Random House announced that it will be starting a new television division to develop scripted programs based on its books. This is not Random House's first foray into the movie and television industry. Unbeknownst to me, and probably many others considering it has only released two films thus far, the publishing house entered the movie business in 2005 with the launch of Random House Films. Random House Television will follow the model established by their film division, which works with Random House editors, authors, and author's agents to obtain dramatic rights to titles in addition to working on potential movie projects with authors.
Random House Television was made possible through a partnership between the US division of the publishing house and FremantleMedia, a television production and distribution company. Both companies are owned by Bertelsmann AG. Peter Gethers, who currently runs the film department will also oversee the new television branch, both of which will fall under the newly created Random House Studios. Jeffrey Levine, a former development executive at Spring Creek Productions, has been named Head of Television for Random House Television. I would be really interested to hear what readers think about a publishing house's expansion into film and television, and your general feelings about turning books into movies. Since I was young, I've been intrigued to see if a director's interpretation of a novel matched my own imagination, but the past few years theaters have been so saturated with features based on books (and comics, cartoons, and television shows) that I really wish Hollywood would come up with more original ideas. (Not to mention that there have been a number of very disappointing adaptations.) Besides, everyone knows the book is always better.