Lionsgate has acquired the film rights to Kate Atkinson's stand-alone Life After Life, about a woman and her apparently infinite number of lives and the choices made when you have the chance to live all over again. A pair of TV writers have been tapped to write the script, Semi Chellas of Mad Men and Esta Spalding of The Bridge.
Darren Aronofsky is in early talks to direct Red Sparrow, an adaptation of the Jason Matthews espionage novel, which 20th Century Fox bought after a 7-figure deal. The book was published in June by Scribner.
Although Fox 2000 Pictures has been hoping to adapt a film based on Patricia Cornwell's series character Kay Scarpetta, the possibility looks even more likely now that Cornwell has jumped ship to publisher Harper Collins; both Fox 2000 Pictures and Harper Collins are owned by News Corporation. (Hat tip Omnimystery News.)
Australian actor Sullivan Stapleton (seen in HBO's action series Strike Back) has signed to star in Kill Me Three Times, the Krive Stenders-directed crime thriller described as "a story of murder and blackmail in an Australian surfing town."
Warner Brothers has hired James Gray to write and direct White Devil, the story of a white orphan adopted into a Chinese family who rises to the top of the Chinese Mafia in Boston.
Omnimystery News reported that author Daniel Stashower's novel The Hour of Peril has been optioned for a TV mini-series by The Weinstein Company. No word yet on production details for the project, which tells of a secret plot to murder Abraham Lincoln before the Civil War.
ABC placed a script commitment plus penalty to Limelight, a drama project from writer-playwright Kelly Masterson (Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead). The story follows a murder trial turned into a national media obsession where the lives of everyone involved are thrust into the public spotlight.
ABC won a bidding war for the "high-concept crime drama" project, Forever, from former Chuck executive producer Matthew Miller and Lin Pictures. The premise is focused on Dr. Henry Morgan, a 200-year-old pathology associate who spends his days in the New York City Morgue trying to find a key to unlock the curse of his immortality, while partnering for investigative work with hard-nosed NYPD detective Jo Martinez. As Deadline notes, Forever draws some parallels to the short-lived 2008 Fox series New Amsterdam starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as a 400-year-old NYPD homicide detective with a female partner.
In another bidding war, NBC landed The Mysteries Of Laura, based on the popular Spanish series Los Misterios De Laura. It follows the life and relationships of a female homicide detective "who can handle murderous criminals — but not her evil twins."
NBC also ordered a pilot for the prison drama Paradise, based on a novel by Seth Grahame-Smith. The story is set in the late 21st century where Las Vegas has been turned into the world's largest maximum-security prison, known as Paradise. A wrongly convicted inmate is desperate to get back to his family and prove his innocence, but first he has to somehow be the first to escape from Paradise.
Lifetime is working on a backdoor pilot from Nicholas Sparks Productions and Warner Horizon Television. The story is set at the end of the Civil War and a woman pushed into becoming an outlaw when a corrupt bank threatens her family's land.
TNT has renewed four of its summer series including Rizzoli & Isles, Major Crimes, Perception and Falling Skies. All four shows will return for new seasons starting in 2014.
USA announced the fall premiere dates for its shows NCIS: Los Angeles, Covert Affairs and White Collar.
Acorn TV, a streaming service focused on the best of British TV in North America, is adding at least six shows each month, including: the exclusive U.S. premiere of Jack Irish, a new, ongoing detective series starring Guy Pearce (Iron Man 3, Memento), the brooding antihero of Australian writer Peter Temple's award-winning novels; Season 6 of hit period detective series Murdoch Mysteries; the newest episodes of Foyle's War, the day after they premiere on MASTERPIECE Mystery! on PBS; and new episodes from the final series of Agatha Christie's Poirot starring David Suchet.
Tana French, author of Broken Harbor, joined NPR's Diane Rehm Show to chat about how she had dreams of becoming an archaeologist and fell into writing by accident.
Sue Grafton was the latest Crime in the City featured author on NPR about her series set in Santa Teresa, a fictional town based on Santa Barbara, California.
Web-only dramas are still in their infancy, but beginning to expand. A case in point are three current series based on the Sherlock Holmes canon, with two more in development. The current shows include No Place Like Homes, which has been around since 2009; The Great Hiatus Years, which envisions Holmes and Irene Adler adventures; and The Mary Morstan Mysteries, a mini-series that follows the tales of the rarely mentioned fiancee and later wife of Dr Watson. Coming up, 221B, with an emphasis on the home-life of the classic "odd couple" and another project yet to be named.
The Novelist, a video game that will be available for PCs by the end of the summer, was "created not to satisfy primal bloodlust, but to tell a story about a single family's struggles," in which players guide an author named Dan Kaplan and decide how he will spend his days. Players will get a story that presents the same fundamental question in nine different ways over the course of the game.