Patti Smith’s ‘Just Kids’ Memoir Will Become a Limited TV Series on Showtime

Judy Linn's 1969 photograph of Patti Smith. COURTESY THE ARTIST

Judy Linn’s 1969 photograph of Patti Smith.


Since its release in 2010, Patti Smith’s memoir Just Kids has been considered one of the best artist memoirs of the past decade. Now, Smith’s book is headed to TV as a limited series for Showtime, the premium-cable network announced today.

Just Kids focuses on Smith’s complicated relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. At various points in the decade and a half that Mapplethorpe and Smith knew each other, they were roommates, friends, lovers, collaborators, or some combination of those. Her book mainly focuses on their stay in a cramped room at the Chelsea Hotel.

Just Kids is one of my favorite memoirs of all time,” Showtime president David Nevins said today at the Television Critics Association. “Not only is it a fascinating portrait of artists coming of age, but it’s also an inspiring story of friendship, love, and endurance.”

Smith will work with John Logan, who created Showtime’s Penny Dreadful and has written such films as Skyfall, Gladiator, and Rango. According to Deadline, Smith and Logan have been writing an adaptation of Just Kids since 2011, when Logan wrote Red, a play about Mark Rothko. (Smith is also a fan of Penny Dreadful—she’s visited the set and performed for the cast.)

At this time, Showtime has yet to announce who will play Smith and Mapplethorpe in the limited series.

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