Laura Lippman’s Tess Monaghan coming to the small screen?

This is a great time for women on telelvision. DAMAGES, THE CLOSER, SAVING GRACE, THE GOOD WIFE, HAWTHORNE, the upcoming RIZZOLLI & ISLES, DESPERATE H…ok, forget that las one, but television, cable television especially, seems to have not just accepted but embraced the notion of the strong female lead. There may be another dynamic female character coming it’s way:

Reporter turned Private Investigator Tess Monaghan.

Tess is the award-winning creation of best-selling novelist Laura Lippman and is the star of ten novels. Ten damn good novels. If you have not read them, go out and buy all of them today. You won’t regret it. She is as talented as she is cool.

Bill Haber and his company, Ostar productions, have picked up an option for IN A STRANGE CITY, first released in 2001 and the sixth book to feature the Baltimore based P.I.

“It’s a well-known Baltimore ritual: Every year, on Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday, a mysterious figure visits the writer’s grave, leaving behind three roses and a bottle of cognac. When Tess gets wind of a plot to unmask the so-called Poe Toaster, she decides to stand guard. To her amazement, two visitors approach — and one is shot and killed.”

Bill’s background is mainly television, having produced several made for television movies as well as the 2006 TNT miniseries NIGHTMARES AND DREAMSCAPES: FROM THE STORIES OF STEPHEN KING and the 2004 film SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW.

He recently developed the upcoming RIZZOLI & ISLES, the TNT series that stems from the novels of Tess Gerritsen. Initially done as a pilot, a full season was ordered by TNT a few weeks ago.

Looking at Mr. Haber’s working relationship with TNT, I can’t help but think about the combination of TNT and Tess. TNT has really stepped up on scripted dramas of late and is home to some amazing female characters on shows such as SAVING GRACE and THE CLOSER.

As promising as things look, Laura is not getting excited just yet. As she put it: “I have complete confidence in Bill, but television/film will always be a long shot proposition for writers.”

This is not the first time the television option for Tess has been picked up. In early 2008, Gigipix studios optioned Tess with the idea of doing miniseries based on each novel.

Still, this sounds promising so let us keep our fingers crossed!