TV has been really excited about taking movie concepts and turning them into TV concepts for a while now. This season, we’re getting TV versions of Limitless, Minority Report and Uncle Buck, and soon it looks like we may be able to add The Notebook to the list. This morning, we learned that the CW is looking to make a TV version of The Notebook that would follow Noah and Allie on an epic adventure. And yes, it would still be a period romance.
The plot summary for the potential drama sounds pretty similar to the movie and the Nicholas Sparks novel the movie is based on. The story will be set shortly after WWII in North Carolina, and will follow the romance and drama surrounding Noah and Allie’s courtship. The information from the CW also says the show will explore the “racial politics, economic inequities, and social mores” of the decade, which is also touched on in the original flick, as Allie’s mother disparages Allie’s relationship with the much less wealthy Noah.
EW reports that the project is coming from Nicholas Sparks Productions and Warner Bros. Television. In fact, Nicholas Sparks is also involved, and will serve as an executive producer on the project, along with Theresa Park. Todd Graff is writing.
What strikes me as interesting about the project is its potential to expand the story that was explored in the 2004 movie starring Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling. The Notebook is a pretty contained story, following the early romance between a pair of star-crossed lovers that had a tumultuous courtship early on. The movie also hops ahead to the later years of their courtship when one character is dealing with Alzheimer's, but if the TV show is set in the forties, we could see the relationship evolve beyond the events in the movie. Plus, the personalities of the townsfolk and other characters involved in the movie could totally expand, as well.
The CW only has one other period drama, Reign, on the air right now and the tone, setting and era for The Notebook would be totally different. It actually sounds a bit more like a replacement for the quirky series Hart of Dixie, which also prominently featured romance and partner hopping, not to mention was set in a small town in the south. Obviously the tone of The Notebook should be a whole lot more sentimental, especially with Sparks actually involved as an executive producer. Still, if it moves forward, it could be a fun and timely addition to the CW lineup, which is currently heavy on action-oriented shows like The Flash, The 100 and the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow.
While The Notebook could potentially move to pilot sooner rather than later, it’s likely to still be a while before we learn whether or not a series pickup at the network could be in the cards. (First they need to find a couple of leads that can actually get along, unlike the original stars of the movie.) For now, there are a ton of former movies becoming TV shows this fall or spring. Minority Report and Limitless both hit the TV schedule very soon.