Top 5 TV Shows Based On Books

From witches, blood-sucking vampires, to privileged teens in the Upper East Side and murderous teenagers, television shows these days are exciting and addictive—all you want to do at the end of an episode is watch another.

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But did you know that many of these TV shows were based off of novels?

Here are five of the most surprising:

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Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris serves as the basis for the hit television drama series, True Blood. The novel details the co-existence of vampires and humans in Bon Temps, a fictional town in Louisiana.

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Who would have thought that popular Netflix show Orange Is the New Black—a comedy-drama series about a bisexual woman who is sentenced to 15 months in a women’s federal prison— is actually based on Piper Kerman’s memoir, Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison? Kerman details the story of her money laundering and drug trafficking conviction and subsequent year spent in a women’s prison, where she attempts to preserve her individuality in the face of a gray bureaucracy.

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Boardwalk Empire, an American period crime drama TV series, was inspired by Nelson Johnson’s book, Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City. Emmy Award winning screenwriter Terence Winter was inspired after reading about local mob kingpin Enoch L. “Nucky” Thompson and the Prohibition-era mecca of lawlessness.

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Most people are so engrossed with the TV show Dexter that they fail to realize that the show’s first season was derived from Jeff Lindsay’s novel, Darkly Dreaming Dexter. A forensic blood spatter pattern analyst, Dexter has a unique hobby—in his spare time, he acts as a serial killer who kills rapists, murderers, and other undesirables he believes have escaped the justice system.

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Friday Night Lights is a popular show that is set against the backdrop of Texas and addresses issues facing contemporary American culture including family values, racism, drugs, and school funding. It takes its inspiration from H.G. Bissinger’s non-fiction book, Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and Dream, which details the 1988 season of the Permian Panthers, a high school football team.

Have you read any of these books? If so, did you prefer the TV show adaptation or the novel? Share your thoughts by leaving us a comment!

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