The Show of the Books
Adapting books to TV


(permanent link) added: 2011-05-31 04:14:56 sponsor: DaibhidC (last reply: 2011-06-01 15:41:55)

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It's the one Derivative Works we don't seem to have yet.

A book series is adapted into a TV series. Not just a TV Movie, but a regular weekly series about the characters. Unless the book series is already a Long Runner, this is probably going to Overtake The Series quite quickly, and become its own Alternate Continuity. In fact, it may not even use the books as anything other than a source of characters.

Rolling Updates, if I remember...

Examples: (Where I know how closely the series sticks to the books, I've noted it.)
  • A Touch of Frost, from the books by R. D. Wingfield. Original stories based on the characters.
  • Bones, from the books by Kathy Reich. All original stories, and indeed mostly original characters. (It's arguable whether Temperance "Bones" Brennan is even the same character as Temperance "Tempe" Brennan.)
  • Inspector Morse, from the books by Colin Dexter. The first series was straight adaptations of the novels, the second had two adaptations and two original episodes (one of which got recursively adapted by Dexter himself). From then on, it had original storylines, until the last few specials, which were all based on the novels.
  • The Mrs Bradley Mysteries from the books by Gladys Mitchell.
  • The Roman Mysteries from the books by Caroline Lawrence. So far, all based on the books, although they skipped the first one, and so had to add the Everyone Meets Everyone story to "The Secrets of Vesuvius".
  • Dexter from the books by Jeff Lindsay.
  • The Last Detective from the books by Leslie Thomas. The pilot was based on the first book, but the rest were original.
  • Lovejoy from the books by Jonathan Gash.
  • Dalziel and Pascoe from the books by Reginald Hill. The series mixed original stories with book adaptations for a while, then moved entirely into new material (even though Hill is still writing books).
  • Sharpe from the books by Bernard Cromwell. Mostly, but not entirely, based on the books.
  • Midsomer Murders from the books by Caroline Graham. The first season episodes were all based on the novels, then they invented their own plots. Two of the books were never adapted.
  • Jeeves and Wooster from the books by P. G. Wodehouse. Took elements from the original books and combined them into new stories.
  • Hornblower from the books by H.M. Forester, which did something similar to Jeeves and Wooster.
  • The Worst Witch from the books by Jill Murphy. Started out as a straight adaptation, then created its own storylines, eventually producing two Spin Offs.
  • What's With Andy, adapted from the Just Annoying/Shocking/Etc. books by Andy Griffiths (Not to be confused with Andy Griffith).
  • The Vampire Diaries from the books by L.J. Smith.
  • The Dresden Files from the books by Jim Butcher. In Name Only.
  • Game of Thrones from the books by George R. R. Martin. Straight adaptation.
  • Animorphs from the books by K.A. Applegate. Suffered from massive Adaptation Decay.
  • Goosebumps from the books by R.L. Stine.
  • True Blood from the books by Charlaine Harris.
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