BBC to Turn J.K. Rowling's 'The Casual Vacancy' Into TV Series

The U.K. public broadcaster will adapt the author's first post-"Harry Potter" novel into a project for its flagship channel.




LONDON -- The Casual Vacancy, J.K. Rowling's first post-Harry Potter novel, will come to the small screen courtesy of U.K. public broadcaster BBC.

The broadcaster's flagship channel BBC One and BBC Drama have commissioned an exclusive adaptation of the book in a deal with The Blair Partnership, which represents the British author. 

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The series has been commissioned for the BBC by BBC One controller Danny Cohen and Ben Stephenson, controller of BBC Drama. It is expected to air in 2014.

Rowling was just named to the The Hollywood Reporter's inaugural list of the 25 most powerful authors in Hollywood. 

Rowling will collaborate closely on the project, with the number and length of the episodes "to be decided once the creative adaptation process has formally begun," according to the BBC. 

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The series will be produced through an independent production company operated by Neil Blair, on behalf of the Blair Partnership, and Rick Senat. The deal was struck following discussions between Blair and BBC One controller Danny Cohen.

Rowling's novel, published in September, is set in a small English town whose picture-perfect facade hides a place where the rich are at war with the poor, teenagers are fighting their parents and wives and husbands are at loggerheads.

Rowling said she is thrilled that the BBC commissioned the adaptation. "I always felt that, if it were to be adapted, this novel was best suited to television, and I think the BBC is the perfect home," she said. Warner Bros. brought the wildly successful Potter franchise to the big screen.

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Cohen described Rowling's storytelling as "peerless in its popularity." adding: "This project highlights the ambition and scale of BBC One Drama, as well as the ability of modern television to attract the world's biggest talent and most exciting creative ideas," Cohen said.

Said Stephenson: "It's a book of such richness that -- through humor, social commentary and, above all, fantastic characters -- says something insightful and entertaining about the country we live in."