Bohjalian novel, three others aimed for TV adaptations

Bestselling novel “Secrets of Eden” is one of four books whose film rights have been purchased by telepic producer Craig Anderson Prods.

It’s the second Chris Bohjalian novel acquired by CAP, which also produced the film version of Bohjalian’s “Midwives,” starring Sissy Spacek.

“Secrets” debuted last month at No. 6 on the New York Times bestseller list. Anderson will exec produce the film version with Dean Schramm.

“Chris writes interpersonal stories which are very, very easy to relate to,” Anderson said, adding that the latest work adds a touch of mystery. “I’m fascinated by people who have lives we think our normal, but there are actually sort of demons in their closets.”

In addition, CAP has made its fourth deal with author Donna VanLiere by picking up the rights to “The Christmas Secret.” The shingle has already produced VanLiere’s “The Christmas Shoes” (with Rob Lowe for CBS), “The Christmas Blessing” (with Neil Patrick Harris for CBS) and “The Christmas Hope” (with Madeline Stowe for Lifetime Movie Network). Beth Grossbard will exec produce “The Christmas Secret” with Anderson.

CAP also acquired “Silent Partner: A Memoir of My Marriage,” by Dina McGreevey, former wife of ex-New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey; the film version will be exec produced by Anderson, Warren Kohler and Willam Baldwin.

In association with John Moser of Participant Television Prods., Anderson is developing a film version of “Acceptable Victims” by Rachel Lloyd, who wrote about her escape from and efforts to combat underage prostitution.

Anderson won four Tony Awards before shifting his focus to telepics. He was nominated for an Emmy for 1995’s “The Piano Lesson,” based on the August Wilson play. He has had to adjust to a changing marketplace that has virtually eliminated broadcast TV as an outlet.

“Cable likes strong projects,” he said. “They like drama, they like strong character arcs, they like socially significant themes that are about issues. … If I can get material like this — these are four strong titles — I think I can find a place to get them done, because they’re the kind of movies that get strong actors and pull big (ratings) numbers.”

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