EXCLUSIVE: 20th Television has optioned Steve Almond’s forthcoming novel All the Secrets of the World to adapt as a television series. The Gotham Group, which is under a first-look deal at 20th, would produce, and Jon Feldman (Monarch, Designated Survivor) is attached as showrunner. 20th Television is the studio. A search is underway for a writer.
All the Secrets of the World is set to be published by Zando on April 19. The book, described as “a sweeping social novel,” opens in 1981 in Sacramento, where 13-year-old Lorena Saenz has just been paired with Jenny Stallworth for the science fair by a teacher hoping to unite two girls from starkly different worlds. The unlikely friendship they form will draw their families into a web of secrets and lies, one that sends Lorena on an unforgiving odyssey through the desert, past the gates of a religious cult in Mexico, and into the dark heart of America’s criminal justice system.
Publishing company Zando was founded in 2020 by Molly Stern, formerly with Crown Books and editor of Michelle Obama’s bestseller Becoming.
“I’m thrilled and downright amazed to be working with the folks at 20th TV and the Gotham Group in adapting All the Secrets of the World into a series,” said Almond. “I’ve been a fanboy of Jon Feldman’s work for years, and discussing the novel with him felt like a Vulcan Mind Meld. He understood, at every level, what I was hoping to achieve with Secrets,
Almond is the author of 11 books of fiction and nonfiction, including the New York Times bestsellers Candyfreak and Against Football. His essays and reviews have been published in venues ranging from The New York Times Magazine to Ploughshares to Poets & Writers, and his short fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize, Best American Mysteries, and Best American Erotica. He also is the recipient of grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Feldman is showrunner of the upcoming Fox series Monarch, starring Susan Sarandon, Trace Adkins, Anna Friel and Beth Ditto. He previously served as one of the showrunners of ABC’s Designated Survivor and has held showrunner positions on ABC’s Blood and Oil, among others. He created Fox’s supernatural drama Tru Calling, starring Eliza Dushku, and co-created ABC’s No Ordinary Family with Greg Berlanti. He has also worked on series including The Newsroom and Revenge.
The Gotham Group recently produced the film Stargirl for Disney+, and All Together Now for Netflix. Gotham is currently in production on Wendell & Wild at Netflix, in collaboration with Jordan Peele and director Henry Selick. The Gotham Group also is a producer on the recently announced Percy Jackson series on Disney+.
Feldman is repped by WME, Gotham Group and Jared Levine. Almond is repped by Jenni Ferrari-Adler at Union Literary.