11:12 am EST, December 3, 2012

‘The Casual Vacancy’ to be adapted for television by the BBC

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.

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“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!

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