For Television and Romance Novels, Love at Last? | Julia Quinn

For Television and Romance Novels, Love at Last?

Read on New York Times

Dec 28, 2020

Quoted from the article’s beginning:

The new Netflix series “Bridgerton” joins a tiny but growing handful of prestige shows adapted from mass-market romance books. What took so long?

Chris Van Dusen doesn’t describe himself as an avid romance reader. “I’ve dabbled,” he said in a recent interview. “I wouldn’t say that I have romance books lining my bookshelf.”

But as the creator of the new Netflix series “Bridgerton,” a courtship tale set in Regency England and executive produced by Shonda Rhimes, he joins a curiously exclusive club — the men and women bringing popular romance novels to television.

In the book world, romance is big, occasionally bodice-ripping business. Romance novels sell tens of millions of copies each year, with approximately 10,000 new titles appearing annually. “Our industry keeps the book industry running,” said LaQuette, the president-elect of the Romance Writers of America.

But even as networks and streaming services slaver over intellectual property with prearranged fan bases, few mass-market romance novels have found their way to screens. Character-driven and story rich, they would seem to have a lot of what television wants. But showrunners have played hard to get.

“Among romance readers, there’s been a kind of puzzlement,” said Eric Murphy Selinger, an executive editor of the Journal of Popular Romance Studies and a professor of English at DePaul University. “Why yet another superhero show? Why yet another detective show? Why yet another reboot when here are all of these interesting novels?”


Finish reading Alexis Soloski’s article on The New York Times online. If you don’t have a paid subscription to The New York Times, you can make a limited account for free. Simply click here to open the article, and sign up for a free account.

share on: