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10 Literary Authors Who Have Written for TV

This week, were excited (and somewhat skeptical) about the news that Bret Easton Ellis, author of teenage-ennui classic Less Than Zero and bourgeois-ennui classic American Psycho, is working on writing a new drama series for the CW about monstrous high schoolers entitled Copeland High. Though television is often considered the junk food to the nourishing meal of literature, Ellis’s project reminded us very fondly of the authors who have turned their literary chops to writing for television — whether for good or for ill. Click through to read our brief survey of novelists who have written for TV (and usually improved it in the process), and let us know if we’ve missed your favorite multi-faceted writer in the comments.

Salman Rushdie

Though it hasn’t hit screens yet, Salman Rushdie has written a pilot for a Showtime TV drama entitled The Next People. “It’s a sort of paranoid science-fiction series, people disappearing and being replaced by other people,” Rushdie has said. “It’s not exactly sci-fi, in that there is not an awful lot of science behind it, but there are certainly elements which are not naturalistic.” Apparently, his agents suggested that he write for TV as opposed to film because “the writing quality of movies has gone down the plughole.” We can’t wait to see how much better Rushdie is than all those film writers.

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