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?”
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