drama Gets Backdoor Pilot Order at Lifetime
Lifetime is moving forward with its Nicholas Sparks drama.
The female-skewing cable network on Tuesday handed out a pilot order to Deliverance Creek, a two-hour backdoor pilot from the best-selling author of The Notebook.
The drama is set at the end of the Civil War and follows Belle Barlowe as she faces uncertainty as she attempts to defend her family’s land by any means necessary. When the corrupt bank that runs their town pushes Belle into becoming an outlaw, the stakes become personal, setting off a chain of events that force her to question whether it's better to be good or to survive.
Melissa Carter (Jane by Design) will write and executive produce the Warner Horizon Television drama alongside Sparks and the author's longtime literary agent, Theresa Park, via their year-old production company, Nicholas Sparks Productions. Elise Henderson, head of TV at Nicholas Sparks Productions, is on board as a co-EP.
The project comes a year-plus after the writer behind The Notebook, Nights in Rodanthe, Dear John, Message in a Bottle and A Walk to Remember, among others, set up three dramas including Creek, at Lifetime, TNT and ABC Family.
TNT has yet to move forward with a show based on A Bend in the Road, and ABC Family has The Falls, a modern re-imagining of Romeo and Juliet. Sparks first dipped his toe in television in 2011 when he set up The Watchers, an original concept, at ABC. The drama did not move forward.
The pilot comes as several of Sparks' romance novels have successfully been adapted for the big screen: Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, The Notebook, Nights in Rodanthe, Dear John and The Last Song, with several others in various stages of production.
The Sparks project comes mere hours after Lifetime renewed Marc Cherry's Devious Maids for a second season. The status of its original scripted series -- The Client List, Army Wives and Drop Dead Diva -- have yet to be determined. Creek joins Alicia Silverstone pilot HR at the network.