4 Critically Acclaimed T.V. Shows That Were Based On Non-Fiction Books

Fiction books are often the source of inspiration for popular TV shows (Game of Thrones, True Blood, Justified, just to name a few), but there are also some television series that have been based off of non-fiction material. While you might think that these shows would be dry, they are anything but. They are innovative, surprising, and full of drama.

Here is a list of 4 of the most acclaimed television shows to be adapted from non-fiction books.

Friday Night Lights

The show is about a small Texas town called Dillon and the local high school football team. It revolves around the coach, the players, and their families. The book that was the basis for the show was also called Friday Night Lights. It written in 1990. The book covered Odessa, Texas. This town was changed for the T.V. show to the fictional Dillon.

The show never developed a huge audience, but it was praised by critics and received numerous awards. Even if you're not a fan of football, you can still enjoy the show. It is more about the interpersonal relationships and the social dynamics of a small town in rural Texas.

Boardwalk Empire

This is the perfect example of just how exciting a television show based on non-fiction can be. The acclaimed HBO show was based off of a history of organized crime in Atlantic City. The book took the author close to twenty years to write.

The show charts the rise and fall of Nucky Thompson, who was based on a real life political boss called Enoch Johnson. The show has both fictive characters, as well as depictions of real life persons (Al Capone, Meyer Lansky). It is filled with intrigue, drama, lavish period costume, and lots of violence.

Homicide: Life On The Street

Before he created the universally acclaimed HBO series The Wire, David Simon was a crime reporter for the Baltimore Sun. He eventually wrote a non-fiction account of one year's worth of homicide detective work. The book was called Homicide: One Year On The Killing Streets. This in turn was developed as a TV show for NBC called Homicide: Life On The Street.

Fans of The Wire will recognize many thematic similarities between the two shows. As with The Wire, Simon used real people as the basis for many of the characters, such as the lead detective, who was based off of a real Baltimore homicide detective

Masters Of Sex

This show is based on a biography of the pioneering research team of William Masters and Virginia Johnson. This husband and wife team conducted extensive research into human sexuality. The show stars Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan. 

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