Fans of The Mortal Instruments‘ many couples will be more than pleased with Shadowhunters, ABC Family/Freeform’s upcoming series based on Cassandra Clare’s book franchise (premiering Tuesday at 9/8c).
“Even for the most hardcore ‘shippers, there won’t be any disappointment,” executive producer Ed Decter promised Saturday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena.
In terms of everything those die-hard fans might want, “I like to think there’s at least an element of it in Season 1,” Dominic Sherwood, who plays Shadowhunter Jace Wayland, added. “Whether it happens in its entirety, or it’s alluded to, or it comes and goes in some cases, it’s all there in some way, shape or form. Whether or not we give you everything in Season 1, you’re going to have to watch.”
The series has a wealth of source material to pull from, but the first season is “generally Book 1,” City of Bones, Decter said. “Some of the things that we have in the story come from Book 6,” while published offshoots such as The Bane Chronicles will occasionally offer “solutions to things that we wanted to clarify in the story.
As subsequent seasons, in success, unfold, “We’re not going one-to-one with the books,” Decter said, “because the cast, the amount of money we have… All these different things tell us where we can go with the story.”
One of the novels’ elements that for now has ended up on the cutting room floor — Idris, the capital of the Shadowhunters — “We’re saving that for a second season, if we’re so fortunate,” Decter explained.
Transferring the story to television did have its advantages, though. While the books were told closely from Clary’s perspective, the show “expands out the world” by revealing what other characters are up to during major events, Decter described. “You can’t tell a saga from the point-of-view of one person.”
Shadowhunters will also be “darker” and “sexier” than Freeform’s other dramas, according to the EP. “It’s got some racy content,” and given the cabler’s imminent rebranding, “[The executives] said, ‘Bring it!'”