HBO is famed for its miniseries, from Band of Brothers to Parade’s End, so it’s no surprise to hear that, even with the massive success of shows like Game of Thrones, True Detective and Boardwalk Empire, the network isn’t planning on moving away from the format. Today, we learned that HBO is teaming with BBC One to produce a three-hour miniseries adaptation of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s mystery novel, The Casual Vacancy.
The deal doesn’t come as much of a surprise, given Rowling’s extensive history with HBO parent company Time Warner, which, through subsidiary Warner Bros., produced all eight Harry Potter films. The adult content present in The Casual Vacancy, which shocked many of Rowling’s devoted fans upon its release in 2012, also makes it a good fit for the envelope-pushing premium cable channel.
The official Amazon synopsis for The Casual Vacancy reads as follows:
When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity, and unexpected revelations? A big novel about a small town, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults. It is the work of a storyteller like no other.
Production on The Casual Vacancy will begin this summer in South West England. No casting announcements have yet been released, but you can expect those within the next few weeks.