People, I have never kept a secret this long in my life. This has been brewing since June, 2011.

Here’s what I heard originally:  Ron Howard’s father Rance Howard has a longtime fascination with Doc Holliday. He read Doc when it first came out and took it to his son Ron, who contacted HBO about it. The initial idea was to make a movie, but HBO suggested doing it as a series. According to press reports, however, Akiva Goldsman initiated the project.

All this happened very far away from Cleveland, Ohio, and I will probably never understand how the deal was made.  WHATeverrrr… The deal is done and my wonderful agent Jane Dystel says that I’m finally allowed to tell everyone!

Now, then, let’s all get a grip. They make a pilot first. If HBO decides it’s got potential, then they have the option to make a series based on what is now called “the source material.” And according to the articles available online, they’ve already decided that “The series will feature the never-before-explored love triangle between Holliday, his prostitute wife, Kate Elder and best friend, Wyatt Earp — all set against the lawlessness and desperation of a rapidly changing society.”

Nobody’s mentioned piano concerts. So I’m already sort of bracing myself for fits of screaming frustration.

On the other hand, RON HOWARD! AKIVA GOLDSMAN! HBO!!! Jeez, Louise! This is sooooooooo cool!!!

In related news, I can also announce that The Cure for Anger (or “Season Two” as it is affectionately known in the Russell household) will be published by HarperCollins under the Ecco imprint.

Until April of this year, I believed I would be with Random House for life, but on the very day I first held Doc in my hands, I received an email informing me that Random House was not interested in the sequel. I was given conflicting reasons for the decision, but there was no doubt at all about the decision itself.

Despite having had nine editors for five books over the years (not to mention some real conflicts over cover art — someday I’ll tell you about the infamous Dead Bird cover that was initially proposed for The Sparrow), I was very happy at Random House, and proud to be published there. I will miss the wonderful production, publicity, and sales teams; it’s been a pleasure to work with them all these years. But I am excited about a new start with Libby Edelson at Ecco, and grateful to HarperCollins for their faith in my next novel.







17 thoughts on “DOC on HBO”

  1. Wow, that’s awesome news! I think an HBO series is the perfect place for an adaptation of Doc… and have fingers crossed maybe they’ll take on The Sparrow eventually 🙂

  2. This might be enough to get me to buy an HBO subscription – or at least the season DVDs when they are released 😛 Congratulations!

  3. The timing of this joyful news just before Thanksgiving could not be more meaningful. Congratulations! To date, after strong recommendations, countless members of my family and good friends have read and appreciated DOC, I can’t wait to spread the word of your very wonderful announcement. Meantime…hold out for the piano concertos…you might not believe how many of these same family and friends are now listening to The Emperor!!! (That scene, as you know, set me in tears…they have to include it!!)

  4. Congratulations! I don’t get HBO, but will grab the DVD the minute it’s released! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  5. Yay Ms. Russell!!! I am, as odd as it might sound, so very proud of you! And so very excited to see it! It’s an amazing book,… Ron Howard is perfect! I can’t wait,….
    Happy Thanksgiving,

  6. Congratulations, Mary! HBO does such a fine job on all of their productions. Are they (and you) planning to incorporate “The Cure for Anger” as well? It seems like HBO / Howard may want to include the OK Corral and the Earp Vendetta, just for dramatic tension.

  7. I stay away from the computer for ONE LOUSY DAY and look what happens! Yippee!! Congratulations!!

    When you wrote “piano concerts” I immediately thought you’d be playing! 🙂 🙂 That’s what I get for having just emailed you on a different subject.

    HBO — I’m going to have to finally get a cable subscription so I can follow the continuing adventures!

    You must be bouncing off the ceilings with all your good news, to say nothing of finally being able to share it!

    Yeah Mary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. “The series will feature the never-before-explored love triangle between Holliday, his prostitute wife, Kate Elder and best friend, Wyatt Earp …” Say WHAT?? I don’t recall noticing that in DOC. And am I correct in remembering that while Kate often claimed they were married, Doc usually didn’t?

    I hate to rain on your joyful parade, but the above makes me really nervous. I can picture commercial television turning it into a tacky soap opera. In my admittedly very limited experience, I can count on the fingers of one finger the number of film adaptations I’ve seen that actually stayed true to the book. Fingers firmly crossed and wishing you luck.

  9. Barbara, you don’t have to be worried for me. I”m worried enough as it is about that whole “triangle” thing. It’s been suggested before, but it’s sheer speculation and I didn’t clutter my novel with the idea. HBO will do whatever it wants with the “source material.” On the other hand, a deal like this is massive publicity — far beyond anything that publishers provide for a book or an author, and I’m grateful for that.

  10. Mary, So happy for you when I read this in today’s PD. Even with all the qualifications. Been meaning to let you know that my book group read “Doc” for its last meeting. We had a great discussion, and we’re having a hard time waiting for “The Cure for Anger” to come out.

  11. OMG! This is exciting! Happy for you! After reading Sparrow, Children of God, and A Thread of Grace, I decided I would always read anything you wrote. Am working on Doc right now. Love how you can jump from one genre to another and it is always fresh. REALLY loved Sparrow!!! D.

  12. SO THRILLED for you! (Bit of a bummer about the Random House thing, but moving on….)

    This week I have had news of this sort from two of my favorite people who also happen to be two of my favorite authors! (Cherie Priest’s BONESHAKER is to be a feature film!)

    I am over the moon for you (and Cherie, too)!

    Love and confetti,
    Sara, Matt and Baby B

  13. Ms. Russell, just finished your book “Doc” loved it. I can hardly wait till the HBO series starts. I’m a cowboy action shooter and I live right here in Euclid. Thanks for a great read.

    Tony (aka Rye Miles SASS)

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