#1 The Stand by Stephen King
Pitch: Only the greatest post-apocalyptic novel ever written, and one of the most popular. When a super-flu virus kills more than 99 percent of the world’s population an eclectic group of survivors struggle to control the fate of humanity.
Upside: The Stand has all the components for a great pay cable series. There’s compelling end-of-the-world hook, a lengthy narrative, a diverse ensemble cast and beloved source material. Like AMC’s adaptation of The Walking Dead, the original story would need to be expanded, but there’s enough components in King’s “dark chest of wonders” to support five cable-length seasons (the spread of the flu and survivors coming together in Nebraska and Las Vegas could span the whole first season).
Downside: The Stand was already adapted once (successfully) as a miniseries in 1994. It’s currently in development at Warner Bros. as a feature film (films?). Even King has expressed doubts that this sprawling story will work as a single movie. Here’s a prediction: If CBS’ adaptation of King’s Under the Dome is a hit this summer, The Stand will get a green light — either as a film or TV show.
Perfect Home: HBO. You don’t need HBO-level sex and language to pull off The Stand, but you do need plenty of money (and HBO has more of it than anybody else). Another network I could imagine wanting this project (though fans probably wouldn’t call it the “perfect” home): Fox.