Winter Dragon

The Winter DragonCable network FXX airs Winter Dragon, a half-hour, low-budget proof-of-concept pilot for a potential TV series based on the late Robert Jordan’s Locus-nominated, best-selling Wheel Of Time books. Red Eagle Productions, which has held the option to adapt the Wheel Of Time novels to film or TV since 2004, rushed the pilot presentation into production and onto the air in order to beat a February 11th deadline, at which time the rights would – if nothing had been produced – revert to Jordan’s estate; Red Eagle bought paid programming time (normally reserved for infomercials) to ensure the pilot aired in time. (Jordan’s series is considered hot property in the wake of the success of HBO’s TV adaptation of another series of fantasy novels, A Game Of Thrones.) Jordan’s widow, Harriet McDougal, expresses surprise and disappointment in the pilot, drawing a lawsuit from Red Eagle Productions, which claims she was fully aware of the production and its distribution method. The lawsuit is later withdrawn, and in any case, the broadcast of Winter Dragon does indeed win Red Eagle an extension on the rights to adapt Wheel Of Time, rights which Red Eagle later brokers to Sony Pictures and then to Amazon. Though all parties prefer to leave Winter Dragon buried in its one-off, 1:30 A.M. time slot, a series proper will be announced in 2018, and will premiere in 2021, with Red Eagle Productions listed in the show’s credits.