Did You Know These 13 TV Shows Were Actually Based on Books?

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Read the books that inspired your favorite TV shows!

Books Made Into TV Shows

While many TV shows are totally new concepts, there are plenty that get adapted from books. After all, books have a wealth of inspiration to draw from, and after the original concept is created, writers are free to take the show in a different direction.

We found 13 TV shows based on books we think you'll enjoy both reading and watching. Some of TV shows we chose you may already know are adaptions, but we selected them because they're part of a book series that is on-going, meaning you'll still have plenty of fun to look forward to!

While I was doing research for this list, I found TV shows I had know idea were based on books, and even one book I was familiar with I didn't know had been made into a TV show! Check out some of our favorite adaptions!

1. Pretty Little Liars


Based on a book series by Sara Shephard, Pretty Little Liars ran for seven seasons and ended in 2017. The teen mystery drama diverged from the books quite a bit but four characters - Emily, Spencer, Hanna, and Aria - remained the same.

Get the books here.

2. The Handmaid's Tale


The Handmaid's Tale is based on a book of the same name by Margaret Atwood. After the end of the first season, the TV show expanded the show beyond the original scope of the book and the dystopian land of the Handmaids.

Get the book here.

3. Orange is the New Black


On it's seventh and final season,Orange is the New Black is a based on a memoir by Piper Kerman and her own experience in prison after getting convicted for money laundering and drug trafficking. Over the seasons, the TV show has greatly veered away from the original memoir, but that's to be expected.

Get the book here.

4. Queen Sugar


Queen Sugar is a TV show based on a novel by Natalie Baszile and currently in the midst of its forth season. The show follows the three Bordelon siblings after the death of their father. One of the sisters, Charley, inherits an 800-acre sugarcane farm.

Get the book here.

5. Sharp Objects


The Sharp Objects mini-series is based off Gillian Flynn's exhilarating novel about a journalist assigned to reluctantly return to her hometown to cover the murders of young girls.

Get the book here.

6. Game of Thrones


Game of Thrones has finally ended, but that's doesn't mean that future rewatches aren't in order! You probably know by now the show was based on George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, but eventually the show caught up and surpassed the books, so readers still have the books to look forward to.

Get the books here.

7. Big Little Lies


Big Little Lies, based on the novel by Liane Moriarty, just began its second season. The show delves into many sensitive topics and, since the first episode, has been a big hit. The show was originally only a miniseries, but its success caused an order for a second season.

Get the book here.

8. Bones


Kathy Reichs wrote a series of books loosely based on her own life, later developed into the hit show, Bones. Though the show ended in 2017, the crime procedural ran for twelve seasons, giving plans plenty of episodes to watch!

Get the books here.

9. Fresh off the Boat


Eddie Huang's memoir provides the inspiration for the hit comedy, Fresh off the Boat. The show has already been renewed for a sixth season and is the first sitcom about an Asian American family on primetime TV since 1994. In the show, Eddie's character is a child.

Get the book here.

10. American Gods


Season two of American Gods, a mix of fantasy, mythology, and Americana, ended in April and has been renewed for season three. The show is adapted from Neil Gaiman's American Gods novel and comic book series.

Get the book and Volume 1 and Volume 2 of the comics.

11. The Walking Dead


Soon to begin its tenth season, The Walking Dead has become a television staple. The show draws inspiration from a comic book series by by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard and deals with a zombie apocalypse and the fight for survival.

Get the comic books here.

12. Outlander


Diana Gabaldon's historical time travel book series was developed into the Outlander television show and is perfect for fans of Highlander romance novels. Though only four seasons have aired so far, the show has already been renewed through season six.

Get the books here.

13. Dexter


Dexter, a show about a serial killer who kills serial killers as a way to fulfill his bloodlust, is based on a book series by Jeff Lindsay. Dexter is another show that has ended, but with eight seasons under its belt, you'll have a lot to catch up on if you haven't see it before.

Get the books here.

Let's Keep the Conversation Going...

What's your favorite TV show based on a book? Which TV show based on a book surprised you?

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