Harry Potter fans, listen up. A new J.K. Rowling TV show, C.B. Strike, is coming to Cinemax for a seven-episode run. Premiering tonight, the crime drama is based on Rowling's bestselling "Cormoran Strike" detective series, first published in 2013, that she wrote under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.
Rowling chose a pen name because, as the Robert Galbraith website explains, she "wanted to begin a new writing career in a new genre and to release her crime novels to a neutral audience, free of expectation or hype." This hype, of course, is referring to the Harry Potter franchise.
"I’d thought about writing crime for years…" Rowling said during a Cinemax interview discussing the show. "I wanted to go back to the beginning. I just wanted it to be about the writing."
Rowling's pseudonym was found out just three months after the first book hit shelves. According to The Times, the book rose to the number one spot on Amazon’s fiction bestseller list 24 hours post reveal.
The world-renowned novelist serves as an executive producer for the miniseries. It first premiered in the U.K. on BBC1 last year, and now, the U.S. gets a taste of Rowling’s work without the whimsy of wizardry.
J.K. Rowling TV show: About C.B. Strike
This J.K. Rowling TV show, directed by Michael Keillor, centers around private eye Cormoran Strike (Tom Burke) and his secretary turned partner in crime Robin Ellacott (Holliday Grainger).
- PHOTOS: What's Brewing in Steamy Hallows, the Harry Potter-Inspired Cafe19 Pictures
- PHOTOS: Frida Kahlo at the Brooklyn Museum doesn't hold back23 Pictures
"C.B. Strike follows a war veteran turned private detective, who operates out of a tiny office in London’s Denmark Street," states the official synopsis on the Cinemax site. "Although wounded both physically and psychologically, his unique insight and background as a military police investigator prove crucial in solving complex crimes that have baffled the police."
Grainger spoke to the New York Post recently and said that, when she read the C.B. Strike series, she "couldn’t pigeonhole it into a box of something that I’d seen before. The tone is a bit lighter, very contemporary, set in a tangible London that I can understand. But it still has an essence of something kind of retro about it."
According to the Post, the first three episodes are an adaptation of the debut C.B. Strike novel, "The Cuckoo’s Calling" (2013). The second and third books — "The Silkworm" (2014) and "Career of Evil" (2015) — are represented by two episodes each.
A fourth book, "Lethal White," is in the works.
J.K. Rowling TV show: official trailer
Watch the trailer for C.B. Strike below, and click through to the series' Cinemax page to view a preview.
J.K. Rowling TV show: how to watch
According to Deadline, C.B. Strike was originally set to air on HBO, but the president of HBO Miniseries and Cinemax Programming, Kary Antholis, said that it "would have a great impact" on the Cinemax network.
"We’re looking for opportunities to broaden our audience and appeal to viewers besides the kind of core adrenaline-action oriented viewer," she said, "and we had an opportunity with C.B. Strike — it’s a very appealing, entertaining kind of whodunit show."
It may not be Hogwarts — and that's the point — but it promises a whole lot of action.