Clan of the Cave Bear

Clan of the Cave Bear Series Nixed by Lifetime, Seeks New Cable Home

Lifetime has uttered a dismissive grunt in the direction of its pilot adaptation of The Clan of the Cave Bear.

Per our sister site Deadline, the cabler passed on the pilot upon being able to reach an agreement with Fox 21 Studios on the size of the episode order. Lifetime envisioned a four-hour mini, while Fox 21 covets a full series order.

Lifetime also wanted it to be titled The Unauthorized Clan of the Cave Bear Story. #kidding

Fox 21 thus is shopping the pilot to other possible homes, hoping to sell it as a full-on drama series.

Based on the first of Jean M. Auel’s six-book series, the TV project takes place more than 25,000 years ago, when Neanderthals shared the Earth with the first early modern humans and a band of cave dwellers adopt blond and blue-eyed Ayla (played by Mr. Selfridge’s Millie Brady), a child of the “Others” (played by Daryl Hannah on the big screen). As Ayla matures into a young woman of spirit and courage, she must fight for survival against the jealous bigotry of Broud (Love/Hate‘s Johnny Ward), who will one day be Clan leader.

The potential series is exec-produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, along with Allison Shearmur (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), Linda Woolverton (Maleficent), who is writing the pilot, Francie Calfo (Gang Related, Empire) and Jean M. Auel.

Where do you think Ayla & Co. might end up? Or is this series just a bad idea?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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11 Comments
  1. peterwdawson says:

    If I’m remembering right doesn’t the source material have stuff like limited vocal communication and a frank look at sex? Kind of a tricky project.

  2. Jimmy says:

    Screw cable, go streaming. Not sure what Lifetime is thinking. This could have put them back not he map with something that had real Emmy potential

  3. April Steele says:

    The movie was incredibly unsuccessful. It is a difficult story to tell given the limited vocalized dialogue…people don’t like to read subtitles… I’m not sure how it would work without exposition or narration. I’d certainly be interested in seeing a full television adaptation – it would require a full season of episodes to tell the story effectively. They’d almost be better off starting with the second book and doing some flash backs to Ayla’s previous life with the clan….then there would at least be Thonolan and Jondalar’s storyline with full dialogue…. and they could do a thought narration for Ayla who doesn’t speak in vocalized language….but does vocalize.

  4. Jennifer says:

    I read the entire Earth Children’s series. It was a beautiful story and yes, it would difficult to become a tv series, however there is a wealth of material. I think if anyone can handle it, Ron Howard can do it.

    • maregolden says:

      You made it through the last book? I congratulate you. The first couple were really good, but by the last two, it was a meandering mess.

      • Mr. Sunshine says:

        I too enjoyed the beginning of the series, but it became so taxing reading the descriptions and narrative. How many times can one describe a plain. I do have a weakness for Jondular though. :-)

  5. mooshki says:

    Maybe because Lifetime realized that by season 2 it would be a full-on porn? Seriously, the later books were 90% sex.

  6. carla says:

    would love to see love the books hope you can .

  7. Would love to see this as a tv series.

  8. rain says:

    Someone should make this into a Netflix Original. Those have been really picking up lately, it would be a great way to handle it.