The Magicians by Lev GrossmanSome unfortunate news from Grossman this morning:

So January is the beginning of what — in the accursed, eternally burning nation of TV-land — is known as pilot season. That’s when the networks pick some of the series they have in development and greenlight them, meaning they’re actually going to cast and film a pilot episode.

It’s an exciting time. Except if your series doesn’t get greenlit.

The Magicians show was not greenlit.


From here the way forward for the show gets rockier, obviously. We’re going to take the script to cable networks. We’re also going to renew talks on the feature-film side. I can’t say I’m bitter about it. I wouldn’t have played my cards differently — we got exactly the right people and exactly the right script. It would have been incredible. It still will be, if we can get it to go somewhere else.

But no question, it’s a big disappointment. We had a really good shot this time, and it didn’t work out.

Disappointing news, no doubt. I’m usually not interested in seeing my favourite novels translated into the television medium (anyone remember that terrible Dresden Files show?), but there’s something about The Magicians that makes me wonder whether it wouldn’t work pretty well here. Brakebills seems like the perfect setting for a episodic show set at a magicians school. It’s doubly disappointing after you read John Scalzi’s comments on the script:

I laid my hands upon the spec script for The Magicians, the proposed television series based on Lev Grossman’s “Magicians” series of books. What’s more, I read it. And without revealing anything about it, because I don’t believe in spoilers and also I don’t want the horrible Television Ninjas to come for me in the night, I can say the following:

1. I would totally watch the hell out of this show;

2. I have a strong suspicion I wouldn’t be the only one.

With luck, we’ll have more news on the adaptation, but things aren’t looking good. More than anything, I appreciate Grossman’s great candor through the whole process and I’m sure I ‘m not the only fan sharing in his disappointment this morning.