From books to the box, Rushdie to write and produce TV show

There was a time when the giants of literature sneered at the small screen. But now Sir Salman Rushdie is moving from books to the box after signing up to write his first television drama.

The Booker Prize winner is developing Next People, a fictional story which dissects the "radical pace of transformation in contemporary American life – from politics and race to technology, science and sexuality".

The Satanic Verses author will write and executive produce the project for Showtime, the US cable network responsible for the sexed-up historical drama The Tudors and the similarly graphic comedy series, Californication. It is understood that Rushdie, 63, encouraged Andrew Wylie, his literary agent, to find him a television project.

The Next People deal was sealed after David Nevins, Showtime's entertainment president, convinced the author that the pay-television network, which has 16 million US subscribers, was the right home for his television writing debut.

Rushdie's co-producers are Working Title TV, the television arm of the film company behind Billy Elliot and Shaun of the Dead. Although Rushdie doesn't do "pilots", it is hoped that the hour-long Next People could be developed into a series. The drama is likely to follow Showtime series such as Nurse Jackie on to UK screens.

It is common for authors to pen screenplays for Hollywood films. However, acclaimed dramas such as Mad Men, The Wire and The Sopranos, with their novelistic structures, are now making television a natural home for the best writers.

David Simon, creator of The Wire, hired the authors George Pelecanos –"the greatest living American crime writer", according to Stephen King – Dennis Lehane (Mystic River) and Richard Price (Clockers) to write the screenplays for the series.

The New York Times commented: "If Charles Dickens were alive today, he would watch The Wire, unless, that is, he was already writing for it."

Rushdie's US drama has been shaped by his experiences in New York, where he is a regular on the social scene. He moved to New York in 1999 and adapted easily to the culture, engaging fellow authors Don DeLillo and Paul Auster in debate over the merits of his adopted baseball team, the New York Yankees.

His instant reaction to the 11 September attacks was "the feeling of someone having attacked my house."

Rushdie's love life has also kept Manhattan's gossip diarists busy. After his fourth marriage, to US television presenter Padma Lakshmi, ended in 2007, he installed Pia Glenn, a 32-year-old Broadway actress into his five-storey New York mansion. Rushdie was reported to have dumped her by email a few months later.

He has also collaborated on a screenplay for a film version of his 1981 Booker Prize-winning Midnight's Children, retitled Winds Of Change, for the long-awaited movie version directed by Deepha Mehta. There are no current plans for a television adaptation of The Satanic Verses, the controversial novel which resulted in the issuing of a fatwa against Rushdie in 1989.

Arts and Entertainment

Will Poulter will play the shape-shifting monsterfilm
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Hollywood

'Whether he left is almost immaterial'TV
Arts and Entertainment

game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers

Arts and Entertainment
The original Star Wars trio of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill

George Osborne confirms Star Wars 8 will film at Pinewood Studios in time for 4 May

film

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
    Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

    Flesh in Venice

    Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
    Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

    Juventus vs Real Madrid

    Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
    Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

    Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

    Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power