J.K. Rowling’s first book aimed at adults, “The Casual Vacancy,” will hit the small screen in a three-hour miniseries adaptation on both HBO and BBC, which have teamed up to co-produce the series.
The production is expected to begin this summer in southwest England, Michael Lombardo, HBO president of programming, reportedly announced Wednesday. The BBC made plans for an adaptation in 2012, the same year the novel was released to mixed reviews. According to reports, the book sold 125,000 copies in its first week, became the fastest-selling hardback in the U.K. for three years and sold more than 6 million copies worldwide to become the top-selling novel in 2012.
“The Casual Vacancy” centers on Pagford, a seemingly idyllic English village, which turns on itself in the frenzy of a local election after the death of Parish Councilor Barry Fairbrother.
Rowling, who had previously said “The Casual Vacancy" is "best-suited to television," will executive produce the miniseries. The other executive producers are Neil Blair, Rowling's partner in Bronte Film and Television, Paul Trijbits, the executive producer of “Saving Mr. Banks,” and Rick Senat. Sarah Phelps, writer of BBC's 2011 Christmas costume drama adaptation, “Great Expectations,” will serve as writer for the adaptation while “Doctor Who” director Jonny Campbell will direct the miniseries.
This recent project marks Rowling's latest partnership with a division of Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX). On HBO, “The Casual Vacancy” joins a popular league of shows that includes seven-hour miniseries “Criminal Justice,” starring John Turturro, the upcoming second season of “True Detective;” as well as drama series “Boardwalk Empire,” “Game of Thrones” and the upcoming Damon Lindelof series, “The Leftovers."