“Rizzoli and Isles” to be a TV series?

Since the announcement has already appeared in Variety and other media and online publications, I guess it’s time to share the news.  This was the press release from TNT entertainment:  

ATLANTA, March 3 /PRNewswire/ — TNT is planning a significant boost in
original programming, with 14 series in development and a plan to change
most of the network’s weekday, primetime schedule to originals by 2010.
TNT’s aggressive plan includes a mixture of scripted dramas, unscripted
programs and the network’s award-winning telecasts of the NBA. Under the
new strategy, TNT will continue to showcase popular movies on Friday nights
and weekends…
    Scripted series in development include THE GENIE CHRONICLES, a fantasy-
adventure from DreamWorks Television, producers of TNT’s Into the West;
GENERATIONS, a family drama from executive producer Robert Redford and
writer/executive producer John Sacret Young (The West Wing, China Beach);
TECHNOPHOBIA, from executive producer Mark Frost (Twin Peaks); an untitled
project from the Hoosiers team of Angelo Pizzo and David Anspaugh;
and an
untitled drama based on characters created by crime novelist Tess

        In Development (Scripted):   
    Boston medical examiner Maura Isles and police detective Jane Rizzoli
join forces to solve crimes in Beantown. This project, based on Tess
Gerritsen’s popular series of crime novels, comes to TNT from executive
producer Bill Haber (TNT’s Nightmares and Dreamscapes).
This deal was actually closed some time ago, but because of the writers’ strike, we delayed making the announcement.  I’m quite excited about the possibilities, but I’m also wary of pinning my hopes on a series actually happening.  So many projects get stuck “in development” and never get made.

But this is a very good first step!

48 replies
  1. l.c.mccabe
    l.c.mccabe says:


    May the project come to fruition and be something that makes you proud.

    I hope they cast actors who make your jaw drop in recognition thinking, “yes, that is exactly the way I imagined them when I was writing.”

    I also hoping that you are welcomed on the set and any suggestions you may have are listened to with great care and respect.

  2. Kristin G
    Kristin G says:

    Oh, I am *so* excited about this announcement, Tess!!! I love to see any kind of female-driven tv shows. And you write some very smart, very tenacious female characters. I’m looking forward to hearing about who might be casted!

  3. Dru
    Dru says:

    This is excellent news! I hope this come to be. BTW, on Amazon.com they have a book titled The Keepsake by you. Is this the latest Rizzoli/Isle book?

  4. Craig
    Craig says:

    What would really be fun is if you introduced the episodes sort of sort of like Vincent Price and Diana Rigg on Mystery. Another thought would be have some sort of contest for your readers and the winner would the get the job of an extra.

  5. joe bernstein
    joe bernstein says:

    there have been a plethora of ME/Detective series on tv,and the “bandwidth”for these types of shows is far from used up-but if they don’t give you creative authority,they won’t produce a good show

  6. therese
    therese says:

    Congrats! My hope for you is:

    you are as involved in this venture as you want to be;
    are as pleased with the finished product as the books you promote;
    and this new opportunity is faced with the same desire for “research” as all your other endeavors.

    Enjoy the journey.

  7. ebenezerearl
    ebenezerearl says:

    Good to see you confirm the news! I was just getting ready to ask. We know how rare it is for an author to have some say in the production. But I’ll be a little more outrageous. I think it would be a briliant move to have you cast as Maura Isles. Those of us who have met you recognize that you are in many ways Maura. Given your natural abilities, I think you could pull it off with style. Yes, I already know all the reasons why this won’t happen. But you went from medicine to writing. Wouldn’t acting be a new challenge?

  8. knaster
    knaster says:

    Hi Tess,

    This was a long time coming. Adrift was in 1989. What took them so damn long?
    I already have blank DVD’s put aside for it. Are they making you excecutive consultant?
    With the explosion of detective/police shows out there, from Manix and Cannon to Police Woman and CSI, it’s great to know that now there will be something worthwhile to watch on the small screen. Maybe you can get some advice from Quincy………..
    The best of luck, Tess. I am so proud of you!

  9. JanetK
    JanetK says:

    Congratulations, Tess! Don’t know if you’ve heard this quote, but it’s from John le Carre: “Having your book turned into a movie is like seeing your oxen turned into bullion cubes.”

    Whatever that means. But no matter what happens, I hope you enjoy the ride.

  10. Pam Halter
    Pam Halter says:

    I saw your interview on Debbie Piccurelli’s website. Deb and I have enjoyed sharing your books and talking about them over lunch. I hope this TV series really captures the characters. It must be so thrilling for you! Congratulations!

  11. Roberto Nogueira
    Roberto Nogueira says:

    Hi Tess, congratulations!
    I hope the series get good writers that can keep up the great work you have done so far.

  12. GerritsenFever10
    GerritsenFever10 says:

    My only worry with doing “book-to-tv” stuff is that they almost always mess it all up. I don’t want to watch something that will alter the image of Jane and Maura that I have in my mind from reading your novels. But hopefully this won’t happen to you and if the show gets made it should be a hit, but those things worry me. Make sure they pick the right people!!! (Here’s my suggestions: Demi Moore (Jane Rizzoli) and Kathy Bates (Maura Isles)

  13. Kyle K.
    Kyle K. says:

    Definitely the best of luck to you!

    Do you know if they’re planning on using the plotlines from your books, or are they coming up with completely new ones?

  14. DebPiccurelli
    DebPiccurelli says:

    Tess, I have been so excited since I found out about it in your interview on my website! My deepest congratulations to you. At least while we’re waiting for each new book, we’ll have this show to keep us happy. Love it! I’m also hoping those books that have been optioned for feature film will come to fruition.

    Deborah Piccurelli

  15. ec
    ec says:

    Don’t know if you’ve heard this quote, but it’s from John le Carre: “Having your book turned into a movie is like seeing your oxen turned into bullion cubes.”

    Whatever that means.

    Bullion cubes are small, compressed blocks of highly condensed seasoned broth, used to flavor soups and stews. In other words, the book-to-movie process is like seeing live animals slain, boiled, and condensed, so that the result can be used as one ingredient among many to create something that bears little resemblance to the oxen of origin.

    Hope that sheds some light on Mr. le Carre’s analogy. And I really, REALLY hope this doesn’t describe the process in this particular case! Good series have come from good books, and I’d love to see a TV show based on these characters.

    Good luck to you, TG!

  16. Dan Williams
    Dan Williams says:

    Already said congrats on Lee Goldberg’s blog as this is, obviously, great news and something that usually only comes to a writer after a long period of critical and popular success. Am looking forward to hearing how the creative process of producing a TV show works out from the writer’s point-of-view. And, of course, am wishing you so much luck that you become president of the “Joy-Luck Club.”

  17. Lorra Laven
    Lorra Laven says:

    Tess – That’s great news.

    And you are right to be cautiously optimistic. I’ve heard said that optioning the film rights is like being engaged to be engaged. But it sounds like you’re at the next phase of the “engagement” and I believe you’re in your rights to be excited and showing off your “ring.” But I’d hold off sending off “Save the Date” cards, at least for a while. The film business can be very fickle.

    I’m not saying this to be discouraging — I believe, absolutely, that your project is going to get the green light — but still, a little cautioun is wise. I know this from experience.

    Quite serendipitously, I optioned the film rights for my first novel (still not published) a few years back. A screenplay was completed, a director with decent credentials attached, ditto a producer and an agent shopped it around. No luck. The option expired and I thought that was that.

    Six months later, the screenwriter called: there was new interest. Would I be willing to sign another option agreement? Heck yeah. The screenwriter had a new agent with better contacts who was very excited about the project and thought he had interest at a cable channel. Then time passed and I heard nothing. The cable channel, it turned out, had changed its mind and the agreement expired yet again.

    Just last week a friend asked about the project and I told her it was dead. She has two sons in LA who are screenwriters and she strongly disagreed. These projects are never dead, according to her sons. They may lie dormant for ages, but you never know when the call will come and they sprout new wings.

    I really don’t believe I’ll get that call. But I bet you will. Good luck and again, congratulations.

  18. dustinhood
    dustinhood says:

    WHHHOOOOAAAAA!!! Wow, I’m so so so so so happy for you! I screamed when I read the release. Wow, I can barely wait for the books to come out, now I’m going to have to wait for the show (hopefully). Wow, my teachers and people I’ve gotten addicted to the series are going to freak. Tess, you should feel freakin’ awesome! You rock! Well, I need to go, talk to you soon.

    Dustin Hood

  19. Veekay
    Veekay says:

    Hope the casting makes us say yes that is what we had in mind. I also Hope we get to see it in India

    Vijai Kapoor

  20. knaster
    knaster says:

    Hi Tess,

    Forgive me. An error in my blog response (#10) above. Adrift was in 1993, not 1989. My bad.

  21. Norris Marshall
    Norris Marshall says:

    I hope TNT has the wisdom to welcome your input. In my mind, the two most enjoyable TV series based on novels were “The Saint” (with Leslie Charteris serving as creative consultant), and “Spenser for Hire” (with Robert B. Parker filling the same role).

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful news Tess! Personally though, for some odd reason I’d prefer to see “The Bone Garden” brought to the screen. I know this guy who’d be the perfect lead character…

  22. Susan Kelley
    Susan Kelley says:

    This is so very cool. Congratulations. I know readers and authors discuss all the time how books are better than movies based on them. Once in a while they get it right and I hope you’re one of those. I’m so hoping it’s everything you want it to be, and I have no idea how you held back telling everyone as soon as you know.

  23. Ann Woodburn
    Ann Woodburn says:

    I’m very excited for you. Conratulations. I may have to break down and get cable after all.

  24. Tess
    Tess says:

    Thank you all so much for the congrats! All I can do is keep fingers crossed and hope this actually turns into something. I’ve spoken twice with the producer, who’s very enthusiastic about the project. He asked if I was interested in writing the pilot script, which would’ve been a blast — except for the fact I’ve now got a book to finish and can’t be distracted. I was so sorry to have to decline.

  25. djm
    djm says:

    I only started reading Tess Gerritsen books this year (2008). I really love the Rizzoli series. Please let there be more books to follow in this series. If a tv show does come to fruitation I sincerely hope it will do the books true justice and not some re-write which would ruin them. Also as in another persons comment you do need the right actors/actresses. Good Luck and bring on the next book PLEASE.

  26. wy82331
    wy82331 says:

    Just another example to put confidence in your step. The Big Boys??? Come on Tess, you stand shoulder to shoulder, eyeball to eyeball. Great news,


  27. McIntosh
    McIntosh says:

    Hey Tess:
    As a 38 year radio veteran, if I can drop the Oklahoma drawl, perfect the Boston accent, can I play Jane’s Father? Aw…..c’mon. Please? It will be the closest I can ever get to a little excitment in my life by being near Maura?
    Love your work!

  28. Kenny Overman
    Kenny Overman says:

    I was reading through your blog entries Tess and this caught my eye. I would LOVE to see this and because im in england i’ll have to find someway of watching it. It’ll be interesting to see how My images of the Characters are varied to others and how their portrayal differs from mine. Goodluck with this Project Tess 😀

  29. rizzolifan23
    rizzolifan23 says:

    Ok so i basically fell out of my chair when i heard this news from my grandparents and signed on to check your blog. Then I called my BFF’s mom (also a fan) to tell her.

    This will deffinitelly be at the top of my list of things to watch and download. I think TNT is a good network for the show too, I will for surebe watchin each and every episode and jumping around like a crazy person when it actually airs. Seriously

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