Scarlett Johansson will join the rush of movie stars transitioning to the small screen in an adaptation of Edith Wharton’s The Custom Of The Country, which is being adapted as an eight-episode limited series by Sony Pictures Television. The 1913 novel concerns a noveau riche Midwestern girl who comes to New York as a social climber, and who is unsatisfied with her marriage to a once-wealthy man who’s lost his fortune. Either Johansson wants to stretch her acting chops after a string of comic-book movies, or she needed a highbrow antidote to the gloriously dumb Lucy. Whatever the case, it will be the first television work for Johansson, a film actress since the age of 10 (discounting a few appearances on Robot Chicken).

Wharton has had several works adapted in recent years, including 2000’s The House Of Mirth with Gillian Anderson, and the previous year’s The Reef, with Sela Ward. No word yet as to where the series will air, as Sony has only just started shopping the series around. But no doubt any one of several networks would be happy to give a temporary home to Downton Abbey viewers hungry for their next fix of period drama.

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