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'The Secret Circle' EP Kevin Williamson Says L.J. Smith's Writing 'Taps Into My Happy Place'

The showrunner explains both the challenges and pleasures of adapting the author's novels for television.

Kevin Williamson
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The CW’s new fall series, The Secret Circle, doesn’t just share the night and creative team behind The Vampire Diaries, but the source material comes from the same author, L.J. Smith.

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“The books are as old as The Vampire Diaries,” executive producer Gina Girolamo tells reporters on Thursday’s Television Critics Association (TCA) Press Tour. “And because of the success of The Vampire Diaries, we at Alloy looked at it as a potential new companion and brought it to the studio right away and they loved it.”

The Secret Circle deals with the world of witches. Life Unexpected’s Britt Robertson stars as Cassie, who finds herself orphaned and living in the town her mother once left without looking back. Unexplained things begin to happen to and around her and then she finds a group of other teens who seem to know more about her than she does.

Showrunner, Kevin Williamson, says that he isn’t drawn to adapting Smith’s novels, because they lend themselves easily to television. In fact, he says it’s quite the opposite.

“It’s not easy. It’s a challenge,” says Williamson. “What I love so much about L.J. Smith’s worlds is that she taps into my happy place, which is a lot of the growing up, coming of age, teen angst, but then she mixes it with the genre that I love and spins it all around.”

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He says that the challenge with Smith’s books include her multilayered storytelling style that includes historical moments and future moments interweaved into the series of books, which make it hard to break that into episodes. “And to do it at the pace and the storytelling, which I sort of like to generate, it's often hard,” Williamson explains.

“But, it’s also fun. I love L.J. Smith,” Williamson continues. “The betrayal, the deceit, the friendship, the loyalty, the love, the murder, the mayhem, all that stuff is my happy place. I kind of take my hat off to L.J. and thank her and God bless you.” 

The Secret Circle premieres Sept. 15 on The CW.

 

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