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6 Binge-worthy Shows Based on Books

6 Binge-worthy Shows Based on Books

Some of the best shows on TV right now are based on books. Here are six that are worth streaming, from pilot to finale.

By Erin McReynolds

Patrick Melrose

Benedict Cumberbatch, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Hugo Weaving star in this five-episode miniseries based on the Patrick Melrose novels by Edward St. Aubyn. A semi-autobiographical story that trucks in difficult material–childhood sexual and physical abuse and drug addiction–it’s racked up several Primetime Emmy nominations.

C.B. Strike

C.B. Strike is the military cop-turned-private investigator at the center of this dark crime show based on Cuckoo’s Calling, The Silkworm, and Career of Evil, a series of detective novels written by J.K. Rowling under the pen name Robert Galbraith.


Netflix (originally Lifetime)

Lifetime was looking to earn some original-series cred in the fall of 2018 with a made-for-TV version of Caroline Kepnes’ thoroughly creepy bestseller You. It worked—two months after the premiere, Netflix acquired the rights to You along with a new surge of viewers. With Penn Badgley in the role of stalker and bookstore manager Joe, it’s as binge-worthy as it is cringeworthy.


Stephanie Danler’s bildungsroman about discovering good wine, good food, and bad love in NYC’s cutthroat restaurant scene makes for delicious screening. It’s been picked up for a second season so go ahead and get addicted.

The Alienist

It’s kind of amazing it took so long to make a miniseries out of Caleb Carr’s much-loved novel about a 19th-century criminal psychologist’s hunt for a killer preying on young male prostitutes. But it’s here at last in 10 gripping episodes, starring Luke Evans, Dakota Fanning, and newcomer Daniel Brühl. With two Primetime Emmy nods, The Alienist will be back for a second season.

The Terror

This really happened: In 1848, two warships, HMS Terror and HMS Erebus, became trapped in Arctic ice, its crews facing starvation, mutiny, cannibalism … and a demonic polar bear. Well, that last part Dan Simmons dreamed up in his bestselling novel, which also makes for riveting TV. Starring Game of Thrones’ Ciarán Hinds, the show has been renewed for a second nail-biting season.

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