Peacock readies for ‘8.4’ mini

Adding earthquakes to the list of film projects based on natural disasters, the Avnet-Kerner Co. has optioned Peter Hernon’s quake novel “8.4” for a four-hour miniseries for NBC.

Jon Avnet and Jordan Kerner will executive produce the project, with Elizabeth Guber Stephen taking on producing chores.

The deal was struck based on a 215-page, partial manuscript written by Hernon, the assistant city editor for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Hernon previously penned the novel “The Kindling Effect: A Medical Thriller,” published by Morrow last year.

The scientifically-based, disaster-thriller tells the story of what might happen if an 8.4-magnitude earthquake rocked the Midwest from St. Louis to Memphis. With the real-life New Madrid, Mo., seismic zone running through the region, the potential for widespread disaster is magnified by the reality that building codes in the Midwest don’t address the traditionally West Coast-based occurrences.

Hernon’s film agents, UTA’s Howard Sanders and Richard Green, brokered the deal on behalf of his New York lit agent Richard Pine.

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