Terry Pratchett's City Watch series, an eight-strong subset of the late author's 41 Discworld books, is being adapted by BBC Studios for a new television series called "The Watch".
The six-part TV series, each a one-hour episode, will focus on the Ankh-Morpork City Watch police force. According to Deadline, which broke the news: "It would be perfect for a Pratchett-style CSI crime of the week procedural cop drama with supernatural elements."
Narrativia - the multimedia production company which hold world rights to all of the writer's work across film, television, merchandising and digital media - has been joined on the project by the production arm of the BBC. The series is being executive produced by BBC Studios’ head of Drama London, Hilary Salmon, who has worked on series such as "Luther" and "Silent Witness", and screenwriter and producer Simon Allen, who worked on the BBC's "The Musketeers", is attached.
No broadcaster is confirmed as yet, but, according to Deadline, BBC Studios is "eyeing the adaptation as a major international co-production", aiming to set up the show as "a returnable franchise".
Books in the City Watch series, published by Orion imprint Gollancz, tend to be whodunnit in nature and begin with the 1989-published Guards, Guards!, Pratchett's eighth Discworld novel featuring escaped dragons.
Jon Wood, group publisher at Orion, commented on the news of their introduction to the small screen: "We’re absolutely delighted to hear the news that Terry’s fantastic books are going to be adapted by the BBC. Following their wonderful work on Jonathan Strange, as well their fantastic roster of drama and comedy, we await this adaptation with huge excitement, as no doubt fans the world over do as well. There’s no writer quite like Terry – we are tremendously proud to publish him – and we’re certain this will result in a television programme quite like no other too."
"The Watch" would follow the adaptation of Good Omens, co-authored by Neil Gaiman and published by Corgi, that is currently in production. Starring David Tennant, and entirely written by Gaiman, per the author's request, it is now due for release with Amazon Prime Video in 2019 with a BBC Two airing to follow.