Lovejoy, the roguish antiques dealer who has a preternatural ability to distinguish between faked antiques and the genuine article, may be heading to television soon.
The British-based Blue Sky Pictures has optioned the rights to all twenty-four of author John Grant’’s Lovejoy mystery novels. Published under the pseudonym Johnathan Gash, the series follows a charming antiques dealer who frequently becomes involved with theft and murder amongst collectors and dealers. Lovejoy’s love for antiques often clouds his business judgement and he frequently finds himself just barely scraping by financially.
The novels were first adapted for British television back in the late 1980s and early ’90s, with future Deadwood star Ian McShane starring as the hustling antiques dealer who frequently found himself having to solve various mysteries set amongst his trade. The show’s first season adapted a few of the early novels such as The Firefly Gadroon and The Judas Pair before heading off in its own direction. The television version of Lovejoy softened some of the sharper edges that the character exhibited in the novels, which was somewhat of a bone of contention for Grant.
According to Deadline, Blue Sky’s Nick Witkowski states that the plan is to “update it for the 21st century for both the millions who followed the original and a whole new generation of viewers.”
This is not the first time that the Lovejoy novels have been optioned with an eye towards returning him to television. Sky made the first attempt back in the early 2000s. Producer Allan McKeowan (The Tracy Ullman Show) gave it a go in 2007, while Tracy Jordan (Life On Mars) made his attempt in 2015.
As of now, no creatives have been attached to the project. McShane will most likely not be involved, though in the past he has stated that if the show were to be rebooted he wouldn’t mind doing a cameo.