The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that mega successful chick lit novelist Jennifer Weiner (In Her Shoes, Good In Bed, Certain Girls) has signed a two-year television development deal with ABC Studios, adding to a growing trend in primetime and film of authors being tapped to bring their work to the screen.
Sure novels have always been adapted for TV and/or movies but in recent years studio heads seem to be looking more and more to Barnes and Noble for new material as opposed to film schools, especially when trying to attract female audiences. Novels like The Devil Wears Prada and Bridget Jones's Diary were smash best sellers among women 18-49, the audience execs lust for like no other. The movie companions to those books also proved to be box office hits.
Of course no mention of successful books translated into great dramatic art would be complete without mention of Candace Bushnell's collection of smart essays on the life of single women in New York, Sex and the City. Bushnell's book, which was derived from her column of the same name, went on to be a monster hit for HBO and Sex and the City: The Movie is expected to break box office records this summer. So this begs the question, why isn't daytime following suit by pursuing novelists as head writers?
Yes there are several daytime writers past and present who have had success in the literary world. Daytime Confidential podcast guest Thom Racina, has published several best sellers, in addition to his legendary stints writing for General Hospital and Days of Our Lives. Former One Life to Live scribe Michael Malone is the wildly successful author of numerous novels and short stories, and these are only a couple of examples. Still I can't help but wonder why the industry isn't aggressively seeking out the possibility of working in conjunction with say Jackie Collins or Janet Evanovich to help revitalize the daytime soap opera?
While the rigorous demands of daytime, with writing teams putting out 80 page scripts five days a week, might prove a bit daunting for most novelists, why not bring them on as consultants or to pen long range story arcs and bibles, while allowing the trained head writers to remain as co-heads to execute storylines? Just a thought. At any rate, which of your favorite authors would you like to see try their hand at daytime?