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Book It: 9 Books We Want Adapted to TV Shows Now

October 21st, 2011 by Hulu Blog

As we approach the end of October, we’ve reached that inevitable stage in the Fall Premiere Season: Cancellation time. As awesome as the networks told us shows like The Playboy Club and Charlie’s Angels were going to be, those programs each got one behind the ear and are now buried somewhere in the desert outside Vegas. Now, don’t go feeling bad for the actors now out of a job, like Eddie Cibrian—he always bounces back. But won’t someone please think of the studio execs who have to scramble around and find replacement shows or, at least, clone Melissa McCarthy for a show on their network?

Don’t despair! We’ve found a place where ready-made stories are begging to be turned into the next hit TV franchise: Books!

The Great Gatsby

Forget about the much ballyhooed Baz Luhrman remake of the Fitzgerald novel, this Prohibition Era-classic needs to be brought to the CW. The Gossip Girl of its day, who wouldn’t want to see gorgeous, carefree flappers and tortured, wealthy, World War I vets party in lavish New York apartments and Long Island mansions, where they would find love scored with the hottest hits of the Jazz Age. And, of course, they could show off all their toys, whether it be a brand new Model T, or the latest phone…one with a rotary dial! –Martin Moakler

Great Expectations

A reality show, hosted by an aging grande dame in a faded wedding dress, wherein young titans of industry can fight to win the affections of the girls who spurned them in junior high only to have the girls shoot them down again…but there’s a twist! We just haven’t figured out what that twist is yet. –MM


The Eighties are huge right now, and we know that people enjoy watching the encroachment of their rights and civil liberties by a faceless government telling them what to do, but with fun fashions and that great music that defined the decade! Don’t you forget about who we’re currently at war with! –MM

The Sandman by Neil Gaiman

Aside from Batman and Superman, DC Comics has struggled to adapt its various superheroes into successful film franchises.  If I were them, I’d ditch the film strategy and walk down the hall to HBO.  The Sandman is perfect for a Game of Thrones’ style adaptation: strong mythology, interesting characters, and “edgy” storylines.  They’ve already bought into the Gaiman brand with American Gods; time to sign him up for another series.–Andrea Marker

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

I can’t think of a better book for a PBS Kids show.  The Phantom Tollbooth creates a world that’s both fun and educational without tipping off the reader that they’re actually eating their literary vegetables.  It doesn’t matter if you love English but hate math as a kid (or vice versa), The Phantom Tollbooth teaches you to find the joy in both.  I’d love to spend more time in an animated version of the Kingdom of Wisdom, punning with the residents of Dictionopolis and Digitopolis.  Just keep it more Chuck Jones and less Shrek please.—AM

The Catcher in the Rye

Shia LaBeouf is a disaffected child walking around the larger cities of America picking fights with shirtless people and doing that thing where he has someone hold him back while he yells “let me at ‘em!” so he doesn’t actually have to fight anybody.

Actually, sorry, that appears to be Shia LaBeouf’s actual life.—Ben Collins

The Hunger Games by Susan Collins

Paris Hilton spends 52 consecutive minutes watching people eat sandwiches from the kitchen of a Panera Bread.—BC

The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis

Yes, it was a subpar 2002 film starring James Van Der Beek, but it only sucked because Easton Ellis’ story about Ivy League kids living an endless bacchanalia in the Reagan Era was made for television. Cheesy 80s music galore, like Tears for Fears “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” juxtaposed with, say, Lauren using a tampon case to snort lines of coke off her Economics textbook is nothing but a guilty pleasure. This is the college we can only live through TV (or else we’d be dead).—Sheila Dichoso

American Vampire by Scott Snyder

I know, I know. Vampires may have overstayed their welcome in pop culture-ville, but even Stephen King (he wrote one of the two stories for the first graphic novel) is down with Snyder’s savagely original take on the blood-sucking mythos. These vampires are different: They can walk in the sun! Also, the narrative takes us through different decades of American culture, from 1920s Hollywood and the Wild West of the 1800s to beyond. And I’m calling it right now: Skinner Sweet is the new Eric Northman.—SD


Last comment: Oct 25th 2011 2 Comments
  • Lorelle says:

    When I stop to dream about the books I want to see made into televisions series or movies, only four authors come to mind: Alan Dean Foster, Orson Scott Card, Terry Pratchett, and Kim Stanley Robinson.

    Pratchett has already had some movies/animations done of a few of his books, but I’d love to see a whole series featuring Discworld adventures. What a hoot, and there is no end of stories in that world.

    Kim Stanley Robinson’s work on Antarctica and his Mars series are musts for movies or television shows. The politics, drama, sex, everything in the Mars series would give the entertainment industry work for many seasons if handled right.

    The world has been long waiting for Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game and its sequels. Why are we still waiting for that? And Enchantment and the Pastwatch book on Christopher Columbus (which I thought was going to be a series but is still only one book but could be) are PERFECT for the large and small screens.

    One of the most prolific science fiction authors of our time, Alan Dean Foster, would be ideal as he already is famous for his movies-to-books including the most recent Star Trek movie, so he understands well what it takes to turn a movie into a book and the reverse. He taught and worked in the industry, too.

    I’d love to see his Carnivores of LIght and Darkness (Journeys of the Catechist) series into a movie. Spellsinger, The Damned, Commonwealth, Flinx, Angel Cardenes, and Taken series would all be perfect no matter what medium they were in. I long to see Quozl, Glory Lane, and Into the Out Of made into movies – and what movies. Quozl would put a whole new spin on the ET movie cliche.

    Sure wish I knew why these great authors aren’t seeing the light of the silver screen.

  • TD Sims says:

    Some of these suggestions are actually great, especially Sandman, American Vampire and The Rules of Attraction. But what a waste of two spots on outdated Shia and Paris jokes! How about we throw in Chuck Palahniuk’s “Haunted” on the list? A series about an insane writer’s retreat where each week a different, horrifying story is told against the backdrop of a group of strangers struggle to survive? Yes Please! I’d also love to see Joyce Carol Oates’ “We Were the Mulvaneys” as a TV show. The 2002 Lifetime movie didn’t delve deep enough to really tell the story about the perfect family that falls spectacularly apart. I’d love to see the Mulvaney saga slowly revealed over the course of a few seasons of TV.