10 Steamy Books That Would Make Excellent Television Soap Operas

Every time you refresh your page, while visiting one of Hollywood's top industry websites, you're likely to be reading a new article about a hot best seller being adapted for the big or small screen. Both daytime and primetime soap opera creators have long been inspired by the literary world.

 Before it was a hit movie or televised guilty pleasure, Peyton Place was a scandalous tome by Grace Metalious. The classic 1960's sudser later spun off to daytime in the early 70's, via the short-lived daily serial Return to Peyton Place

Flamingo Road and Rituals also started off as books. Irna PhillipsLove is a Many Splendored Thing (1967-73) may have been viewed as a spin-off from the movie of the same name, but both projects found their origin in Han Suyin's autobiographical novel A Many-Splendoured Thing.

This got me to thinking. Should daytime and primetime television executives start looking more to books to find the next big serialized dramas? Here are a few steamy reads I'd start with!

No. 10: The Theory of Opposites by Allison Winn Scotch

Jennifer Garner's production company is already attached to adapt popular novelist Allison Winn Scotch's first self-published work as a feature film. I can't help but hope the saga of self-exploration, featuring plucky heroine Willa Chandler-Golden, also finds its way onto the small screen at some point. 

The daughter of a famed self-help guru, Willa finds herself needing some affirmations of her own, when her perfectly-crafted life starts to fall apart. She's having trouble conceiving, she loses her job, an ex-boyfriend looks her up on Facebook and the husband she believed to be near perfect wants a break. I'd love to watch Willa attempt to chuck the rules for successful living her dad spelled out in Is It Really Your Choice? Why Your Entire Life May Be Out of Your Control, to try and figure things out on her own in primetime.

Wishful Casting: One Life to Live and Guiding Light alum Gina Tognoni as Willa Chandler-Golden.
Read an excerpt of The Theory of Opposites by clicking here.


9 Responses

  1. Profile photo of Patchworks

    Thanks, Jamey. Now I have a winter reading list. I would love to see some of these ideas make it to soap television because the regurgitated drivel we’re given year after year is played out.

  2. Profile photo of sanka9

    Pride and Avarice is definitely my kind of book. Nicholas Coleridge will be on my list. Thanks Jamey. Ain’t no way that KA can pull playing Lucky Santangelo

  3. Profile photo of gato1

    People Like Us is one of my all time faves!! everyone should check it out!! I would go with Marj Dusay as Lil tho!! Jamey–no E Lynn Harris?? I could see a whole series around Basil the bi sexual bad boy football player and that hell cat Braxton and her evil mother!!

  4. Profile photo of bobbyew

    Nicolette Sheridan the original Lucky Santangelo that’s the casting. No one can bring it like she did and her daddy Vincent Irrazery and the old man she married Eric Braedan as Stanasloplous. That’s the cast.

  5. Profile photo of cinicic

    I have a book out. And I always wanted to be a soap opera writer. :-) Shameless plug. How could I not!

    An abused American teen is rescued by a staunch Japanese skating coach, groomed for future Olympic glory and an arranged marriage to the coach’s daughter. All is going according to plan until the bride-to-be is injured and her partner goes to work on his artistry with a sexy male British ice dancer. Quadruple Flip–4 revolutions, 3 make a love triangle, 2 people he truly loves, 1 happy ending? (Or maybe a cliffhanger/sequel).


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