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MTV's series 'Shannara' moves forward

Jonathan Liebesman, new director for MTV's "Shannara" series
Brian Bowan Smith/Paramount

During MTV's presentation Friday morning at the Television Critics Association summer 2014 press tour, President of Programming Susanne Daniels announced that its fantasy series in development, "Shannara," is moving forward with a new director, Jonathan Liebesman. Last December, MTV gave a script-to-series order to the show, based on Terry Brooks' books in a series first published in 1977. Liebesman is attached for the first two episodes of the ten-episode series, and will also serve as an executive producer alongside Jon Favreau, Dan Farah, and author Terry Brooks. Favreau was previously planned to direct the series, but has other projects requiring his attention.

One of the reasons that “Shannara” may be popular with audiences is that its fantasy world is still on Earth, just thousands of years after the destruction of civilization. The setting "the Four Lands" is revealed in Brooks' books to be part of the Pacific Northwest region of the United States and Canada.

The story focuses on the Shannara family, who have magical powers. With a compelling storyline and interesting characters, it should come as no surprise that it is estimated that Terry Brooks has sold more fantasy books than any other living fantasy author aside from J. K. Rowling, of "Harry Potter" fame.

The first season will be based on "The Elfstones of Shannara," which is the second book of the original Shannara trilogy (Brooks has multiple duologies, trilogies, and tetralogies in the Shannara series). Adaptation of the novels to visual media began in 2007 with a possible film in discussion by Warner Bros., but their rights expired in 2010, allowing for this more serialized format to become a possibility. Similar to hit fantasy writer George R. R. Martin (author of Game of Thrones), Brooks is still writing related novels to the original Shannara trilogy, with three more works in various stages of development currently.

"Shannara" does not have a premiere date at this time.

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