Television: Banking on a Novel Approach

Moviemakers have been doing it for decades. First buy a bestselling novel—something long and juicy, maybe, like Gone With the Wind. Then hire seasoned scriptwriters, a cast of stars, and put it all on the screen. Presto! Bookstore sales become box office receipts.

Now the Hollywood method has come to the home screen and quickly grown into a full-fledged entertainment movement. TV versions of Taylor Caldwell's Captains and the Kings, Arthur Hailey's The Moneychangers and Anton Myrer's Once an Eagle have been aired in the past few months, and at least a...

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