Like Apple TV+’s Pachinko? 10 Other Books Becoming TV Series This Spring

Books Lists Pachinko
Like Apple TV+’s Pachinko? 10 Other Books Becoming TV Series This Spring

Apple TV+’s Pachinko, creator Soo Hugh’s skillfully painted and lovingly crafted adaptation of Min Jin Lee’s epic saga; that chronicles the lives of four generations of a Korean family premiered last week. Starring Minari’s Youn Yuh-jung and Boys Over Flowers’ Lee Min-ho, it’s one of many reasons why people should start to know the streaming channel; as more than just the Ted Lasso Network (™).

It’s also one of many, many splashy TV series or limited series based on literature that will be premiering this spring. It’s all part of a mad-dash of channels pushing for name recognition and compelling stories with all-star casts in the hopes of scoring the success that HBO had with Big Little Lies or Netflix did with The Queen’s Gambit: Emmy-worthy programs that also pop in the larger cultural zeitgeist. (And this is not meant to ignore sequels like HBO’s My Brilliant Friend: Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay or HBO Max’s next installment of The Flight Attendant — or children’s and young-adult programming like Hulu’s The Hardy Boys or Apple TV+’s Harriet the Spy).

But for avid readers who also enjoy TV? This could also be a chance to put a bookmark in your Kindle and pick up a remote. Here are 10 other big name book-to-TV adaptations premiering this spring.


Slow Horses
Premiere Date: April 1, 2022
Channel: Apple TV+
Based On: Mick Herron’s Slough House series

Gary Oldman stars in this Apple TV+ espionage dramedy. But Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy it is not.

The six-episode series, which also stars Kristin Scott Thomas and Olivia Cooke, is about a dysfunctional team of British intelligence agents who, after some career-ending blunders, serve in a dumping ground department of MI5 nicknamed Slough House. Oldman’s Jackson Lamb is their leader.

Tokyo Vice
Premiere Date: April 7, 2022
Channel: HBO Max
Based On: Jake Adelstein’s Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan

Forget Miami. In this series, Ansel Elgort depicts American journalist Adelstein’s time running with the vice squad of the Tokyo police department after a senior officer (Ken Watanabe’s Hiroto Katagiri) takes him under his wing. The yakuza are very much involved. Legion’s Rachel Keller and Babel’s Rinko Kikuchi also star.

Premiere Date: April 15, 2022
Channel: Apple TV+
Based On: Cecelia Ahern’s anthology of short stories

Unleash the beast inside you. This anthology series from GLOW creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch features stars like Nicole Kidman, Issa Rae and Cynthia Erivo in eight separate stories that explore what it means to be a woman today.

Magical realism, familiar domestic and professional scenarios, and futuristic worlds will be used to mirror the dilemmas that many women face (titles from Ahem’s collection of short stories include “The Woman Who Slowly. Disappeared” and “The Woman Who Returned and Exchanged Her Husband”).

The Man Who Fell to Earth
Premiere Date: April 24, 2022
Channel: Showtime
Based On: Walter Tevis’ novel of the same name

Not a remake of the classic sci-fi film starring David Bowie—and therefore not so much a formal translation of Tevis’ novel—this series is meant as a continuation of that story. Except this time, Chiwetel Ejiofor starring as an alien who arrives on Earth at a pivotal time both for humans and his species (although Bill Nighy does play Thomas Jerome Newton, the main character in the book and the one Bowie portrayed in the movie).

Its executive producers include Star Trek: Strange New Worlds co-creators Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet.

Under the Banner of Heaven
Premiere Date: April 28, 2022
Channel: FX on Hulu
Based On: Jon Krakauer’s true-crime book

Krakauer’s documentation of one of the most heinous, and controversial, murder trials in modern American history goes deep into topics like religious fundamentalism and the roots of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, who grew up in the Mormon church, created this limited series that stars Andrew Garfield as a detective investigating the case. Daisy Edgar-Jones, Sam Worthington, and Wyatt Russell also star.

Shining Girls
Premiere Date: April 29, 2022
Channel: Apple TV+
Based On: Lauren Beukes’ book, The Shining Girls

There’s a saying that history is made up of men who extinguish womens’ flames so that they can shine. This series, which is created by Strange Angel’s Silka Luisa, takes things a step further when one of those women fights back.

Jamie Bell plays a drifter in Depression-era Chicago who finds a way to travel through time— provided he continues to hunt and kill a select group of women who shine with potential. Bully on him that one of them (Elisabeth Moss’s Kirby Mazrachi) survives and she’s plenty mad.

Narcos’ Wagner Moura, Hamilton’s Phillipa Soo and The Leftovers’ Amy Brenneman also star.

Bosch: Legacy
Premiere Date: May 6, 2022
Channel: IMDb TV
Based On: Characters from Michael Connelly’s book series

A spin-off of the Prime Video police procedural, the series has Titus Welliver returning to the role of Harry Bosch — now a former Los Angeles Police detective who teams with his once sworn enemy, attorney Honey “Money” Chandler (Mimi Rogers).

The only thing the two have in common is a pursuit of justice. Connelly, as well as Bosch series creator Eric Overmyer, are also involved with the new series.


The Essex Serpent
Premiere Date: May 13, 2022
Channel: Apple TV+
Based On: Sarah Perry’s novel of the same name

Set in Victorian-era England, Claire Danes and Tom Hiddleston star in this story about a London-based widow who moves to Essex to investigate reports of a mythical serpent.

While there, she befriends the town vicar. But locals accuse her of attracting the creature when tragedy strikes.

Conversations with Friends
Premiere Date: May 2022
Channel: Hulu
Based On: Sally Rooney’s novel

Hulu’s latest adaptation of the Millennials’ Jane Austen is about two 20-somethings (Alison Oliver’s Frances and Sasha Lane’s Bobbi) who become increasingly enamored with, and intertwined in, the lives of a married, more successful, couple played by Joe Alwyn and Jemima Kirke.

The Time Traveler’s Wife
Premiere Date: May 2022
Channel: HBO Max
Based On: Audrey Niffenegger’s novel

Long-distance relationships are hard enough without factoring in the space-time continuum. In this series, Theo James plays Henry DeTamble, a librarian who has trouble controlling his ability to time travel.
Naturally, this puts a strain on his relationship with his wife Claie (Rose Leslie). Can these two make it work?

Whitney Friedlander is an entertainment journalist with, what some may argue, an unhealthy love affair with her TV. A former staff writer at both Los Angeles Times and Variety, her writing has also appeared in Cosmopolitan, Vulture, The Washington Post and others. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son, daughter, and very photogenic cat.

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