Nicholas Sparks, whose novels have spawned such teary box office successes as “The Notebook,” “A Walk to Remember” and “Dear John,” is bringing his well-honed and reliable brand of gauzy love stories to the small screen.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the best-selling author now has shows in development at three different cable networks via Nicholas Sparks Productions, the company he launched in April. He and his literary agent Theresa Park will act as executive producers on all three.
“A Bend in the Road” is at TNT and is centered on a recently widowed sheriff whose town on the Georgia coast is a seasonal tourist hotspot and faces problems when its population swells in the summer. He becomes involved with his son’s second grade teacher. “A Bend in the Road” is being co-developed by Brandon Camp (“Love Happens,” “John Doe”).
“Deliverance Creek” is at Lifetime, and is a period drama set in the so-hot-right-now post-Civil War era. It focuses on a woman trying to protect her family and struggling between doing the right thing and doing what’s needed to survive. Melissa Carter (“Jane by Design,” “Little Black Book”) will write and executive produce the pilot.
Sparks told The Hollywood Reporter that he’s enjoying the collaborative nature of TV: “It’s a chance to venture into stories I don’t always write about.” The descriptions above are not exactly wildly out of his ballpark, though — a thwarted young romance, a father learning to love again and a woman trying to protect her family are hardly “Hostel 3” (and wouldn’t you like to see his take on that franchise?).
Sparks next film will be the Lasse Hallström-directed “Safe Haven,” which sounds a lot like the stories the author always writes about — it stars Julianne Hough as a young woman who arrives in a small North Carolina seaside town and falls in love with a widower played by Josh Duhamel while trying to escape from her troubled past.