It has been a busy day for announcements of TV adaptations based on ‘ripped from the headlines’ style recent books about politics and scandal.
First up, Universal Television and producer Sherry Marsh (“Pose,” “Vikings”) have optioned the rights to Bruce Holsinger’s new novel “The Gifted School” with plans develop it as a TV series. A writer is now being sought for that project.
Set in a fictional Colorado enclave of over-entitled families, the story depicts parenting as a competitive sport. Four women who have been friends for over a decade, the Quad, find their lives turned upside down when a competitive charter school for ‘exceptionally gifted children’ opens its doors in their pristine town.
Next, “Zero Dark Thirty” writer Mark Boal will adapt Mitchell Zuckoff’s book “Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11” into an ABC limited series and will serve as an executive producer on the Lionsgate/3 Arts show. The limited series is set to air in 2021 to commemorate twenty years since terrorist attacks on New York and Washington DC. Zuckoff, Erwin Stoff and Richard Abate executive produce.
Third is NBCUniversal International Studios acquiring the rights to Emily St John Mandel’s mystery thriller novel “The Glass Hotel” with plans to turn it into a TV series by Lark Productions (“Motive”). Mandel will write her first television screenplay.
The story begins with the disappearance of a woman from a container ship off the coast of Mauritania. This mysterious, but seemingly isolated, incident opens a window into a massive ponzi scheme which implodes in New York, destroying countless fortunes and lives with it.
Finally, Netflix has won a bidding war for “The Girls on the Bus,” a TV series inspired by a key chapter from journalist Amy Chozick’s novel “Chasing Hillary” with the author attached to pen alongside Julie Plec. Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter will executive produce.
That series will chronicle four female journalists who follow the every move of a parade of flawed presidential candidates, finding friendship, love and a scandal that could take down not just the presidency but our entire democracy along the way. The Netflix take won’t involve Clinton in any way.