Downton makers developing TV version of Segal's The Innocents

By Jennifer Lipman, January 31, 2013

An award-winning novel set in the Jewish community of Temple Fortune could be coming to our television screens in the near future.

Carnival Films, makers of Downton Abbey and Hotel Babylon among other series, confirmed that a television adaptation of Francesca Segal's The Innocents was "in development".

Although a spokesperson for the company said that nothing else had been firmed up, Ms Segal's novel – her debut – has received considerable attention since its publication last May.

Based loosely on Edith Wharton's classic novel The Age of Innocence, the book opens on Kol Nidre with characters gossiping at shul. It follows the relationship of Adam and Rachel, a couple who meet on Israel tour, and the added complication of the arrival of Rachel's cosmopolitan American cousin.

Ms Segal, daughter of the late Love Story author Erich, won the Costa A ward for a first novel earlier this month, although was pipped to the overall prize by Hillary Mantel.

If the series sees the light of day, no doubt it will be as closely scrutinised as other takes on north London Jewish life, including the film Susie Gold and the comedy Friday Night Dinner.

Last updated: 2:37pm, January 31 2013