AMC Building Anne Rice TV Universe With 'Lives Of The Mayfair Witches' Series

Last year AMC scooped up the rights to Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles and Lives of the Mayfair Witches book series with plans to develop them as TV shows. Since then, there's been considerable movement on the Vampire Chronicles series, with Sam Reid recently cast as Vampire antihero Lestat. But AMC hasn't forgotten about those Mayfair Witches, either, and the network has set up a writers' room for the show, with Esta Spalding and Michelle Ashford serving as writers and executive producers.

Ready for the Anne Rice TV Universe? You better be, because it's currently in the works. In addition to their upcoming Vampire Chronicles series, AMC is also developing Rice's Mayfair Witches books into a separate show – and it's probably safe to assume these two series will crossover at some point, since the same can be said for the books.

THR reports that Esta Spaulding and Michelle Ashford, who both worked on the series Masters of Sex, have been tapped to take the reigns on the Mayfair Witches show. The series hasn't officially been greenlit just yet, but if it is, both would write and executive produce, with Spaulding serving as showrunner. Per Variety, the series "would focus on an intuitive young neurosurgeon who discovers that she is the unlikely heir to a family of witches. As she grapples with her newfound powers, she must contend with a sinister presence that has haunted her family for generations."

"We have an enormous amount of ambition for these iconic works, which have captivated and entertained millions of fans around the world, so it is gratifying to be moving so quickly from the Interview greenlight to exploring a second series with such talented and accomplished writers and creators as Esta and Michelle," said Dan McDermott, president of original programming for AMC Networks and AMC Studios. "We take our responsibility to deliver compelling television to both existing and new fans of this material incredibly seriously, as we move deliberately to develop these titles into a new franchise and universe for AMC+ and AMC."

Lives of the Mayfair Witches

Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles books were a huge deal and effectively rewrote vampire mythology as we know it. That said, as the books went along, they grew progressively worse (there's long been a rumor that Rice became so big of an author that she forbade her editors change a single word she wrote, resulting in books that are essentially un-edited hitting shelves). I've read almost all of the Vampire Chronicles books, but eventually gave up due to the diminishing returns, and I never even bothered to dip into the Mayfair Witches series.

That said, it's definitely a big deal that AMC wants to conjure up an entire Anne Rice TV universe here, and there's potential to craft something memorable, especially if they don't have to stick too close to the source material. As for the Mayfair Witches books, Wikipedia tells me that they center "on a family of witches whose fortunes have been guided for generations by a spirit named Lasher." There were three books total: The Witching Hour (1990) Lasher (1993) and Taltos (1994). And several other Rice novels – such as  Merrick (2000), Blackwood Farm (2002), and Blood Canticle (2003) – actually bring together characters from both the Mayfair and Vampire series.