Fans of Robert Jordan’s epic fantasy series The Wheel of Time were surprised this morning to find a pilot episode for a Wheel of Time TV series, titled “Winter Dragon,” suddenly airing on the FXX channel. They were not the only ones.
In a statement released early this afternoon, Harriet McDougal, the late author’s wife and CEO of the Bandersnatch Group, which contracted the TV and movie rights to the Wheel of Time book series to Universal Pictures, has made it clear that this pilot has never been seen or approved by the Jordan estate.
This morning brought startling news. A “pilot” for a Wheel of Time series, the “pilot” being called Winter Dragon, had appeared at 1:30 in the morning, East Coast time, on Fxx TV, a channel somewhere in the 700s (founded to concentrate on comedy, according to the Washington Post).
It was made without my knowledge or cooperation. I never saw the script. No one associated with Bandersnatch Group, the successor-in-interest to James O. Rigney, was aware of this.
Bandersnatch has an existing contract with Universal Pictures that grants television rights to them until this Wednesday, February 11 – at which point these rights revert to Bandersnatch.
I see no mention of Universal in the “pilot”. Nor, I repeat, was Bandersnatch, or Robert Jordan’s estate, informed of this in any way.
I am dumbfounded by this occurrence, and am taking steps to prevent its reoccurrence.
Harriet P McDougal
President and CEO
Bandersnatch Group, Inc.
February 9, 2015
For background on who has owned the rights to a Wheel of Time TV show in the past, read Jason Denzel’s explanation on Dragonmount.