Monday, July 21, 2014

TV rights to WONDROUS STRANGE series go to Shaftesbury

Apparently it's all TV/film deals, all the time! We've had a number of exciting TV/film deals announced recently (see The Clan of the Cave Bear and Olivia Kidney), and now we're delighted to announce another!

Leading producer Shaftesbury Films has acquired TV rights to Lesley Livingston's acclaimed Wondrous Strange trilogy, published by HarperCollins! The award-winning trilogy, which includes Wondrous Strange (2008), Darklight (2009), and Tempestuous (2010), follows the adventures of Kelly Winslow, a teenager whose life takes a dramatic turn when she learns she is the long-lost heir to the Faerie realm. 

Livingston will be part of the creative team behind the Wondrous Strange TV production, and as she says in Quill and Quire, "To say that I’m excited about this would be a galactic understatement. Galactic." Shaftesbury produced the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's long-running Murdoch Mysteries series, as well as the Canadian Television Network's paranormal police series The Listener.

The announcement was picked up by Deadline, Quill and Quire, and Publishers Weekly, among others.

Below is the full press release with additional details:


“With a marvelously refreshing heroine, a genuinely lovable hero, and a swift-moving, fascinating plot, Ms. Livingston gives a modern twist to the age-old epic hero’s 'coming of age’ story. Wondrous Strange shows that the world of Faerie can be updated and yet retain its age-old charm - as well as its aura of deadly danger. This is my kind of fiction, and my kind of heroine!”
-LJ Smith, author of The Vampire Diaries

TORONTO/LOS ANGELES, July 14, 2014 – Leading producer Shaftesbury has acquired the television rights to Lesley Livingston’s acclaimed Wondrous Strange young adult trilogy, published by HarperCollins Canada as well as HarperCollins U.S. Including Wondrous Strange (2009), Darklight (2010) and Tempestuous (2011), the book series follows the adventures of a young woman who discovers she is the long-lost heir to the Faerie realm.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Bitten and Orphan Black have shown us that television audiences are hungry for genre series featuring strong female protagonists who are dealing with extraordinary circumstances in the real world,” said Maggie Murphy, Head, Shaftesbury U.S. “By putting a refreshingly darker spin on classic fairy lore, Wondrous Strange offers an entirely new fantasy world that has never been seen before, with empowering, believable characters who speak directly to the young female demographic.”

“I could not be more thrilled to hand this world and these characters over to Shaftesbury,” said Livingston. “This kind of creative, dedicated, professional team is one that writers wait a long time for and I’m so excited to see this story getting the opportunity to grow beyond the pages of the books.”

Shaftesbury has a long-standing, successful track record in adapting the best of Canadian literature for film and television, including the works of Margaret Atwood, Carol Shields, Mordecai Richler, Timothy Findley, Morley Callaghan, Michael Ignatieff, Dr. Vincent Lam and Maureen Jennings.

In Wondrous Strange, when the invisible membrane dividing our world from an unknown, other dimension is punctured, a young woman named Kelly Winslow joins a small Guard determined to stop the tide of evil…but soon discovers she is born of the very thing she has sworn to destroy. With the mysterious Sonny Flannery by her side, Kelly learns Faeries are alive and well and that she is the missing heir to their throne. As she falls desperately for Sonny, she wonders if the two can ever truly be together. In New York City, just off Broadway - amongst never-ending roadwork, digital overload and street meat - lies the battleground. The evil in Wondrous Strange hides in plain sight, often disguised in seemingly benign human form - always present, awaiting that split-second opportunity when we lower our guard. Late at night the parasites come to call, to snatch our innocent sleeping children. Can Kelly embrace her heritage in time to save the imperfect world she calls home?

Released in Canada and the U.S. in 2009 and multiple international markets including Brazil, Denmark, France, Italy, Spain, Russia and Poland, Wondrous Strange was the 2010 Canadian Literary Association’s Young Adult Book of the Year and the 2010 White Pine Honor Book, and was also shortlisted for the Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Speculative Fiction.

Lesley Livingston is an acclaimed Toronto-based author whose Wondrous Strange series includes Darklight (2010) and Tempestuous (2011). Livingston’s second trilogy, published by Penguin Canada, includes Once Every Never (2011), Every Never After (2013) and Now and For Never (2014). A spin-off to the Wondrous Strange series, Starling, was released by HarperTeen in 2012 and includes Descendant (2013) and Transcendent (forthcoming December 2014). Livingston’s middle-grade series with Jonathan Llyr, The Wiggins Weird, was published by Penguin Canada in 2013 and includes How to Curse in Hieroglyphics and The Haunting of Heck House. A principal performer and founding member of the Toronto-based Tempest Theatre Group, Livingston also regularly appeared on the Space network series, Spacebar. Livingston is represented by the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency, Inc.

About Shaftesbury
With offices in Toronto and Los Angeles, Shaftesbury is an innovative creator and distributor of original content for television and digital platforms. Sold in 120 countries worldwide, Shaftesbury's programming slate includes five seasons of The Listener for CTV, Fox International Channels and ION Television; eight seasons of Murdoch Mysteries for CBC, UKTV and ITV STUDIOS Global Entertainment; and the hit kids series Life with Derek. Shaftesbury's groundbreaking digital media division, Smokebomb Entertainment, creates convergent experiences for television and original digital content including the comedy series Backpackers for The CW and CTV Extend; tween series Totally Amp'd and Unlikely Heroes for and Hulu; and 3D sci-fi series State of Syn for Hulu and Google Glass. Shaftesbury recently launched shift2, an innovative agency that creates, manages and markets digital content targeting Generation C on YouTube. Visit us online at, and

For more information:
Katherine Wolfgang
416-363-1411 x163 or 416-669-2823

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