Books On TV

April 9, 2010

Although April is a light month for films in the theater that have been adapted from books, the small screen has taken up the slack with productions that are highly anticipated.

Saturday, April 10th at 9 p.m., Lifetime Television will premier Patricia Cornwell’s At Risk, marking the first time an adaptation of the bestselling crime writer’s work has made it onto a screen of any size. Angelina Jolie is set to play medical examiner Kay Scarpetta in an upcoming film. Not part of the 17- book Scarpetta series, At Risk is one of the two Win Garano stories which were originally published in serialized form in The New York Times Magazine and the London Times. The Front will premier the following week on April 17th.

Cornwell, operating as executive producer, was involved at every step: the development of the script, the casting, even the promotion and the marketing. She also makes a cameo appearance as a waitress at the Harvard Faculty Club. In At Risk, a district attorney (Andie MacDowell) and an investigator (Daniel Sunjata) try to solve a 20-year-old murder in Tennessee. In The Front, they reopen the case of a brutal, 40-year-old murder.

Andrea Levy’s novel, Small Island, won the Orange and Whitbread Prizes in 2004. PBS’  Masterpiece Theater will show the BBC adaptation in 2 parts, from 9-10:30 p.m., beginning Sunday, April 18 and concluding on the 25th.

“This poignant adaptation of Andrea Levy’s award-winning novel explores the lives of two couples, one Jamaican and the other English, whose worlds intertwine in post-World War II Britain, at a turning point in the long relationship between the two countries. It is a story of tender emotion and sparkling wit, of crossings taken and passages lost, of shattering compassion and of reckless optimism in the face of insurmountable barriers.”  You can view the promo video on YouTube here.