Snatching up adaptation rights for novels has become a serious and cutthroat game in Hollywood. With the recent booming success of novel adaptations like Big Little Lies (HBO), Outlander (Starz), and, of course, Game of Thrones, networks are actively on the lookout for their next big hit, and it could be Showtime has just found theirs.
Showtime has acquired the television rights for a new novel from former President Bill Clinton and prolific writer James Patterson called “The President is Missing” to add to their long list of popular original series.
“The President is Missing” will hit shelves sometime in 2018, and tells the story of a sitting U.S. President’s disappearance, something only someone with actual experience holding the highest office in the country could accurately provide details, hence Clinton’s involvement. Though he’s written his fair share of nonfiction books, this is the first time an American President has co-authored a thriller novel. James Patterson is no stranger to having his books optioned for both TV and film: Along Came A Spider, Alex Cross, Women’s Murder Club, and Zoo, on which Patterson serves as an executive producer.
Securing these rights is a big win for Showtime as there was a long list of high-profile interested parties in the running, including (but not limited to) Steven Spielberg, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment, Justin Lin, Netflix and Lorne Michaels, however, not everyone who wanted a meeting got one. It was reported Patterson and Clinton held 16 meetings and received eight formal offers before ultimately picking Showtime as the right outlet to bring their novel to life. It’s worth noting, however, Patterson has a previous working relationship with Showtime’s parent company, CBS.
Showtime also recently announced the renewal of I’m Dying Up Her, and a new comedy called Kidding starring Jim Carrey is in the works as well as a George Michael documentary called George Michael: Freedom narrated by the late singer himself, which is set to premiere October 21.