In a rare moment in television history, a former president will produce a drama TV show for a premium cable network as it his moment to “showtime”. Deadline has reported that Showtime has acquired the rights to the upcoming thriller novel The President is Missing by former President Bill Clinton and James Patterson. The adaptation will be developed as a TV show. Even though the novel is set to be released on June next year, Clinton and Patterson have already talked with various movie studios, cable and streaming networks as well as producers, directors, and financiers who would be interested to work with them. At the end, CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves was able to secure the rights for Showtime since he has a longstanding relationship with Clinton. Plus, CBS currently has the TV show Zoo which is based on a Patterson novel.
The President is Missing is the story of a sitting U.S. President who went missing “with the kind of insider details that only a President can know.” This is Clinton’s first novel and, of course, the first time that Patterson co-wrote a novel with a President (Or perhaps, the first time that a President co-wrote a thriller novel about a President). Showtime’s flagship show Homeland tackled a fictional U.S. President during their recent season.
It is astonishing that the TV rights of a novel has been acquired less than a year it hits the bookshelves. Given Clinton’s involvement, there is no wonder that the project was able to attract numerous studios and networks in Hollywood. It is unknown about how Clinton will be involved on the TV show. For sure, he will be an executive producer alongside with Patterson. It is very likely that they will hire a showrunner who will pen the adaptation and run the show. It would be interesting to see Clinton co-writing the pilot (or some episodes). That would be a cool writer’s room for the show.
There are no details about the other people who are involved or the potential air date of the series. It might take a few years before we can ever see it in the small screen. We’ll keep you updated for any news regarding this.