'Next People' to explore transformation of U.S. culture

Novelist Salman Rushdie is eyeing an entry into scripted TV with Showtime.

Rushdie is developing “Next People,” an hourlong drama for the pay cabler that deals with the radical pace of transformation in contemporary American life — from politics and religion to technology, science and sexuality. Rushdie will write the initial script and exec produce with Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Shelley McCrory of U.K.-based Working Title, the shingle where the show is attached.

Rushdie, who is repped by UTA and publishing agent Andrew Wylie, was in hiding for much of the 1990s following a death threat against him by Islamic fundamentalists stemming from his book “The Satanic Verses.”He is an occasional TV talkshow guest and has been a panelist on HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher.” He also hosted an episode of PBS chatshow “Charlie Rose” in 2006.

On the bigscreen, Rushdie’s novel “Midnight’s Children” is being adapted as “Winds of Change” by helmer Deepa Mehta.

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