James Patterson’s ‘Private’ Books Being Developed for TV (Exclusive)

Sonar Entertainment and James Patterson Entertainment producing project previously in development at CBS

Last Updated: April 19, 2012 @ 2:12 PM

Sonar Entertainment and James Patterson Entertainment are developing the best-selling author's "Private" book series for television, with "Black Swan" screenwriter John McLaughlin writing the initial two-hour episode.

A "Private" project was previously in development for CBS. Patterson will serve as executive producer of the new project, which follows former CIA agent Jack Morgan and an elite investigation firm that deals with the secrets of the world's most influential people.

Also read: James Patterson Ousts Stephanie Meyer as Highest-Paid Author

"My ultimate goal is to tell stories in television that fans love and want to come back to again and again. Television is the ideal medium to deliver that type of entertainment,” said Patterson.  "Sonar represents the kind of collaborative television partner I want with creative vision and strong emphasis on innovative sales and marketing."

Twentieth Century Fox TV and Imagine TV tried to develop the books into a CBS series in 2009. It never made it to air, but Sonar CEO Stewart Till said the project has more potential today than it did then.

Also read: CBS Takes James Patterson's 'Private'

"In 2009, 'Private' was still an unknown quantity," he said. "In 2012 we are able to build on the tremendous proven success of the book series on a worldwide level. In addition, Sonar's approach to the marketplace is global.  We are not wholly dependent on a US network. We see this as a property that will have great appeal in markets in every part of the world."

The series will be one of the first for Sonar since its rebranding last month. Previously known as RHI Entertainment, it plans to produce more series in addition to continuing to produce movies and miniseries like RHI's "Neverland," "Merlin" and "Treasure Island."

The new project was announced Thursday by Till and Steve Bowen, president of James Patterson Entertainment. They plan 13 initial episodes for the series, which has not yet been pitched to networks.

"Sonar has an ability to turn popular literary works into major television programs and its vast international distribution network insures that we will reach our tens of millions of fans in every corner of the world," Bowen said.

Added David Ozer, head of worldwide distribution for Sonar: “James Patterson is one of the best known brands in all of publishing. This affords us tremendous pre-sold equity that will help immeasurably to realize the project’s global potential.”

The series will feature the team of global investigators using advanced forensic tooks on cases, with "maximum force and maximum discretion always guaranteed," according to a release.

Patterson’s 220 books have grossed more than $3 billion in worldwide sales, and he holds several Guinness World Records in publishing including most entries on the New York Times Best-Seller List. Past TV adaptations of his books have included "Child of Darkness, Child of Light" and "Women's Murder Club." His books were also the basis for films including "Kiss the Girls" and "Along Came a Spider."

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