HBO joins BBC in adapting JK Rowling's The Casual Vacancy

  • AFP
  • Updated: Apr 25, 2014 15:11 IST

The miniseries adapted from the British author JK Rowling's first novel since the last Harry Potter now has a guaranteed place on American TV thanks to HBO's arrival on the development team. The American network is teaming up with the BBC, which has been at work on the project since late 2012.

The small screen adaptation of The Casual Vacancy will take the form of a three-hour miniseries written by Sarah Phelps, who has contributed screenplays to a number of British series, including the long-running drama EastEnders.

There is no word yet on the cast or scheduled air dates for the project, which is slated to enter production this summer.

The Casual Vacancy opens with the death of Barry Fairweather, a parish councillor in the fictional town of Pagford. JK Rowling's novel goes on to focus on Terri Weedon, a drug addict and prostitute fighting with social services for custody of her son Robbie and her teenage daughter Krystal. Just before the election of Fairweather's replacement on the parish council, anonymous messages reveal the inhabitants' secrets begin appearing on Pagford's online forum, creating an atmosphere of paranoia.

Published in September 2012, the book sold six million copies worldwide in spite of mitigated reviews. The book is JK Rowling's first since the end of the Harry Potter series, which sold 450 million copies in total and became an extremely lucrative film franchise, allowing Warner to bring in over $7.7 billion.

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