Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Book to TV: Tess Gerritsen's Rizzoli & Isles

I heard rumors that there was a new novel-based series coming to TV, but I don't know if I realized it was from Tess Gerritsen. I've read some of her medical thrillers (in my quest for more books along the same vein as Kathy Reichs & Iris Johansen) but somehow I missed her Rizzoli & Isles series. I'm currently reading an advance copy of Tess Gerritsen's upcoming release in the Rizzoli & Isles series, Ice Cold, and loving it... and it's got me excited about the premiere of Rizzoli & Isles on TNT this summer.

I haven't seen a lot of promotion for this, but I don't start watching TNT until Leverage and The Closer return, so that's not a huge surprise. It stars Angie Harmon as Jane Rizzoli, detective, and Sasha Alexander as Maura Isles, medical examiner. If you're not familiar with the series, here's TNT's official summary:

RIZZOLI & ISLES follows Boston detective Jane Rizzoli (Harmon) and medical examiner Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander), complete opposites and good friends who solve crimes and bust some of Boston’s most notorious criminals. Growing up at opposite ends of the economic spectrum, the two remain strikingly different from one another in many ways. Jane, the only female detective in Boston’s homicide division, is a tough and gutsy cop who doesn’t let her guard down (except with Maura), dodges her overprotective mother and is better at basketball than her other. Maura, meanwhile, is usually more comfortable among the dead than the living. She is always impeccably dressed in designer duds with a steady, sometimes icy temperament. And she is working on curbing her tendency to diagnose the people she meets – including her first dates. Jane and Maura often find themselves working together as both use their brilliant minds and expertise to figure out the “who done it” as well as the “how done it” of Boston’s most complex cases.

Despite their many differences, Jane and Maura are best friends, with a quirky and supportive relationship. As Tamaro explains, “That Jane and Maura are so different and yet so effective as a team makes them unusual.… There’s something rare about their relationship that I see in the world but not enough on television: two smart, strong, competent women who instinctively drop the protective shield when they’re with each other.”

Is there room in the TV repertoire for another crime show, especially a book to small screen series? I think so. While Patterson's Women's Murder Club failed at it's attempted jump to the little screen, Kathy Reichs' Temperance Brennan series has thrived with Bones going into it's 6th season with a 7th season already signed. I think Reich's series had an edge because it was so different and well scripted whereas WMC seemed to have some plot direction problems.

Will Gerritsen's series be able to hold it's own? I hope so. It's not under as much pressure being a summer show on TNT. Angie Harmon is a perfect choice ~I love her and am thrilled to see her back in this type of roll (although she is still the voice of Lindsay Boxer, even as I read). TNT has also taken a leaf out of Castle's book and they have created twitter accounts for their characters which is great transmedia without being too much (like Heroes online comic books that I never had time to keep up with).

There is a niche out there for this kind of show and I think this might fit the bill. TNT does 'know drama' and I look forward to this new venture. I know I'll be tuning in July 12th at 10pm!


Julie June 15, 2010 at 2:02 PM  

They had me at Angie Harmon. :)

Hilde June 15, 2010 at 7:06 PM  

I'm with Julie. If Angie Harmon's in it, I'm watching. I really liked Women's Murder Club and was sorry to see it go, so I'm looking forward to this (even though I've never heard of the books. Might have to read them).

demeter94 June 16, 2010 at 5:02 AM  

Women's Murder Club suffered from severe neglect by its network and the decision to fire the original showrunners. When it came back after the strike, there was character deconstruction. I have a much better feeling with TNT, because they have proven they can handle strong female characters. Good for Angie Harmon, good for viewers who want to see this kind of characters. It's like a second chance of some sorts - I'm thrilled!

OnlinePublicist June 16, 2010 at 11:30 AM  

Thanks for mentioning this! I've seen some of the ads for it, but didn't know what was behind it. I love the show BONES, but am still trucking through my first Kathy Reichs book (the level of detail when describing decomposing flesh, bone shapes, wound tracks, etc. is kind of freaking me out. I'm a little medical stuff squeamish.) I can watch it on TV, but reading it is different!

And Angie Harmon is pretty great, isn't she? Who will ever forget how cute she was when her hubby proposed to her on The Tonight Show?

Serena June 16, 2010 at 1:47 PM  

My mom will be excited about this show...I heard about it at BEA!

Jenn June 16, 2010 at 6:07 PM  

Hilde, I'm posting my review of Ice Cold tomorrow. It's the 8th book in the series and I loved it ~even never having read the previous 7.

Demeter94, you hit the nail on the head. It was abandoned and *then* shipwrecked. I think this has a much better chance because of TNT too.

OnlinePublicist, Reichs gets better at that as the series goes along. The first one is definitely a little cringe worthy with details and heavy with jargon. My advice: skim a little in this one and keep truckin'! They get much better!!!

And I am thrilled someone found a 'vehicle' for Angie Harmon.

Anonymous ,  June 25, 2010 at 9:45 PM  

I wasn't sure about this because going from book to screen doesn't always work well because I have what things look like in my mind and then they're different. But then I saw those promo videos on the TNT website, and it changed my mind. It feels different than the books, but that's fine. I think it's going to be great. Can't wait!

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