“The Mortal Instruments” Comes to Television, and Other Failed YA TV Series

But will The Mortal Instruments succeed on TV where other YA series have failed before even making it prime time?


In case you missed it, it’s true – Constantin Films has decided to turn the failed The Mortal Instruments film series, which tanked after one outing at the box office, into a television series. The Hollywood Reporter says that a show runner has been hired (in this case, the guy who created Helix on Syfy), scripts are in the works, and production will begin next year. Of course, what they’re saying now is that television will better serve the books, giving it more room to unravel the story instead of cramming 2 hours worth of back story into a 2 hour movie, leaving little room for plot, besides the fact it suffered from a horrible script, horrible acting, and horrible special effects.

Only time will tell if this will even make it to television, because as we all know, YA fans, even the most popular of boom series have horrible times making it to the small screen.



Delirium was purchased by Fox a couple years ago and a pilot was made starring Emma Roberts as heroine Lena. Except the pilot was the entirety of the first book condensed into an hour, and the acting was some of the worst seen in a long time. It’s no wonder that this one didn’t make the cut. While the pilot is no longer available on Youtube (it was a limited time only deal alas), you can check out Bibliodaze’s review here.


the selection

When at first you don’t succeed, the CW tries again, which is why The Selection has two pilots out there to be forgotten and never make it to television. And rumor has it that both attempts at a pilot were super underwhelming. One pilot condensed all of book one into one episode, while another pilot (or was it the same pilot?) turned Maxon into a womanizing asshole worthy of a shiv to the side. The other reason why this pilot was never picked up? The CW went with “Reign” instead, which is now entering its second season. You can check out some scenes and the leaked pilot here.

So what do you guys think? Remember that Constantin had said they were moving forward with City of Ashes even after City of Bones flopped, even going as far as signing Sigourney Weaver to a major part. Will this series happen? Will a channel take a chance on it? Or will it just fade away to be forgotten once more?


  1. “horrible script, horrible acting, and horrible special effects” – still better than the original book though.

  2. On the other hand – Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars… Which makes it about 50/50, come to think of it.

    I can actually see The Mortal Instruments working as a TV series, at least on a conceptual level. But I would agree that odds are not in its favor. A few weeks ago, I attended a Cassandra Clare/Holly Black event for a freelance gig. The attendance was large enough to suggest that there was interest, and the Q&A portion certainly showed that there are teens interested and invested in the Mortal Instruments universe. On the other hand… The movie did flop. And fandom enthusiasm doesn’t necessarily equal revenue. And, ultimately, I think the networks are more likely to try to capitalize on something, well, newer.

    (Then again, Vampire Diaries was written in the 90s…)


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