Friday, May 10, 2013

So TV Doesn't Like YA Novels

This year two popular YA series landed pilots at the TV networks...Delirium and The Selection. It was the second go around for The Selection, it was actually made into a pilot last year as well and didn't get ordered. We learned this week that neither show, however, was ordered to series.

It's interesting to me for a couple of reasons. One is that the movies are HOT for YA books. I mean obviously you have Harry Potter and Twilight and now The Hunger Games. But Divergent, Ender's Game, Clockwork...whatever, and The Fault in Our Stars (which is not even genre just a contemporary!!) are all in the works. Beautiful Creatures was made into a movie. And we're hearing all the time about progress being made on more projects. I can't even keep up with it all anymore. Some of these are so believed in..such as Divergent, that the studios are already going about getting things ready for the sequels. And some of these movies have major weight talent in them. It's not as if popular YA books translate to instant success, though, Beautiful Creatures sort of bombed, as did Beastly and I Am Number 4 in recent years.

TV is of course a little different. Not much TV is fashioned for teens since they aren't the target demographic for advertisers. And it's true that both of these series, while popular, may not have the same pull as the ones being made into film. Delirium's concept always seemed a bit thin to me in novel form as well. (thought that might change throughout the books I only read the first one) Still I can't help but find it curious that TV is less willing to tap into existing fan bases when attempting to launch shows. I mean one of the most popular shows on TV right now was helped out greatly by already having a loyal fan base in comics. The CW's flagship show, The Vampire Diaries, was also helped by being based on a very popular book series. I mean that's the entire reason I kept watching the show in the beginning was because of loyalty to that series I had loved so much as a preteen. There was excitement and buzz as soon as it was announced. (as well as tons of nostalgia and then shock that Ian was playing Damon, lol)

I feel like The Selection pilot must have been terrible because it seems to me like it should have everything going for it. Based on a moderately successful book series. Hitting that sweet spot of what's popular right world, life on display, what's real/what's not, even a ridiculous love triangle, and so much more. The Selection had so much potential to be provocative and interesting. I just don't understand how it has failed so much twice.

Delirium almost never had a shot on Fox and looking at their new shows almost makes me want to fall asleep. But you know, the fans of Delirium organized a Twitter campaign to get it on air without even seeing it. I mean...does this count for nothing?

I'm disappointed about The Selection, but what can you do? The CW is moving towards genre shows (despite renewing The Carrie Diaries, a very strange decision to be honest) and for whatever reason The Selection isn't a part of that. And I guess I've outgrown what they are trying to do since none of the new shows sound that great to me.

I would like to see a currently popular YA novel or series be adapted for television, though! I feel like it could really work. How about Level 2?


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