Hit TV shows that were actually based on hugely popular books

There’s nothing we love more than settling ourselves down with a good book – especially a series that we can obsess over and read over and over again. (Just kidding… well… not really). And nothing makes us happier than when our favorite books are turned into TV shows so we can watch them all come to life (as long as they do it justice!) So check out these popular TV shows that were originally well-loved books.

Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones is one of HBO’s most popular TV shows and has created a huge fan following. But the TV show is actually based on the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin. The first book in this series, A Game of Thrones, was published in 1996. As Martin released more and more books within the series, HBO decided to test out the first season based on the first book. The season was aired in 2011 and, well – we all know Game of Thrones. So the rest is history! Martin is known for taking his time to write, so even though the TV show was produced 15 years after the first book was published, it has now actually overtaken where we’re up to with the books.



MASH was a hugely popular TV show during the 1970s and ’80s that followed the lives of the surgeons and the traumas inside the MASH unit during the Korean War. It was based on the novel by Richard Hooker. Hooker was actually a pseudonym for Dr. Richard Hornberger, who wrote MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors in 1986, and followed the story of his own experiences during the war. Two years after it was published, the book was adapted into a movie – which then proved so popular producers decided to create a long-running TV show.


House of Cards

If you subscribe to Netflix, it’s more than likely that you’ve watched the popular series House of Cards. The idea for the television series came from the 1989 novel by the same name, written by Michael Dobbs. This political thriller follows the life of Francis Urquhart, an infamous Machiavellian politician. After the success of this novel, the BBC created their own TV show in 1990, before it was remade in 2013 by the hugely popular US adaptation starring the likes of Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright.


The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale has only recently been brought onto our TV screens – and considering it’s already been renewed for a second series, it’s safe to say the fans love it. Set in a dystopian future, The Handmaid’s Tale explores the themes of subjugated women and their plights to break free from their totalitarian theocracy. The TV series was based on the classic novel by Margaret Atwood, first published in 1985.


True Blood

We all love a good vampire story, and True Blood did what the likes of Twilight could not – actually captivated its audience. The show, which is broadcast on American broadcaster HBO, ran from 2008 until 2014 and acquired hardcore fans. However, the show was actually based on a series of novels by Charlaine Harris called The Southern Vampire Mysteries. They have proved popular among young adults and those who just love a story about a 173-year-old vampire.