U.K. Startup Catalyst Developing YA Novel 'Cuckoo Song' as TV Miniseries (Exclusive)

Al Hardiman, Charlotte Walls and Gideon Lyons of Catalyst

Frances Hardinge's award-winning best-seller set in 1920s England will be adapted into a four-part series.

Cuckoo Song, the best-selling YA novel, will be made into a four-part TV series.

Catalyst Global Media, the U.K. film and TV production banner set up last year, has optioned Frances Hardinge's novel, which became the first YA book to win the British Fantasy Awards' top prize and was shortlisted for both the Carnegie Medal and the James Herbert Award. Catalyst will produce Cuckoo Song as a 4 x 60 event piece.

"We are thrilled to be adapting the rich and fantastical world that Frances has so vividly created," said Charlotte Walls, Catalyst's CEO and co-founder. "This astounding story has universal themes that will resonate with children and parents of all ages and make for a great communal viewing experience."

Set in 1920s England, Cuckoo Song follows the story of a young girl whose world is turned upside down when she finds herself eerily altered and unearths a magical folklore world as she embarks on a quest to repair a broken family still haunted by the events of WWI.

"Needless to say, this is very exciting,” said Hardinge, who in 2015 became the first children's author to win the Costa Book Award since Philip Pullman in 2001. "It's been a lot of fun exploring ideas with the Catalyst team, and its reassuring to know we're all on the same page with the TV adaption."

Since launching in 2015, Catalyst has partnered with John Woo to produce scripted TV series Cognition, a neo-noir crime thriller, and executive produced Peter & Wendy, based on J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan, which starred Stanley Tucci. 

Catalyst has also struck a multiyear, multipicture deal with Warner Music to develop a slate of feature biopics and documentaries from its catalog of artists.

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