Showtime has won the latest hotly contentious presidential race. The pay cable network just landed the rights to adapt “The President is Missing,” the upcoming novel from President Bill Clinton and superstar author James Patterson, into a TV series.
The book, set to be published next June, tells the story of what happens when a sitting U.S. president suddenly disappears. Clinton, who’s long been a fan of Patterson and political thrillers, brought his insider knowledge of what it’s like to hold the most powerful office in the land.
“I’m really enjoying writing this book and working with Jim, and I can’t wait to see Showtime bring the characters to life,” Clinton said in a statement.
Landing “The President is Missing” is a win for Showtime, as insiders said Clinton and Patterson met with at least 16 different outlets while pitching the project. Showtime had a bit of an edge, however, thanks to Clinton’s long-standing relationship with CBS chairman/CEO Leslie Moonves. (CBS also produces and airs “Zoo,” which Patterson executive produces.)
Showtime Networks president/CEO David Nevins called landing the book “a coup of the highest order.”
“The pairing of President Clinton with fiction’s most gripping storyteller promises a kinetic experience, one that the book world has salivated over for months and that now will dovetail perfectly into a politically relevant, character-based action series for our network,” Nevins said.
“The President is Missing” represents Clinton’s first work of fiction, but he has written several bestselling nonfiction books, including “My Life”; “Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy, Between Hope and History”; “Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World”; and “Putting People First: How We Can All Change America.”
Patterson’s books have regularly been adapted for TV and film, including “Zoo,” “Women’s Murder Club,” “Along Came a Spider” and “Kiss the Girls.” His young-adult series “Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life” was also recently turned into a feature.
“The White House is such an exciting world to explore and is made even more so with the unique insights of a former President,” said Patterson. “Rich storytelling opportunities for this series abound.”