Nicholas Sparks Books Becoming TV Series On TNT, ABC, Lifetime
You thought you were safe. You thought you'd taken every careful precaution. Fool! No one can escape the clutches of Nicholas Sparks. The author of hit romance novels, such as "The Notebook," is currently creating three TV shows for channels TNT, ABC, and Lifetime, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The movie versions of Sparks' novels have been almost uniformly successful, in some cases extraordinarily so -- "Message in a Bottle," "A Walk to Remember," "Nights in Rodanthe," "Dear John," "The Last Song." The films have modest budgets compared to the rest of Hollywood, beefcakey male stars in the leading roles, and ooze the kind of romantic melodrama that turns theaters into one giant tear-stained Oprah couch.
Adapting Sparks' books into movies is a foregone conclusion at this point; writing for TV was really just the next natural step.
The 46-year-old author has put shows into development at three cable networks through Nicholas Sparks Productions, the company he started in April 2012 with his longtime literary agent Theresa Park. Sparks and Park will executive produce all three projects.
The TV shows position Sparks as the rare breed of writer who's able to adapt his own bestselling books into network series, and original material.
For TNT, Sparks is adapting his fifth novel, from 2001, "A Bend In The Road," into a series with Brandon Camp, who wrote and directed the 2009 film "Love Happens." The romantic drama will reportedly focus on a sheriff who must deal with problems in a coastal Georgia town that sees its population soar during the summer tourist season.
At ABC Family, Sparks is teaming up with John Norris, who co-executive produced the channel's "Jane by Design." The new original series, titled "The Falls," is a modern "re-imagining" of "Romeo and Juliet." Norris was also a supervising producer on "One Tree Hill."
Lifetime has optioned Sparks to create a post-Civil War drama, "Deliverance Creek." The show will reportedly "explore the lengths one woman goes to protect her family, as she is caught between trying to be good and surviving," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Melissa Carter, who worked on "Jane by Design," will write the pilot and executive produce. Carter also scripted the 2004 film "Little Black Book."
The projects are the first to come from a two-year deal that Sparks signed in April with Warner Horizon.
Sparks has adapted seven of his novels into feature films, which have grossed more than $650 million worldwide, and several more are currently being made, including "Safe Haven" with Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough, which will be released Feb. 8 2013.
Sparks relishes the chance to stretch his creative muscles writing for TV. "It's a chance to venture into stories I don't always write about," he said to The Hollywood Reporter.