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AMC bites into Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles and Mayfair Witches for upcoming TV series

By Matthew Jackson
Vampire Chronicles collection cover

Four years after announcing her intention to take her beloved supernatural characters to the world of television, Anne Rice's bestselling Vampire Chronicles have a new TV home, and they're bringing the Mayfair Witches with them.

Variety reports that AMC Networks has landed the "comprehensive rights" to develop Rice's Vampire Chronicles novels and her Lives of the Mayfair Witches novels across their TV networks and streaming services (AMC also owns the horror streamer Shudder). Rice and her son Christopher will be executive producers on the projects, which could include both series and film productions under the AMC banner. Rolin Jones, who recently show-ran Season 1 of Fox's The Exorcist and now has an overall deal at AMC, is set to take an active role in the development of the projects. 

“It’s always been my dream to see the worlds of my two biggest series united under a single roof so that filmmakers could explore the expansive and interconnected universe of my vampires and witches,” Anne Rice said, per Variety. “That dream is now a reality, and the result is one of the most significant and thrilling deals of my long career.”

Rice first announced her intention to bring the beloved Vampire Chronicles series — made up of 13 novels so far, not including two loosely related novels released under the New Tales of the Vampires banner — in the fall of 2016, and since then the project has bounced around in various development incarnations. Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller, a longtime Rice fan, signed on to help steer the project in early 2018, but later departed, and later that same year Hulu picked up the project as a potential streaming franchise. By the end of 2019, Hulu was also out of the picture, leaving The Vampire Chronicles in search of a new TV home. Now, with AMC, it seems to have found it, alongside the mysterious and magical Mayfair family.

The Vampire Chronicles began with Rice's breakout debut novel, Interview With the Vampire, in 1976. Rice wrote nine more novels in the series over the next three decades, many of them narrated by her beloved hero Lestat de Lioncourt, before closing the series in 2003 to pursue Christian fiction projects. In 2014, Rice returned to her vampires with the much-anticipated Prince Lestat, and has since added two more novels to the series that greatly expanded the mythos surrounding her blood drinkers.

The Lives of the Mayfair Witches series began with The Witching Hour in 1990, and after completing a trilogy of novels in that world Rice began to cross the lives of the Mayfair family over with those of her vampires. This began with the Vampire Chronicles novel Merrick in 2000 and culminated in the ninth and tenth Vampires Chronicles novels, Blackwood Farm and Blood Canticle. That sense of interconnectedness means that, while the series could begin on separate trajectories, a crossover story could come to our screens sometime in the future.

The Vampire Chronicles have been adapted twice for the big screen, first with the well-received Interview With the Vampire film in 1994 and then with the less-well-received Queen of the Damned in 2002. If this new partnership produces a series at last, it will be the first time either of Rice's beloved series has been adapted for the small screen.