J.K. Rowling released her first novel for adults in September, and it's already slated to be filmed. But The Casual Vacancy won't be turned into a Harry Potter-sized blockbuster — it's going straight to the small screen as a BBC series.
BBC One and BBC Drama have picked up rights to the book, planning to turn Rowling's story about a small British town embroiled in political controversy into a drama series chock full of charming accents and subtle English squabbling. So, you know, like Downton Abbey but set in the present, and with fewer Countesses and maid servants. "I always felt that, if it were to be adapted, this novel was best suited to television and I think the BBC is the perfect home," Rowling said in a statement.
The small screen might make more sense than wide distribution for The Casual Vacancy. As a provincially British book, it wasn't likely to be championed by Hollywood execs. On top of that, it didn't impress too many critics and wasn't the year's biggest sales phenomenon. The BBC's adaptation is expected to air in 2014.