Network options novel for five-figure fee

Lifetime and Jaffe Braunstein Films have optioned Kim Edwards’ bestselling novel “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter” for a high-five-figure fee that’ll shoot up to mid six figures if the net goes ahead with the adaptation as an original telepic.

Book is unusual in that it’s a literary novel that has gone through 20 printings, for a total of 2.5 million copies, lingering for 28 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

Jaffe-Braunstein will soon hire a writer to adapt the novel.

High-visibility Lifetime movies like this one tend to cost about $4.5 million — a budget that won’t be completely covered by the net’s license fee. Jaffe-Braunstein will own the movie and get its deficit back — after Lifetime completes its runs — through international sales, a DVD release and rerun sales domestically.

Lifetime has pulled in surprisingly big audiences in the past for telepic adaptations of literary novels such as Joyce Carol Oates’ “We Were the Mulvaneys,” Sue Monk Kidd’s “The Mermaid Chair” and Ann Packer’s “The Dive From Clausen’s Pier.”

Jaffe-Braunstein partner Howard Braunstein said, “I was drawn to ‘Memory Keeper’s Daughter’ because it’s the kind of family drama that the movie companies aren’t making anymore. You’d have to go back to pictures like ‘Ordinary People’ and ‘Kramer vs. Kramer.’ ”

Braunstein did the deal with Lifetime VP of original movies Libby Beers.

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