Last year, my husband and I fell in love with Starz miniseries, The White Queen. I was devastated at the finale, until I remembered the show was based off The Cousins’ War book series by “the queen of royal fiction,” Philippa Gregory. I delved into the novels, elated to find my favored characters re-illuminated and viewed from additional angles.
Recently, we have begun watching Boardwalk Empire, and are anxious for the coming season. To my surprise and joy, this series is also inspired by written literature. While not all television series derive from books, many do, and it is always a pleasure to supplement one with the other.
Rated by the IMDB Most Popular TV Series List, here are the top running TV series based on or inspired by literature.
The Walking Dead
Based on comic book series, The Walking Dead.
The show first aired on October 31, 2010, and has taken post-apocalyptic zombie culture to a whole new level. Not only does The Walking Dead hold the #1 spot for Cable Network shows, but it’s companion talk-show, The Talking Dead, ranks #5 (Most Popular TV Series). The show follows a group of characters as they strive to manage food and shelter while faced with hoards of zombies and fear and corruption among survivors.
Game of Thrones
Adapted from novel series, A Song of Ice and Fire.
Originally aired in 2011, Game of Thrones may not hold the top popularity spot, but witty social adaptations of its iconic warning “winter is coming” have taken the Internet by storm. The show follows the endeavors and intrigues of nine noble families battling for control over the fantasy land, Westeros. In addition to natural and scheming troubles, supernatural conflict looms with the rise of the “White Walkers.”
The Vampire Diaries
Based on The Vampire Diaries book series.
In addition to the trials of living in a town full of vampires, werewolves, and the occasional ghost, main character, high school student Elena Gilbert is also town between the affections of two vampire brothers.
Inspired by the novel Red Dragon.
The series investigates the growing and changing relationship between FBI Will Graham and his psychiatrist, the iconic Dr. Hannibal Lecter.
Based on the novel The Returned.
First aired in March of this year, the series follows a community in Missouri that is bewildered when its deceased return to life.
Most Popular TV Series/Feature Films. (n.d.) In IMDb.com. Retrieved from http://www.imdb.com/search/title?at=0&count=100&sort=moviemeter,asc&start=1&title_type=feature,tv_series