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Source: Netflix

Marking an apparent push into another popular drama genre, Netflix has ordered two new series based on best-selling romance novel collections centred on female protagonists.

The global streamer has ordered 10 episodes of Virgin River, to be based on author Robyn Carr’s Harlequin book series consisting of 20 titles that have sold a reported total of 13m copies. 

The series is about a woman who tries to make a new start by taking a job as a nurse practitioner in a remote California town.

The screen version will start production later this year with Sue Tenney, a writer and producer on 1990s broadcast network series 7th Heaven, serving as showrunner and executive producer, with Roma Roth and Chris Perry also on board as executive producers, and Roth and Reel World Management producing for Netflix.

Sweet Magnolias, also getting a 10-episode order, will be based on the Sherryl Woods novels under Harlequin imprint MIRA Books. The novels centre on three South Carolina women who have been best friends since high school and are now helping each other through the complexities of romance, career and family.

Sheryl J Anderson, a writer and producer on the original Charmed network series, will serve as showrunner and executive producer. Woods and Dan Paulson will also be executive producers on the series, a Daniel L Paulson production.