Casual Vacancy heads to TV screens

J K Rowling's The Casual Vacancy (Little, Brown) is to be adapted into a television series for the BBC.

BBC One and BBC Drama have commissioned the exclusive adaptation from agency The Blair Partnership. The series will be produced through an independent production company operated by Neil Blair on behalf of TBP, and producer Rick Senat.

Blair told The Bookseller that an independent executive producer would be engaged. He added: "It's us providing added value and for Jo, it's a case of having creative control over her creation." Rowling will be "intimately involved" in the series, he said.

Blair added that there were future plans for other projects, but could not elaborate further.

In a statement, Rowling said: "I’m thrilled that the BBC has commissioned The Casual Vacancy. 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."

The series is expected to air in 2014. The number and length of the episodes will be determined "once the creative adaptation process has formally begun", the BBC said.

Cohen said "It is thrilling to be bringing the work of J K Rowling to BBC One audiences. J K  Rowling's story-telling is of course peerless in its popularity, and I am looking forward to collaborating with her.

"This project highlights the ambition and scale of BBC One Drama, as well as the ability of modern television to attract the world's biggest talent and most exciting creative ideas."

Rowling's first novel for adults topped the UK top 50 chart for three weeks earlier this year.