When we're not glued to the TV, there's nothing we like better than curling up with a good book, but sure aren't we really curling up with a good book when we're watching the telly these days anyway?
So many of our favourite TV series actually started out as stories fit for the flyleaves, and so in honour of World Book Day (which is today, by the by), we decided to put our heads together and come up with list of our Top Ten TV Shows Based On Books. Enjoy, in no particular order!
Sex and The City
Ah lads, sure didn't Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda start life in a column, before making it on to the bookshelves and then to our TV screens? Candace Bushnell's best selling book Sex and The City was first published in 1997. Her collection of columns for The New York Observer was an instant hit, and was picked up by HBO. The rest, as they say, is history. Bushnell's prequel series, The Carrie Diaries, has also made it all the way to the telly...
The Vampire Diaries
One of the most popular supernatural teen drama series on the planet, The Vampire Diaries were penned by L.J Smith all the way back in 1991. Yep, the stories themselves are actually more than 20 years old. Smith only wrote four books before the tale was picked up and ever so slightly altered by The CW, but since then she's penned six more, and hired a ghost writer to add another few to the list.
Friday Night Lights
When H.G Bissinger sat down to chronicle the tale of the 1988 Permian High School Panthers football team from Odessa, Texas, we doubt he expected the story to make it to both the big and small screen. The first TV show it inspired was actually Against The Grain, which featured a young Ben Affleck, but that's not the one we remember. Nope, in 2006 the story was picked up by NBC, and Friday Night Lights as we knew it was born.
There have been so many adaptations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novels that we've almost lost count, but the BBC's latest, ridiculously fast paced, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman fronted series is by far our favourite. We've heard Elementary isn't too bad either, but we haven't really got around to watching that yet. Anyway, Conan Doyle wrote a host of stories about the detective from Baker Street, and inspired a legacy that lives on to this day.
We have American playwright and crime novelist Jeff Lindsay (real name Jeffry P. Freundlich) to thank for our favourite serial killer. Dexter first appeared in his 2004 novel, Darkly Dreaming Dexter, before being picked up by Showtime, and immortalised by Michael C. Hall. The character's been the star of six novels thus far, with a seventh, loosely titled Dexter's Debut, due to hit the bookshelves in late 2013.
Before she was off Being Human, Lenora Crichlow was best remembered for playing Sugar, the titular character in Channel 4's teen drama Sugar Rush. You might remember her as the teen tearaway who turned Olivia Hallinan's head, and her sexuality back in 2005. Anyway, the series was based on the novel of the same name by Julie Burchill. Oh, and in case you didn't know, the show starred a very very young and very very adorable Andrew Garfield. We think he's still acting...
Pride and Prejudice
Before Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen took to the big screen, the BBC adapted Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice for the telly. The miniseries ran for almost 6 hours over 6 episodes, and starred a young and seriously soaked (we LOVE lake) Colin Firth. Since then, pretty much every single one of Austen's stories have been adapted for the screen in some shape or form, but Pride and Prejudice still reigns supreme in our book... *ba dum chh*
Game of Thrones
Sure how could you have a list of book to TV adaptations without mentioning Game of Thrones. It's quite possibly the most popular thing on TV these days, and you can't go a week without someone mentioning it on the internet. Based on the 'A Song of Ice and Fire' book series by George R.R Martin, the fantasy series tells the tale of an epic battle between several families for control of Westeros. Don't miss Season 3 when it hits your telly screen on April 1st.
You know you loved it. XOXO. Gossip Girl was the brainchild of Cecily von Ziegesar, a former Manhattan private school girl who decided it might be a bit of a laugh to write a book series based on her school days. Of course, the story lines were slightly altered for the telly (Chuck remained straight, for example) when the CW picked the series up in 2007. It went on to be one of the most successful book to screen adaptations ever, before coming to an end in 2012. Chuck and Blair forever!
Quite possibly one of the most beloved period dramas of all time, Brideshead Revisited is as addictive now as it was back in 1981. Based on Evelyn Waugh's 1945 novel of the same name, Captain Charles Ryder narrates his own coming of age tale throughout the series. When the young Charles meets Lord Sebastian Flyte at Oxford, and discovers a world he's never known at his stately home, his life changes irrevocably. We dare you not to fall in love with Jeremy Irons. And Matthew Goode in that less exciting film adaptation.
Honourable Mentions: M*A*S*H, True Blood, Goosebumps, House of Cards, Birdsong, The Forsyte Saga, Inspector Morse, Agatha Christie's Marple, Agatha Christie's Poirot. Boardwalk Empire and Bones.