HBO Joins BBC to Produce Miniseries Adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s ‘Casual Vacancy’

By April 24, 2014

In case you hadn’t heard, the BBC network across the pond was already planning an adaptation of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s adult novel The Casual Vacancy, and now they’ll have company.

THR reports that HBO, fresh off their new streaming deal with Amazon, will join the United Kingdom network to produce the three-hour miniseries adaptation of the best-selling book that marks Rowling’s first bit of writing outside of the Harry Potter universe since the boy wizard became an international sensation. If you haven’t heard of the book, here’s the official synopsis:

When Barry Fairbrother dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town’s council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?

No cast has been announced yet, but Rowling is executive producing the miniseries along with Paul Trikbits (Saving Mr. Banks) with a script from Sarah Phelps (Great Expectations) that will be directed by Jonny Campbell (Eric & Ernie). Production will begin this summer in South West England, so hopefully we’ll get more details on the talent in front of the camera soon.

The miniseries has been in development since 2012, and it sounds like we probably won’t see it until 2015. But with HBO jumping on board with BBC, you can definitely expect a premiere on the cable network to join successful imports like “Extras” and other work from Ricky Gervais. It likely won’t be as big of a sensation as Harry Potter, especially since the book received mixed reviews, but there are plenty of people who will check it out just because of Rowling’s association with the property. Stay tuned.

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Ethan Anderton
Some of his favorite films include Ghostbusters, The Empire Strikes Back and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, while his favorite TV series include LOST, Mad Men, 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Arrested Development and Saturday Night Live.