Amy Poehler Options AIDS Novel 'The Great Believers' for TV

In a competitive situation, Poehler's Universal Television-based Paper Kite banner landed the highly sought-after book, which is a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction.
Michael Loccisano/Getty Image; Courtesy of Penguin Random House

Amy Poehler continues to ramp up her TV development.

The Parks and Recreation grad, following a competitive situation, has landed rights to author Rebecca Makkai's best-seller The Great Believers with the goal of adapting the novel for television via her Universal Television-based Paper Kite Productions banner.

Published in June by Penguin Random House imprint Viking, The Great Believers is set in Chicago during the mid-1980s and in 2015 Paris. It uses the AIDS epidemic and a mother's search for her estranged daughter to explore the effects of senseless loss and our efforts to overcome it. Makkai's portrait of a group of friends, most of them gay men, conveys the terrors and tragedies of the epidemic's early years and follows its repercussions over decades.

Makki's book was selected as a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction in 2018 and shortlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction for 2019. It was selected as one of the best books of the year by the New York Times, Publishers Weekly and GoodReads, as well as the NPR Novel of the Year.

A network and writer to adapt the novel have not yet been determined.

The Great Believers becomes the latest scripted foray at Paper Kite, joining NBC rookie I Feel Bad, Netflix comedy series Russian Doll, Fox animated series Duncanville and Comedy Central's Broad City, among others in development at various broadcast and cable networks. The company also recently acquired feature rights to the book Moxie and optioned rights to the children's fiction book The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street to adapt as a feature.

For her part, Poehler currently co-hosts and exec produces NBC reality series Making It and will next star, produce and make her directorial debut in Netflix comedy Wine Country.

Poehler is repped by WME, 3Arts and Sloane Offer.