The TV series we wouldn’t have without books

Love a nice night in front of the telly? None of these beloved shows would be on your screens if someone hadn't written a book first...

Boardwalk Empire

Steve Buscemi’s ‘Nucky’ Thompson spent five years on our TV screens, coming straight out of the pages of Nelson Johnson’s Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times and Corruption of Atlantic City. The book was a New York Times bestseller so it’s no wonder the tale proved equally popular on TV screens now, is it?


Gossip Girl

Why did it become so popular? That’s one secret nobody will ever be able to tell but Cecily VonViegesar’s novels (based loosely on her own experience in New York’s elite private schools) spawned one of the late 00s’ most popular young adult TV offerings. It made quite the star of Leighton Meester and gave Blake Lively’s career a welcome boost too. You know you loved it really, XOXO.

Brideshead Revisited

The recent reboot may not have been quite as charming as the 1980s original but Brideshead remains one of the most popular book-to-small screen adaptations in TV history. Based on Evelyn Waugh‘s 1945 novel of the same name, it tells the tale of Captain Charles Ryder whose life changes forever when he meets Lord Sebastian Flyte at Oxford, and discovers a world he’s never known at his stately home.


Set during the Korean War, M*A*S*H followed the exploits of the staff of an army hospital who make the most of their less than ideal circumstances by learning to have a jolly good laugh. They had some pretty solid material to work with too, given that they based the show on the film, which was in turn based on MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors by Richard Hooker, the pen name for former military surgeon Dr H Richard Hornberger and writer WC Heinz.

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