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Showtime acquires rights to Bill Clinton-James Patterson novel ‘The President Is Missing’

The premium cable network announced Friday that is has acquired the rights to adapt “The President Is Missing,” the upcoming novel by former President Clinton and James Patterson.

The thriller, which is be published in June 2018, tells the story of a sitting U.S. president’s disappearance.

According to the Associated Press, Showtime won a bidding war to develop the thriller for television. The network’s affiliation with CBS and its boss, Les Moonves, helped seal the deal. Moonves knows Clinton, and Patterson has worked on the broadcaster’s “Zoo” and “Instinct” series.

Clinton will provide unique insights and “the level of detail that only someone who has held the office can know,” Showtime said. The fictional work brings to life the “pressures and realities of the most important position in the world.”

“I’m really enjoying writing this book and working with Jim,” Clinton said in a statement. “And I can’t wait to see Showtime bring the characters to life.”

Showtime President and CEO David Nevins said developing the adaptation “is a coup of the highest order.”

“The pairing of President Clinton with fiction’s most gripping storyteller promises a kinetic experience, one that the book world has salivated over for months and that now will dovetail perfectly into a politically relevant, character-based action series for our network,” he said.

Patterson, who has sold more than 380 million books worldwide during his decades-long career, said Clinton’s involvement in the novel provides “rich storytelling opportunities for this series.”

The 42nd president has authored several nonfiction books, but “The President Is Missing” is his first novel and marks the first time an American president has ever coauthored a thriller. The book is to be published jointly by Alfred A. Knopf and Little, Brown and Co.