Emmys 2021: Which Nominated Series Are Based on Books?

Novels can make great TV shows, as seen in this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards. On the list of nominees are several series that started as books. If you have seen any of these shows, you can still enjoy them again as stories on pages.

Emmy nominated Rege-Jean Page standing next to Phoebe Dynevor in 'Bridgerton'
(L to R) Regé-Jean Page and Phoebe Dynevor from ‘Bridgerton’ Season 1 | Liam Daniel/Netflix


Bridgerton premiered on Netflix in December 2020 and has since become one of the biggest hits on the streaming network. It follows upper-class families in Britain’s Regency Era. However, the show also takes place in an alternate universe in which the aristocracy of England is racially integrated. It received nominations for numerous awards, including several Emmys.

The show is based on novels in Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series. The books focus on the Bridgerton siblings as they try to find love.

‘The Flight Attendant’

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The Flight Attendant is a show on HBO Max about a flight attendant who suddenly finds herself involved in a murder mystery. Actor Kaley Cuoco stars in and produces the series.

The series, which was renewed for a second season, comes from the novel with the same name by author Chris Bohjalian.

‘The Underground Railroad’

The Underground Railroad is a limited series that premiered on Amazon Prime Video in May 2021. It reimagines the famous Underground Railroad—a network of routes and safe houses that guided enslaved African Americans to safety in the 1800s—as an actual railroad.

The show is based on the book of the same name by Colson Whitehead, which has won many awards, including the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction and the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

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The Handmaid’s Tale, which premiered on Hulu in 2017, is one of the most popular dystopian series today. It tells the story of a totalitarian society in which fertile women are forced into sexual slavery to bear children for a ruling class of men. The series’ first season won eight Primetime Emmy Awards.

The show is based on the 1985 novel of the same name by Margaret Atwood. In fact, the novel has been adapted into various forms of media, including a film in 1990 and many stage productions.

‘Lovecraft Country’


Lovecraft Country was an HBO series that follows a young African-American man in the 1950s as he embarks on a road trip across the United States to search for his missing father. The show combines Jim Crow racism with supernatural elements to create a horror-filled experience for viewers. It has won numerous awards.

The series is based on the 2016 novel of the same name by Matt Ruff.

‘The Queen’s Gambit’

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The Queen’s Gambit premiered on Netflix in October 2020 and quickly became the most-watched series on the streaming network. It follows an orphan chess prodigy who experiences drug and alcohol dependency as she plays her way to the top of the chess world. The series won countless awards and captivated viewers.

Fans of The Queen’s Gambit and explore the story in the 1983 novel of the same name, written by author Walter Tevis.