Top book to TV and movie adaptations to watch in 2022 - from Conversations with Friends to Persuasion

We round up the best TV shows coming soon to your screens adapted from books - so you can catch up on your reading before they start, including Sanditon and Conversations With Friends.

By Sophia Moir Published: 9 June 2022 - 7.11pm
BBC Three / BBC One / Netflix Conversations With Friends, This Is Going to Hurt, Bridgerton

There’s no better talking point than debating with your friends whether a TV show or film is better than the book it's based on.

From Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings to Game of Thrones and The Handmaid's Tale, people always have an opinion about which version is best.

But if you’re one of those people that likes to read the book before watching the TV version, there’s a lot of small-screen adaptations coming to your screens very soon.

From period dramas like Bridgerton and Sanditon, to modern adaptations like Anatomy of a Scandal and Conversations With Friends, we reveal our pick of the best TV shows that are based on books, coming soon in 2022 and available to watch now.

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New for 2022: Book-to-TV adaptations streaming now

Sanditon

Sanditon Season 2 ITV

Fans of sumptuous Regency-era period drama Sanditon - which is a TV adaptation of Jane Austen’s unfinished novel of the same name from 1817- will be thrilled to discover that it’s finally back on our screens.

Sanditon season 2 picks up nine months after the heartbreaking season 1 finale, as Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams) returns to Sanditon without Sidney Parker (Theo James), and the seaside town grows in popularity.

Stream Sanditon Season 1 on ITV Hub and BritBox.

Stream Sanditon Season 2 exclusively on BritBox.

Reacher

Based on the novels by Lee Child, Reacher stars Alan Ritchson as Jack Reacher, a veteran military police investigator who has just recently returned to civilian life.

Season one of Reacher is based on Lee Child’s first Jack Reacher novel, Killing Floor, and is written for television by Emmy-nominated writer Nick Santora (Prison Break).

Stream Reacher on Prime Video.

Read more: Best films coming to Prime Video this year

This Is Going to Hurt

Adam Kay, a former doctor and now comedian and author, has adapted his personal account of life on the wards for a new comedy drama series, This Is Going to Hurt.

The eight-part series will be based on his non-fiction book, which details the brutal honesty of being a doctor for the NHS - both the highs and the lows. Ben Whishaw stars in the lead role.

Stream This Is Going to Hurt on BBC iPlayer.

Bridgerton

BRIDGERTON JONATHAN BAILEY Netflix

Based on the popular Bridgerton novels by Julia Quinn, the books follow the Bridgerton family and are set against the backdrop of high society during the Regency period in England.

Dame Julie Andrews voices Lady Whistledown in the period drama series, which is from Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes.

Season 2 of Bridgerton takes its inspiration from the second book in the series, The Viscount Who Loved Me, which follows the eldest child, Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), on his own quest for love.

Stream Bridgerton Series 1-2 on Netflix.

Anatomy of a Scandal

Based on the bestselling novel by Sarah Vaughan, and from the creator of Big Little Lies and The Undoing, comes the Netflix Original, Anatomy of a Scandal.

Starring Sienna Miller, Michelle Dockery, Rupert Friend, Naomi Scott and Josette Simon, the six-parter is an insightful and suspenseful series about privilege and sexual consent. 

Stream Anatomy of a Scandal on BBC iPlayer.

Conversations with Friends

Conversations With Friends Element Pictures / Enda Bowe

Conversations With Friends follows Frances (Alison Oliver), a 21-year-old student, as she navigates a series of relationships that force her to confront her own vulnerabilities for the first time. 

Adapted from Sally Rooney’s debut novel, it's directed by Lenny Abrahamson and Leanne Welham, and it's made by the same production company that brought Normal People to the screen.

Stream Conversations With Friends on BBC iPlayer.

Everything I Know About Love

Everything I Know About Love BBC

From Dolly Alderton's bestselling memoir of the same name comes Everything I Know About Love, the highly-anticipated romantic comedy drama about female friendship in your 20s. 

The seven-part series stars Emma Appleton, Bel Powley, Marli Siu, Aliyah Odoffin and Connor Finch. "It’s got my whole entire heart in it and I cannot wait for you to meet these four girls," shared Alderton.

Stream Everything I Know About Love on BBC iPlayer.

The Time Traveler’s Wife

Time Travelers Wife key art
Stream The Time Traveler's Wife on Sky Atlantic with NOW

The Time Traveler’s Wife is Audrey Niffenegger's bestselling debut novel, published in 2003. In 2009, it was adapted into a film starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams.

Steven Moffat adapts this new six-episode series starring British actors Theo James and Rose Leslie. The HBO drama is an intricate and magical love story that follows a couple whose marriage is complicated by time travel.

Stream The Time Traveler's Wife on Sky Atlantic with NOW.

New for 2022: Book-to-TV adaptations coming later this year

Persuasion

Persuasion is an adaptation of author Jane Austen's famous book - her last completed novel, in fact.

Starring Dakota Johnson and Henry Golding in the lead roles, the story is thought to be retold with a 'modern, witty approach'.

Persuasion premieres on Netflix on 15 July.

Read more: New movies on Netflix this year

The Gray Man

Based on Mark Greaney's bestselling book series, The Gray Man stars Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans in Netflix's biggest budget Original Film to date.

Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo reunite with Evans for the big-budget action thriller about a veteran CIA operative who's betrayed by his own agency and forced to become a fugitive. 

The Gray Man premieres on Netflix on 22 July.

Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

Based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy novels - which were famously adapted into a string of Oscar-winning movies by Peter Jackson - Amazon’s multi-season, big-budget adaptation has got everyone talking.

With episodes directed by J.A. Bayona, Wayne Che Yip and Charlotte Brandstrom, Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will explore new storylines set a millennium before Tolkien's three-volume epic.

Stream Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power on Prime Video from 2 September.

The Wonder

The Wonder Netflix

Based on the acclaimed novel by Emma Donoghue (Room), The Wonder is set in Ireland in 1862 and follows the harrowing tale of the 'fasting girls', who mysteriously stopped eating but never starved.

Florence Pugh (Little Women) stars in the psychological thriller.

Best of the rest: Book-to-TV adaptations coming later this year

  • Lady Chatterly's Lover - Netflix, 2022
  • Daisy Jones and the Six - Prime Video, 2022
  • The Confessions of Frannie Langton - ITV, 2022
  • My Policeman (film) - Prime Video, 2022
  • House of the Dragon - Sky Atlantic / NOW, August 22, 2022
  • Enola Holmes 2 (film) - Netflix, 2022

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