Game of Thrones, Dexter, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, The Vampire Diaries, The Walking Dead and Justified have more than just strong ratings in common. They're all popular television shows that originated in the literary world. Last night's adaptation of Stephen King's epic novel, Under the Dome, is just the next in line.
As is often the case, television producers have taken a cue from their big-screen brethren in recent years and realized that books offer a rich source of material from which a popular television series can grow. But adapting a novel for the small screen isn't just about picking the right title. Nor does remaining faithful to the chosen work guarantee people will want to watch. No, adaptation is a nuanced art. But the recent spate of shows that have done the process right have taught us many lessons about How to Successfully Adapt a Novel for TV.