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The BBC will adapt The Casual Vacancy, JK Rowling’s first novel for adults, as a miniseries to air in 2014.

In what seems in retrospect to only have been a matter of time, news broke today that JK Rowling’s somewhat controversial novel, The Casual Vacancy, has been acquired by the BBC for a miniseries adaptation.

“I always felt that, if it were to be adapted, this novel was best suited to television,” Rowling said. “I think the BBC is the perfect home.”

Though the project seems to be in its infancy, it is reported that Rowling will work closely with the network on the adaptation. The exact length and structure of the small screen Casual Vacancy has not yet been finalized; details will solidify, according to the BBC, “once the creative adaptation process has formally begun.”

The Causal Vacancy does not immediately suggest a simple adaptation process, replete as it is with a sprawling cast of characters, multi-layered plotlines, and complex (often nasty) relationships. Still, the BBC’s controllers appear to have faith in the material. Ben Stephenson of BBC Drama says, “It’s a book of such richness that through humor, social commentary and, above, all fantastic characters, says something insightful and entertaining about the country we live in.”

“This project highlights the ambition and scale of BBC One Drama,” adds Danny Cohen of BBC One. The small-screen version of The Casual Vacancy also attests to “the ability of modern television to attract the world’s biggest talent and most exciting creative ideas,” he says.

Certainly, television adaptations have earned increased prestige in recent years, moving away from standards such as Jane Austen and Shakespeare to cutting-edge material such as George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones and the BBC’s own innovative Sherlock. Adding JK Rowling – whose prior work has obviously been adapted to film with great commercial success – to the list of such novelists indicates a growing confidence of artists in the capacities of television as a mature and faithful medium for their work.

The Casual Vacancy is currently projected to air in 2014, though little else is known about the project at this time. Stay tuned to Hypable for further information as it breaks!

What do you think about the BBC adapting ‘The Casual Vacancy’?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=595740128 Derek Salzburg

    YAY!! First Jonathan Strange, now this!! Woo

    • http://twitter.com/themeels Amelia Brown

      Really? I never did read it, but my brother loved it. Maybe I should pull out my dusty copy, now!

  • Lucy

    Ohh, I’m excited! I love BBC mini series. Unfortunately with school, I haven’t been able to read the book yet, but next week I start Christmas break and therefore I’m going to start reading it then.

    • http://twitter.com/AsiaAAhmed Asia A Ahmed

      I feel ya! Haven’t had the chance to read either.

    • dana

      im 10 pages in! but im gonna be reading it very soon!!!!

    • grapes9h5

      Me to!

  • goldensnidget92

    What about this being “a very novelly novel”? I wonder how it will translate onto screen… Is it too early to start musing over who will play the characters?

  • https://twitter.com/#!/HP4eva121995 Ally

    I guess it’ll kinda be like Game of Thrones in modern times.

  • http://twitter.com/RyanHBP Ryan Floyd


    • William

      Really? Never been more excited? Not even for actual Harry Potter content? That seems surprising.

      • http://twitter.com/RyanHBP Ryan Floyd

        I meant to say more excited for a TV show… oops.

  • Ashley

    But….the book isn’t even that interesting….

    • http://www.facebook.com/sarah.dorman.5437 Sarah Dorman

      Thank you!!!! I’m half way done and it’s so boring.

  • AutumnH

    not sure if _game of thrones_ has more prestige than shakespeare…

    • tol

      They’re not saying it does; they are pointing out that simple adaptations of classics (like Shakespeare) have been done time and time again, while they are classics for a very good reason, there are only so many times you can see Hamlet adaptations before it gets old. On the other hand, things like Game of Thrones are fresh, new, and still well-done.

    • http://twitter.com/inkasrain Michal

      Different sort of prestige. Televised adaptations of Shakespeare and other classics are, though beautiful and important, somewhat run-of-the-mill. Having newer, currently popular work adapt well and receive both popular and critical acclaim is a relatively fresh accomplishment for TV, and I think it speaks well for the medium that authors and creators (and in response, directors and actors) are turning to TV when the default assumption usually used to be film or bust.

  • Jill

    This is very exciting news to brighten my day. I think it could work really good but I know I heard her say in an interview somewhere that it would never fit to be a film, which is why I’m a little confused. Wouldn’t it kind of be the same just set into a few seasons instead of a two and a half hour movie or less? I know they will talk about this on a podcast or two. *fingers crossed*

    • fruttivendolo

      The problem with a movie version of Casual Vacancy is that you have to show the point of view of so many different characters. You’d be bouncing from one to the other to the other very quickly, and as an audience member that would be quite confusing. By contrast, a TV series would probably show the POV of a few characters per episode. It would give the audience time to understand and digest the show and be mentally prepared when the next episode comes and features the perspectives of several other characters.

      I think a TV series allows more time for plot and character development, too. It’ll include more of the plot than a film version would. Compare the 2005 Pride and Prejudice film with the BBC adaptation in the ’90s- you can fit so much more into a TV series. Those are just my observations, I hope that helps!

  • Michelle

    I’m excited to see how they do this. I think it will be difficult to adapt, because much of the book takes place internally, for a lot of the characters. It’s the same problem I’m keen to see tackled in Mockingjay. It’s not easy to translate emotional or mental plot from a verbal and very descriptive form to a much more visual platform. Should be interesting!

  • http://www.eigakanthemovietheater.blogspot.com Jenny Leigh

    Woo, now I don’t have to wonder how it ends!
    Also, I thought she said she didn’t want this adapted? I guess it was inevitable.

    • fruttivendolo

      I like your optimism and I’d love to find out what happened to some of the characters, but I have a feeling the TV series will end just as ambiguously as the book. Just cuz Jo made it ambiguous for a reason and she wouldn’t want that changed.

      • http://www.eigakanthemovietheater.blogspot.com Jenny Leigh

        Oh I meant that I didn’t actually finish the book, but how ambiguous is the ending?

        • fruttivendolo

          Ohh haha sorry, that totally flew by my head. It’s a bit ambiguous. It left me wanting more information about what happened to some of the characters and how certain events at the end of the book affected them. The final scene itself is pretty straightforward, though, and I imagine it’ll play out just as it’s written. Keep going with the book! It took me a month and a half to push through it but I thought it was worth reading. It just takes a while for things to pick up. Couldn’t put it down by the end.

          • http://www.eigakanthemovietheater.blogspot.com Jenny Leigh

            This gives me hope to not give up on it :)

  • Samuel

    This is going to be great, no doubt they’ll get some big name actors as well.

  • Erica

    I think they should get Maggie Smith and Emma Watson to play in it…Maggie Smith at least..

  • Corin Boswell

    This story line would make for a good tv show. The book was good… not my favorite book ever but still good. With Jo’s awesome character development and the sheer # of characters this has the potential to be really great.

  • Tomas

    The book is amazing. Can’t wait to see the series!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Maria-Wang/542480760 Maria Wang

    Okay, who saw this coming? I am excited. BBC has a track record of excellence. So I do have good hopes for this series.

    • http://benchpressabear.tumblr.com Joan

      Indeeed! BBC doing it is a huge relief.

      • Samuel

        The BBC aren’t making the series, it’s being made by an independent company, the Beeb are just broadcasting.

  • Julie L

    Ohhhh this is very exciting!!! I think if done right this could be a really interesting show. I cant wait to see who they cast! I will most definitely be watching!

  • Chantal

    I absolutely love this book. The art of it all is amazing. I just hope BBC can capture that art and turn it into an amazing screen show.

  • SonickedYou

    I swear my heart stopped when I saw the announcement over Facebook. It’s like realizing that you’ve been hoping for something to happen all along, without realizing it! It may just speak of the kind of reader I am but I really took this book to heart. I enjoyed reading it and I can’t wait that people who won’t read the book (who I can grudgingly respect) can see for themselves the brilliant story that JK weaves in this novel.

    • Samuel

      I agree 100%

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000142251658 Rhiannon Carter

    As exciting as this is… this only means that she will have reason to delay the encyclopedia even longer :(

    • http://twitter.com/StarkidSims Simone

      if the encyclopedia even happens

  • http://twitter.com/AsiaAAhmed Asia A Ahmed

    This is fab. Just please dont recycle Potter stars! Just dont!

    • hpatdh33

      Even Alan Rickman?

      • http://twitter.com/AsiaAAhmed Asia A Ahmed

        Ooooh, thats not a fair question is it?

    • Czar

      Although Richard Griffiths could be a great Howard Mollison, I don’t want Potter stars in this project too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000142251658 Rhiannon Carter

    I would love to see Patricia Routledge play Shirley Mollison.

  • Glaciusx


  • http://twitter.com/emilyecstasyTM Emily Bryan

    Awesome! :D

  • jon

    words cannot describe how happy I am right now. This is absolutely amazing.

  • Ben Rubin

    I am excited, though the book is more suited for a show on a more mature network, such as HBO.

  • QueenJo

    I’m suprised Jo let this happen.

  • Kavitha

    Woah I was not expecting this…I really hope it turns out well, and I’ll watch it either way!

  • ladybirds


  • SnitchSocks4Dobby

    Oh I’m so excited! I read the book, and in 2014 my parents won’t mind me watching the show because they’ll find me old enough. Hooray!

  • Kailey-wa

    This is perfect. This book is really unsuited for the movies, a television series is perfect to really explore the complex relations between the characters.

  • potterjay

    When I read the book, I was worried about how turning it into a film would completely ruin it- but a TV miniseries fits it really well!! BBC have pulled off some pretty amazing dramas, so (fingers crossed) this one will too!

  • PotterFan1029

    I’m not too sure about this, I loved the book but I am not sure it would make for great TV…

    Having said that, I will definitely watch it because it is J.K. Rowling of course, and I expect BBC will do it well….it would be amazing if they picked all of the Harry Potter actors lol

  • Alexandra V

    okay i swear… if this isn’t airing in the us somewhere someone will del my wrath

  • schnallison

    I am LEGITIMATELY excited for this!! I really liked The Casual Vacancy!

  • http://twitter.com/MaskedColombina B.J.C.

    Oh my God!!!

  • Molly

    I would’ve loved to have each Harry Potter book adapted into a miniseries….

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=646371872 Elizabeth Lee Hammons

    As soon as I read the book I knew it was going to be adapted for film. I’m so glad it’s going to be a miniseries, I think making it a movie would have rushed the story too much.

  • http://twitter.com/_xony soniadelvalle

    Colin Firth as Barry Fairbrother! PLEASE GOD!

  • http://twitter.com/romvlvscaesar Czar

    I was hoping a movie directed by Stephen Frears, but I’m very optimistic with this BBC adaptation.

  • Mrs_Badcrumble

    They are fast, aren’t they?! =D

    But for me this is a great decision. BBC is known for it’s quality, and this particular novel will work best as a mini-series. And a british network like BBC seems the right fit.

  • Vera

    I’d watch this! I wouldn’t read the book (I’m not really interested in this type of book) but I would watch this. Props to BBC and JK Roling!

  • jon

    Will Mugglecast be doing another podcast discussing TCV in depth and discussing this news?

  • http://twitter.com/xhpfanatic Grace Chen

    Can’t wait! It better show in canada

  • Mae

    If only Simon Cowell was an actor. He has the look and personality to play Simon Price. (Not that I think he is a violent person.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001344528873 Wynona de la Calzada

    I just finished the book. I can’t wait to watch this!

  • Izzy

    I’m more excited for the film adaption of the “Cuckoo’s Calling.” This could be intriguing though…

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