Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Being Adapted To Crime-Of-The-Week Mystery TV Series

Ever wished that CSI had a bit more magic, a bit less pseudo-science and was set on a flat disc-shaped world balanced on the back of four elephants standing on the back of a giant turtle? Me too! And it looks like we’re going to get at least two of our wishes to come sort-of-true!

Prime Focus Productions, the people behind the upcoming Good Omens TV series and the three existing Discworld miniseries, have commenced development on a new, ongoing show. This one will revolved around the City Watch police force of Terry Pratchett‘s vibrant fantasy city, Ankh-Morpork. It’s an amazing location, as vividly described in the fantasist-satirist’s series of 38-going-on-39 Discworld novels.

As with Good Omens, Terry Jones and Gavin Scott have been called in to work on the scripts, and ccording to the press release, they’ll be plotting:

…a ‘crime of the week’ episodic storyline. As each weekly adventure unfolds, viewers will be taken on a ride through Pratchett’s genius imagination, with the author overseeing the creation of the series,  where wild and exciting encounters with werewolves, dragons, dwarfs, trolls and golems and the classic heroes and villains, are an everyday occurrence…and where many of these characters even make outstanding crime fighters!

There’s been early interest from broadcasters around the world and, with luck and following wind, we could be seeing this on screens before too, too long. It might be a hard one to pull off, but there’s certainly a good sized fan base in place already, and pretty much anything like a police procedural seems to have a shot at ratings glory, so here’s hoping.

Now for the full press release:

Sir Terry Pratchett and Rod Brown, Managing Director of Prime Focus Productions, announce that they have come to an agreement for the unprecedented and exclusive worldwide television rights to create brand new storylines for the iconic characters of Pratchett’s phenomenally successful Discworld series.

Terry’s universal success has seen him create one of the leading fantasy fiction franchises of all time, with 70 million worldwide sales of his 38 book Discworld titles (with a 39th being published in October 2011). Whilst there have been three successful mini series adaptations of his Discworld books made for television in the UK, this is the first time that Pratchett has granted a production company the international rights to his characters and world, for the creation of new stories exclusively for a television audience.

The main focus of the series will be set in the bustling, highly mercantile, largely untrustworthy and always vibrant city of Ankh-Morpork and will follow the day-to-day activities of the men, women, trolls, dwarves, vampires and several other species who daily pound its ancient cobbles (and, of course, Igor in the forensics department).

Terry commonly refers to the City Watch police force series as “the jewels in the Discworld Crown.”  These richly developed and highly compelling characters will feature in a ‘crime of the week’ episodic storyline. As each weekly adventure unfolds, viewers will be taken on a ride through Pratchett’s genius imagination, with the author overseeing the creation of the series,  where wild and exciting encounters with werewolves, dragons, dwarfs, trolls and golems and the classic heroes and villains, are an everyday occurrence…and where many of these characters even make outstanding crime fighters!

Rod Brown, Managing Director of Prime Focus Productions said, “I believe that the globally successful Discworld franchise will readily translate to the small screen in the form of a high-end, mass appeal weekly drama series.  It will give the audience the anticipation and excitement of brand new Discworld stories every week through the medium of television, rather than books.  It’s a huge responsibility to get this right for Terry, his legions of Discworld fans and the new followers to his work that we will attract along the way, but I believe they will be in for a treat with a high calibre writing team already attached, including ‘Monty Python’s’ Terry Jones and Gavin Scott (Small Soldiers, The Borrowers). We have already spoken to a number of international broadcasters who have shown early interest and we hope to move forward very quickly to bring this exciting project to fruition”.

Sir Terry Pratchett said, “I’m very excited! I really am incredibly happy about this because Rod was part head of the team that produced the very successful Sky One adaptations and my message of encouragement to him now is; don’t bugger it up!”

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