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Don’t cry for Nicholas Sparks.
The author of 16 New York Times best-sellers, including such tear-jerkers-turned-movie hits as The Notebook and Dear John, is expanding into TV.
Sparks, 46, has put shows into development at three cable networks through Nicholas Sparks Productions, the shingle he started in April with his longtime literary agent Theresa Park. (UTA’s Elise Henderson joined in July as head of TV.)
Sparks and Park will act as executive producers on all three projects. UTA and attorney Scott Schwimer represent Sparks and his Nicholas Sparks Productions shingle.
The projects position Sparks as the rare novelist to translate success as a best-selling author into a broad development slate that includes both book adaptations and original material.
At TNT, Sparks is developing a show based on his novel A Bend in the Road with Brandon Camp, who wrote and directed the 2009 feature Love Happens. The romantic drama focuses on a sheriff who must deal with problems in a coastal Georgia town that sees its population soar during the summer tourist season. The novel centered on the relationship between the recently widowed lawman and his son’s second-grade teacher.
Camp also co-created the 2002 Fox series John Doe and has an interactive children’s book coming out later this year. He is repped by UTA.
At ABC Family, Sparks is teaming with John Norris — who co-executive produced the channel’s Jane by Design — on The Falls, a modern re-imagining of Romeo and Juliet. The UTA-repped Norris was also a supervising producer on One Tree Hill.
And for Lifetime, Sparks has set up Deliverance Creek, a post-Civil War drama that explores the lengths one woman goes to protect her family as she is caught between trying to be good and surviving. Melissa Carter (Jane by Design) will write the pilot and executive produce. Carter also scripted the 2004 feature Little Black Book. She is managed by Rob Golenberg at Scripted World.
The projects are the first to come from a two-year deal that Sparks signed in April with Warner Horizon.
Seven of the author’s books have been adapted into films that have grossed more than $650 million worldwide, and several more are in the pipeline, including Safe Haven with Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough, which arrives in theaters Feb. 8.
The push into TV marks an expansion of the Sparks brand from feature films and a broadening from female-skewing love stories to serialized drama.
Sparks tells The Hollywood Reporter he is still a novelist at heart and writing books is his first priority but that the “collaborative aspects” of TV are appealing. “It’s a chance to venture into stories I don’t always write about,” he says.
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