TV Shows You May Be Surprised To Know Were Books First

Posted by Bree Crowder

Ever been tempted to mark a book as read on Goodreads just because you've just binge-watched the TV show on Netflix? This may be one of those times. 


This TV show is based off of the Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong. The show follows Elena Michaels, the only known female werewolf, who is caught between her pack life and her “normal” life. The series is thirteen books long, the last of which was published in 2012. And we know, “Elena” is an overused fantasy protagonist name, but the premise of her being the only female werewolf in the world is intriguing.



Adapted from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, the TV show follows Claire Beauchamp, a married World War II nurse. In 1945, she suddenly finds herself transported to Scotland in 1743, where she’s thrust into a rebellion and an intriguing warrior. The Outlander series is comprised of eight books, the last of which was published in 2014. This show is interesting because as Claire shifts between these lives, she has love interests in each. 


Orange is the New Black

Orange is the New Black is an adaptation of a memoir by Piper Kerman, based on her year in a minimum security prison for smuggling drug money. The series has since outgrown its source material and become a Netflix powerhouse full of strong, complex female characters. 


Under the Dome

Under the Dome is a science-fiction TV series based on the novel by Stephen King (of the same name). The series tells the story of Chester Mill’s residents, where a massive, invisible dome separates the townspeople from the rest of the world. With absolutely no connection to the outside world, the people of Chester Mill must learn to survive with the limited resources they have.


Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow is a supernatural drama, considered an adaptation of Washington Irving’s short story, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” The show is about the simultaneous killings of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman. 230 years after they killed each other at exactly the same time, Ichabod rises from his grave when the Headless Horseman is resurrected.



This TV show is also an adaptation of a novel by Stephen King. It’s a supernatural drama that is loosely based on The Colorado Kid, which follows FBI agent Audrey Parker as she is pulled in by the paranormal uncertainties of Haven, Maine. This is something that isn’t often seen on television: a melding of our reality’s law enforcement with the supernatural.


The Vampire Diaries

Based on the series by L.J. Smith, The Vampire Diaries follows Elena Gilbert, a human teenager who falls in love with a 163-year-old vampire, Stefan. Their relationship becomes infinitely complicated when Stefan’s brother, Damon, returns to Mystic Falls, and werewolves and witches are added to the mix. Let’s be real here for a minute. The Vampire Diaries is better as a show than as novels. Elena Gilbert in the books makes me wonder how someone could be so self-centered, and then TV Elena Gilbert is as un-selfish as someone can get. This change makes all the difference.