#4 John Sandford’s Prey novels
Pitch: Former journalist John Sandford’s bestselling Minnesota-based crime novels follow Det. Lucas Davenport as he solves serial murder cases.
Upside: Davenport is flawed hero who breaks the law to get bad guys and isn’t above beating up (or sleeping with) suspects. And, hello, it’s Minnesota — a cinematic and curiously untapped setting for a weekly crime drama (ABC’s short-lived mystery drama Happy Town not withstanding). FX is already thinking along these lines, developing a TV version of the film Fargo, but the Prey novels provide a creatively richer spring to draw from.
Downside: Networks keep making weak TV movies out of Sandford’s books when the franchise is better suited for a character-driven drama. There was 1999’s Mind Prey (starring a perfectly miscast Eriq LaSalle) and the 2011 USA movie Certain Prey (starring a slightly miscast Mark Harmon).
Perfect Home: USA