STORY WRITTEN BY LAURI NEFF/The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — Nicholas Sparks’ romance-drama novels have already found a second life as film adaptations. Now the best-selling author is turning to television.
Sparks is executive producer of the TV movie “Deliverance Creek,” premiering Saturday on Lifetime (8 p.m. EDT). He says television seemed a natural progression because 10 of his novels, including “The Notebook,” have been or are in production for films.
“I suppose it’s just sort of evolved over time,” Sparks said in a recent interview. The author saidtelevision gives him a new platform “to tell stories that I probably wouldn’t tell” with books.
“Deliverance Creek,” starring Lauren Ambrose (“Six Feet Under”), is a departure for Sparks because it isn’t a romance and isn’t set in North Carolina. And he didn’t write it. The drama about a widow and mother of three who is determined to protect her family and land during the Civil War was written by Melissa Carter (“Mistresses,” ”The Lottery”).
“We wanted to go right out the gate with something that wasn’t one of my novels ’cause if you do one of my novels, then everyone thinks, ‘Well, that’s all it’s going to be,'” Sparks said.
Instead, Sparks said he envisions his production company working on TV and film projects from a variety of sources. Nicholas Sparks Productions co-produced film adaptations of his books “Safe Haven” and “The Best of Me,” which opens in theaters next month. He said the company has also acquired the rights to remake the 1971 film “Brian’s Song.”
Sparks said there will be a common thread to the projects with a focus on strong, complex and convincing characters and elements of love and loss because “my novels also do that.”
“Keep it interesting. Make it compelling. Surprise me. That’s what we’re looking for,” he said.