Lifetime Adapting ‘Clan of the Cave Bear’ With Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Allison Shearmur

Lifetime has given a pilot order to an adaptation of Jean M. Auel’s prehistorical-set books “The Clan of the Cave Bear.”

The project is a co-production of Fox 21 and Lionsgate in association with Imagine Television and Allison Shearmur Productions. Exec producers are Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Allison Shearmur, Linda Woolverton, Francie Calfo and Auel. Woolverton, whose credits include children’s and young adult-focused films “Maleficent,” “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Lion King,” will pen the pilot.

“I’ve always admired Jean M. Auel’s timeless work,” said Rob Sharenow, Lifetime’s exec VP and general manager. “With the visionary creative team of Ron Howard, Linda Woolverton, Brian Grazer, Alli Shearmur, Jean M. Auel and Francie Calfo behind it, this project has it all — epic storytelling, great characters and a unique world that’s never been explored on television before. This is exactly the type of top-tier creative talent and great stories we embrace at Lifetime.”

The adaptation of the six-book series, which centers on a young girl who fights for survival in a world where Neanderthals share the Earth with the first early modern humans, is in line with Sharenow’s mission to elevate Lifetime’s brand. The cable channel gained social media buzz earlier this year with adaptations of the first two books in V.C. Andrews’ “Flowers in the Attic” series. Last winter, it simultaneously broadcast the movie biopic “Bonnie & Clyde” with sister cablers A&E and History. Upcoming scripted projects include dystopian thriller series “The Lottery” from “Children of Men” co-writer Timothy J. Sexton and a movie adaptation of the Stephen King novella “Big Driver” that will star Maria Bello.

“Clan of the Cave Bear” is targeted for a potential 2015 launch. A film version, which starred Daryl Hannah and James Remar, was released in 1986.

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