'Ford County' series set at NBC
Author John Grisham is redoubling his efforts to conquer TV.
The scribe, who hasn’t found as much success on the smallscreen as he has in features, is working with NBC to turn his short story collection “Ford County” into a primetime drama.
“Brothers and Sisters” creator Jon Robin Baitz has signed on to write the adaptation for the Peacock, through Universal Media Studios and Working Title.
News of the NBC project comes as E1 Entertainment moves closer to finding a home for its take on Grisham’s “The Firm,” which is being turned into a series by Lukas Reiter.
“Ford County” will be exec produced by Baitz and Grisham, as well as Shelley McCrory, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Grisham’s production partner, David Gernert.
Former NBC exec McCrory now heads up TV development for Working Title under toppers Bevan and Fellner.
Published in November 2009, “Ford County” takes place in the same Mississippi region that served as the setting for Grisham’s novel “A Time to Kill.”
“Each story explores different themes-mourning, revenge, justice, acceptance, evolution-but all flirt with the legal profession, the staple of (former attorney) Grisham’s oeuvre,” Publisher’s Weekly wrote in its review of “Ford County” last year. The journal gave the collection a strong review, calling the tales “easily digestible stories don’t disappoint, despite their brevity.
Grisham’s “The Client” was turned into a short-lived CBS series in 1995, while ABC shot a pilot based on Grisham’s “The Street Lawyer” in 2003. In features, Grisham adaptations include “The Firm,” “The Pelican Brief,” “The Client,” “A Time to Kill,” “The Chamber,” “The Rainmaker,” “Runaway Jury” and “A Painted House.”
As for Baitz, the scribe’s credits also include “Alias” and “The West Wing.” He developed a political drama about the first lady last season at NBC.