CBS is committing to a television series spinoff of Thomas Harris’s thriller Silence Of The Lambs that would focus on its heroine, FBI agent Clarice Starling titled simply Clarice.
Although the network will ultimately make their order decision based on an as-yet-unfilmed pilot, executives are reportedly very happy with the already written pilot script. Further, a writers room has already been set up for the series, with scripts already in development should the series order come through. No actress has been attached to the series.
Set in 1993, the series will chart Starling’s career after her encounters with serial killers Buffalo Bill and Hannibal Lector. According to Deadline –
The series is a deep dive into the untold personal story of Clarice Starling, as she returns to the field to pursue serial murderers and sexual predators while navigating the high stakes political world of Washington, D.C.
Reportedly the character of Lecter would not figure into the show, though I wouldn’t be surprised if they were holding him back for some big sweeps month or end of season reveal/stunt.
Silence Of The Lambs was adapted to film by director Jonathan Demme in 1991. The film would earn five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Director, Actor (Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lector) and Actress (Jody Foster as Clarice Starling).
Author Harris wrote a total of four novels featuring the character of Hannibal Lecter, with Silence being the second of the series. All of the books have been adapted into films.
This is not the first time that any of Harris’s characters have made the transition to television. Bryan Fuller brought Hannibal to NBC for a three season run. Although it was lauded by critics and attracted a small but fervent fan base, the series struggled to be a breakout hit in the ratings. The series was set before the timeframe of Silence Of The Lambs and as such, the character of Clarice Starling did not appear.
Lifetime had previously tried to develop a Clarice Starling series, also called Clarice, in 2012, but it never got out of development.