As I asked last week in the first of this three part series “From the Page to the Small Screen,” have you ever read a book and thought the story would be great if it were made into a TV show? The following are just a few more examples of books that have been made into TV shows.
Let’s begin with the worldwide phenomenon True Blood, which was brought to HBO by Alan Ball and is based on the best-selling novels by Charlaine Harris known as The Southern Vampire Mysteries – or as they are better known: The Sookie Stackhouse novels.
Much like the books, True Blood – the drink of choice for certain vampires within this supernatural-inspired world – details the co-existence of vampires and humans in Bon Temps, a fictional small Louisiana town. As mentioned earlier, the books as well as the series focus on Sookie Stackhouse (played by actress Anna Paquin), a telepathic waitress who falls in love with vampire Bill Compton (played by actor Stephen Moyer).
The TV series is going into its fourth season on the cable network, which is expected to air this summer and has gone on to include werewolves, shape shifters and warlocks (among many other supernatural creatures).
The TV series has a vast array of characters, including: Sam Trammell as Sam the owner of the bar where Sookie works and who also happens to be a shape shifter, Ryan Kwanten as Sookie’s brother Jason, Alexander Skarsgard as Eric, the much feared vampire sheriff, Rutina Wesley as Sookie’s best friend Tara, Nelsan Ellis as Tara’s cousin Lafayette, Carrie Preston as Arlene one of the other waitresses at Sam’s bar, Deborah Ann Woll as recently turned vampire Jessica and Kristin Bauer as Eric’s right-hand woman, and fellow vampire, Pam.
Over the course of the past three seasons, existing characters have been given more storylines and new characters have been introduced, including Marshall Allman, as Sam’s younger half-brother who is also a shape shifter, Chris Bauer as Detective Andy, Todd Lowe as Arlene’s boyfriend Terry, Joe Manganiello as werewolf Alcide, Evan Rachel Wood as vampire queen Sophie-Anne, Jim Parrack as Jessica’s on-again off-again boyfriend Hoyt, Kevin Alejandro as Lafeyette’s lover and warlock Jesus and Lindsay Pulsipher as Jason’s latest girlfriend and shape shifter Crystal.
As for The Southern Vampire Mysteries book series, certain aspects of the show veer from the stories in the books; but for the most part, they are similar. The first book – “Dead Until Dark” – was released in May of 2001 with each new book coming out in May of each succeeding year through 2010. The next nine books are “Living Dead in Dallas” (2002); “Club Dead” (2003); “Dead to the World” (2004); “Dead as a Doornail” (2005); “Definitely Dead” (2006); “All Together Dead” (2007); “From Dead to Worse” (2008); “Dead and Gone” (2009) and “Dead in the Family” (2010). The next new book “Dead Reckoning” will be released in May of this year with plans for a couple more new books soon.
To learn more about The Southern Vampire Mysteries please visit here.
To learn more about the TV series True Blood, please visit here.
Back in October of 1999 the then TV network the WB debuted a new show called Roswell, which was based on the young adult book series called Roswell High written by author Melinda Metz and edited by Laura J. Burns (who went on to become staff writers at the show).
The show, which chronicled the adventures of three teen aliens and their human friends in the legendary town of Roswell, New Mexico, ran for three seasons with the first two seasons airing on the WB and the final season airing on the then TV network UPN [the WB and UPN later went on to join forces to become what is now known as the CW].
The series was developed, produced and co-written by Jason Katims and starred Shiri Appleby as (human) Liz Parker; Jason Behr as (alien) Max Evans; Katherine Heigl as (alien) Isobel Evans; Majandra Delfino as (human) Maria DeLuca; Brendan Fehr as (alien) Michael Guerin; Nick Wechsler as (human) Kyle Valenti; Colin Hanks as (human) Alex Whitman and William Sadler as (human) Sheriff Jim Valenti, Kyle’s dad.
During the latter part of the first season, a fourth alien – Tess – was discovered, being played by Emilie de Ravin and in the third season Adam Rodriguez appeared as Jesse Ramirez, Isobel’s human boyfriend soon to become her husband.
The 10-book series “Roswell High” for which the show was based are as follows: “The Outsider” and “The Wild One” (both released in 1998); “The Seeker,” “The Watcher” and “The Intruder” (all released in 1999) and “The Stowaway,” “The Vanished,” “The Rebel,” “The Dark One” and “The Salvation” (all released in 2000).
Ironically, while the show was still on the air, three tie-in novels were released. They included “Loose Ends” and “No Good Deed” (released in 2001) and “Little Green Men” (released in 2002). As the TV show was coming to an end and after its cancellation, eight more tie-in novels were released and they included “Shades” and “Skeletons In The Closet” (released in 2002) and “Dreamwalk,” “Quarantine,” “A New Beginning,” “Nightscape,” “Pursuit” and “Turnabout” (all released in 2003).
To learn more about the Roswell High books, please visit here.
To learn more about the TV series Roswell, please visit the longest-running, most comprehensive fan site dedicated to the show here.
The final book made into a TV show to be covered for this week is the Zoey Dean book “How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls,” which was made into the short-lived TV show Privileged that aired on the CW during the 2008-2009 TV season. The series creator was Rina Mimoun and the cast included actress Joanna Garcia as recent Yale graduate Megan Smith, who goes to Manhattan with big plans for a career in journalism and an even bigger student loan debt. When she fails at her trashy tabloid job, she’s given an escape hatch: tutor seventeen-year-old identical twins Rose and Sage Baker (played by actresses Lucy Hale and Ashley Newbrough), the infamous heiresses of Palm Beach, Florida, best known for the massive fortune attained by their entrepreneur grandmother Laurel Limoges (played by legendary actress Anne Archer) – and get their SAT scores up enough so they can get into Duke (where their late mother attended college). The rest of the cast included Michael Cassidy as Megan’s best friend Charlie Hogan; Allan Louis as Laurel’s head chef Marco Giordani; Brian Hallisay as Megan’s on-again, off-again boyfriend and neighbor to the Limoges/Baker family and Kristina Apgar as Megan’s estranged sister Lily Smith.
Unlike the other book series referenced above, this TV series was based solely on this one book and while the storyline may sound superficial, the series was very charming and heartwarming, but the unfortunate end result was the CW only aired it for the one season.
To learn more about the TV show Privileged, please visit here.
To read about author Zoey Dean and her various books, please visit here.
Happy reading and TV viewing until next week when the final section of this three-part series concludes!
Musician Spotlight: Leona Lewis is a British pop and R&B singer-songwriter who came to fame for winning the third season of the British TV series The X Factor. But she got her start in music through school, where she eventually learned how to play guitar and piano with the hope of becoming a singer-songwriter. She wrote her first full-length song at the age of 12 and while she first trained in opera, she went on to sing jazz and blues then ventured into popular music. After leaving school at the age of 17, she took odds jobs to earn money to record her demo album called “Twilight“, which was almost exclusively comprised of her own compositions. None of her demos were released and she considered taking time off from her music career to attend university until her boyfriend (at the time) persuaded her to enter The X Factor. In 2006 she won that competition and eventually released her debut album called “Spirit” in 2007. The album became the fastest-selling debut album in Ireland and the UK for that year and came out in several other countries the following year, including the US. The album entered the Billboard charts at number one, making her the first British artist to reach number one with a debut album. She is best known for the second single off that album “Bleeding Love,” which became the best-selling single of 2007 in the UK and reached number one in over 30 countries. Her second album, which is called “Echo,” was released in November of 2009 and featured the singles “Happy” and “I Got You”. That same year she recorded the theme song for the box office movie Avatar called “I See You”. Her third album should be out sometime this summer. To learn more about Leona Lewis, please visit here.