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10 TV Shows You Didn’t Know Were Based On Books

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Books create a new world for the reader to venture into. Some readers decide to take that book, and its reality and makes it real. This is when books become shows for viewers to enjoy. Some fans and viewers are unaware that some of their favorite and popular TV shows are based on books.


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Books are not advertised the same way shows or movies are. Unless viewers are avid readers, they won’t know there is a book until after the show has been released. The live adaptations may become successful and popular, but more often than not, the books are deemed better by fans.

10/10 Handmaid’s Tale Is Based On A Dystopian Classic

The Handmaids Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale is based on a novel of the same name. Margaret Atwood wrote the book in 1985. A sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments, was published in 2019. The series takes place in a dystopian future.

Hulu has taken Margaret Atwood’s book and transformed it into a popular TV series. The Handmaid’s Tale book is told from Offred’s perspective. However, Hulu decided to go a different route and add several other character perspectives to the story. This allows fans to better understand what is happening throughout the series.

9/10 The Witcher Takes Folklore And Runs Amok

Henry Cavill as Geralt in The Witcher

The Witcher is based on a book series by the same name. Polish author Andrezj Sapkowski wrote the series. The Polish writer got his idea from European mythology and folklore, which informed the many monsters that appear throughout.

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The Witcher went from a book to a game in 2007. Later, in 2019, the book and game were turned into the popular show it is today. As always, there are differences between the books and the show. However, Netflix did a splendid job of getting the show as close to the books as possible. Fans can now read the books, play the games, and end by watching Netflix’s live adaptation of The Witcher.

8/10 Bones Radically Changed Its Protagonist

Bones

It is often questioned if Bones was not just based on books but rather if they were based on true stories. Bones is based on the book series Temperance Brennan by Kathy Reichs. Fans question whether or not Reichs based the books on her own experiences as she was also a forensic anthropologist. The Temperance Brennan series ranges from 1997-2015 with a total of 16 novels.

Bones took the series and brought the stories to life. Most fans of the book series became upset as the show cast a Dr. Temperance Brennan, who was younger and rather different from the one described in the books. With Kathy Reichs as one of the executive producers, Bones became a successful show that ran for 12 years.

7/10 The Queen’s Gambit Is A Truncated Version Of A Chess-Heavy Novel

Anya Taylor-Joy in The Queen's Gambit

The Queen’s Gambit is a miniseries Netflix original based on a novel of the same name written by Walter Telis in 1983. The novel landed on the New York Times bestseller list thanks to Netflix’s limited series. The Queen’s Gambit kept just about everything from the book the same in the show.

All the dialogue from the show came straight out of the novel. The most significant difference the director made was to leave out the long-drawn-out passages that went into detail explaining the chess moves. Viewers were not disappointed by the director’s decision.

6/10 Dexter Forged Its Own Path On TV

Dexter smiles with blood splatter behind him

Dexter is based on the novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter written by Jeff Lindsay in 2004. A year later, the novel went on to receive the Dilys award in 2005 and the 2007 Book to TV award. There are a total of eight books in the series. However, unlike some other shows, Dexter does not follow the series plot all the way through.

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Season 1 of Dexter followed along with the first novel, and then the show drifted from the books afterward. In the remaining six seasons, there are noticeable differences between the show and the book series. Despite the differences, viewers will not be disappointed whether they read the books or watch the show.

5/10 Shadow And Bone Is A Netflix Adaptation Done Right

Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone is based on a trilogy of the same name written by Leigh Bardugo. The first season followed rather closely with the first book. Netflix decided to make one significant change but left just about everything else on course with the book. The most notable difference was that Netflix chose to tell the story of Six of Crows during the same timeline as Shadow and Bone.

The Six of Crows takes place three years after Shadow and Bone. The Six of Crows is part of another book series written by the same author. Despite all the differences, Netflix’s adaptation of the book series performed well among its audiences.

4/10 The 100 Became Quite Different From The Books It Was Based On

The 100

The 100 is based on a series of four books by Kass Morgan. The 100 TV adaptation did not follow closely with the books. The adaptation touched more on survival in their futuristic dystopian society. Some fans of the book were somewhat disappointed with the first season of The 100.

The show’s only similarity with the book is that it follows the same basic premise and uses the same characters. From the initial setup, the series follows its own thread. Fans should not expect to watch what they have read in the books as they are not the same.

3/10 Gossip Girl Captured The Tone Of The Books

Gossip Girl

Gossip Girl is based on a novel series of the same name written by Cecily von Ziegesar. There are a total of 13 books in the series. Fans consider the books to be more intense since the show does not quite follow closely with the books. From the start, the show is different from the books. The show, however, did nail the drama aspects of the books.

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There are several character stories to follow in Gossip Girl, and yet the TV adaptation changed almost every one of their stories in one way or another. Many viewers consider the book to be better than the show. This did not stop the show from receiving nearly three million dedicated viewers.

2/10 Bridgerton Added A Queen And Became A Hit

Anthony and Kate laughing together

Bridgerton is based on an eight-book series known as The Bridgerton Series. The series was written by Julia Quinn and written in the early 2000s. There were some minor changes and adjustments made that differed from the books. However, the Bridgerton TV adaptation followed the books rather closely. So far, the show’s two seasons have followed along with the first two books in the series. The biggest difference was the addition of the queen.

Julia Quinn was excited about her books becoming a TV show. She was even more ok with Netflix not doing a word-for-word adaptation of her books. Fans of the show are hopeful that Netflix will continue to add its own touch while remaining close to the story of the books.

1/10 The Magicians Is A Superlative Adaptation Of Its Source Material

Quintin and Julia finishing up their test

The Magicians is based on the Magicians Trilogy written by Lev Grossman. The Magicians TV adaptation does differ from the plot of the book series. The show initially follows the books, but unfolds differently.

The show and books have become so different that Lev Grossman is equally surprised about what happens in the show as viewers are. Most of the time, fans believe the books to be better than the live adaptations. That is not the case, as fans of The Magicians largely believe the show to be better than the books.

NEXT: 10 Best TV Shows Based On Books, Ranked

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