‘Outlander’ Producers Nab TV Rights to Cork O’Connor Mystery Novels (Exclusive)

Two producers of Starz’s forthcoming Outlander prequel are taking on a different long-running book series for their next TV project.

Story Mining & Supply Co., the production company founded by Jim Kohlberg, has acquired rights to Edgar Award-winning author William Kent Krueger’s Cork O’Connor mystery thriller novels, about a half-Irish, half-Ojibwe sheriff turned private investigator in Minnesota. The company will adapt the books — there are 19 to date, with a 20th set to publish in August — for television and is currently meeting with writers. No outlet is attached yet.

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Kohlberg and longtime partner Luke Parker Bowles, a former BAFTA East Coast chairman (and nephew of Britain’s queen consort), will executive produce the project along with Krueger.

“From the minute I cracked open Kent’s first book, in much the same way as I did with Outlander, it was very clear that this series needed to be made,” Kohlberg said in a statement. “Luke and I are beyond excited to get this project going and for the mass of Cork O’Connor fans to witness the brilliance of this series in action.”

Added Krueger, “I’ve been waiting 25 years for the right people to translate my Cork O’Connor mystery series to the screen. Jim Kohlberg and the folks at Story Mining and Supply Co. are the perfect fit. With my stories in their very capable hands, I couldn’t be more excited about what the future may hold.”

The Cork O’Connor novels are set in Aurora, Minnesota, and follow the title character as he navigates a web of corruption and conspiracies while investigating murders and missing persons cases, all while his personal and professional life unravels. The series began with 1998’s Iron Lake.

“This is going to be a lot of fun,” said Parker Bowles. “Kent consistently creates dramatic chess boards for Cork to traverse and, such as in the great game, you never really know where you are until the pieces fall.”

Kohlberg and Parker Bowles are both executive producers of the forthcoming Outlander: Blood of My Blood, and Kohlberg is also an EP on the flagship series. Story Mining & Supply Co. has produced the feature films Every Breath You Take and The Yellow Birds. The company is repped by Steve Fisher of IAG for domestic sales of the Cork O’Connor project. Krueger is also repped by IAG and by Danielle Egan-Miller of Browne and Miller Literary.

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