The U.K.’s Studio Crook has acquired the rights to develop “Damaged Goods,” the first of Helen Black’s “Lilly Valentine” legal book series, into a returning television drama series “Valentine” (6 x 60’).
“Valentine” will follow Lilly Valentine, an almost divorced single mother on the wrong side of 40 who excels at her job at a local Oldham law firm. She will go to any length to help her clients, at the expense of both her son and her nearly ex-husband.
Black, an ex-lawyer, became known for her popular crime novels based on her own experiences before turning to script writing including co-writing Season 2 of Jimmy McGovern’s prison drama “Time,” which is currently airing on BBC One.
Studio Crook won investment from Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund earlier this year. The “Lilly Valentine” series was published by Harper Collins and sold in multiple languages around the world. The deal was brokered by Black’s agent, Frances Arnold at Rochelle Stevens agency.
Black said: “Lilly Valentine was the first character I ever created, and readers couldn’t get enough of her courage and her flaws in equal measure. She’s a working class scrapper, a lawyer who won’t give up on her clients and I love seeing characters like Lilly on TV; seemingly ordinary yet magnificent women with so much on their plate yet still the funniest people you’ll meet. Having worked previously with Studio Crook’s head of scripted Justine Potter on my first commission, I know that Lilly is in good hands.”
Matt Crook, managing director of Studio Crook, added: “Lily Valentine is a force of nature, and from the first page of ‘Damaged Goods’ we knew we had to bring her to the screen. It’s a pleasure to work with Helen Black on adapting her work, the series is just brilliantly entertaining, heartbreaking and universally relatable in equal measure which is exactly the type of story we want to tell.”