Home / Uncategorized / HBO Should Make Octavia Butler’s Parable Series (EDITORIAL)

HBO Should Make Octavia Butler’s Parable Series (EDITORIAL)



Home Box Office is the GOAT of original television series’ and hour long dramas. The network has given the greenlight to the teams that brought us The Wire, The Sopranos, Game of Thrones, True Blood, and the always slept on and over-too-soon, Carnivale to name a few of the gems with which they’ve blessed us on the small screen. The suits at Time Warner have a knack for investing time, money, and trust in creatives, giving them the autonomy to bring their artistic vision to the small screen. This willingness to hire the best and let them do what they do is the reason that HBO is a mainstay at the Emmy’s, year-after-year. Given their track record, HBO is the only network or studio that I would trust to transfer Octavia Butler’s Parable series from the page to live action.



If you don’t know who Octavia Butler is, please, get familiar. She won the Hugo, Nebula, and was the first science fiction writer to ever win the McArthur Genius Grant.  Ms. Butler is The Oracle, Matriarch, and OG of multicultural speculative fiction and Afro-futurism. She passed away in 2006, but before her untimely death, she penned novels that explored immortality, vampirism, time travel, and alien life from the perspective of people of color in general, and women in particular. Octavia Butler is, was, and will always be the literary embodiment of Black Excellence.

Her Parable series (Parable of the Talents and Parable of The Sower) explores a dystopian future where education, police services, healthcare, and basic human rights are given to those who can afford to pay for it, where corporations own American cities, and where slavery and indentured servitude are the order of the day. The series follows the protagonist, Lauren Oya Olamina as she transitions from a girl, to a woman, to something of a deity. Lauren lives a relatively normal life in a walled California community before her home is attacked and burned to the ground by a roving band of drug addicts. With her family and community dead and dying around her, Lauren escapes, and meets other survivors as they make their way north, toward safety. Along the way, they fight off bandits, meet other survivors who have escaped slave encampments, and Lauren eventually shares her newly formed belief system called Earth Seed with fer fellow travelers.

The Parable series is perfect for HBO. The series is both episodic and epic, full of plenty of violence and action. It explores themes of wealth run amok, politicians being the servants of corporations instead of  The People, religion vs. science, and could allow America to finally have a conversation around racism, sexism, and slavery, all around the office water cooler. Imagine the conversations that took place in aftermath of GoT’s Red Wedding, except most of your favorite characters are Black and Brown!


Besides the fact that the stories are full of TV worthy action and drama, this series is the perfect vehicle for a cast of notable Black and Brown actresses and actors. Given her recent groundswell of attention, Lupita Nyongo’o would be perfect as Lauren and Joe Morton or Delroy Lindo could play her husband Bankole.  I’m sure HBO could find something for Michael K. Williams to do on the show as well.

What do you think Fan Bros ? Would HBO be a good home for the Parable series ? Do you think another network would be a better home? Should the series be made into films instead?

Sound off in the comments below and share this post with @HBO, @HBOGO, and @TWXCorp so we can get this thing made!

  • Samantha F.

    Slightly off topic, but is Michael K. Williams the designated HBO black actor? But really, this sounds like great idea, but were are the thugs because for all of HBO’s ground breaking television, people of color cannot appear without some element of criminality involved. Even if it is not the overall theme of the piece, it has to be somewhere.

  • You definitely make a great point about HBO’s problematic portrayal of Black and Brown people. I’d go further and say that that’s a symptom of racism on nearly ALL of television, save for a few modern shows like Sleepy Hollow, Doctor Who, and possibly Scandal.

  • CeCi

    Wow! Sadly I’d never heard of Octavia Butler before today. I feel shamed, but no worries I’ve logged onto Amazon and I’m waiting to get my shipped notification on these 2 books. After reading the first 3 chapters of Parable of the Sowers on the sample cloud reader Amazon has available, I absolutely feel like HBO would be the best place, if not the only place for this type of material. We certainly can’t expect Tyler Perry to produce this (I’m annoyed with him over The Haves and Have Nots). On the other hand I can’t help but feel a little pessimistic in light of todays twitter news with the whole George Zimmerman Vs. DMX debacle. Its easy to say that black life is so under valued. I can only hope that this sort of content can be shown from the view point of black and brown people one day. I also hope that if and when this happens it can be headed by someone black or brown and not the ‘white man.’

    • Tatiana King-Jones

      Awesome to hear that this editorial introduced you to Octavia Butler’s works!

  • aziz

    Where has this lady been my whole life? Never heard of her until now, but by the sound of things, she’s my kind of writer. I’ll also be getting familier (via amazon) – hopefully, by the time HBO get behind it, I’ll be able say whether they’ve done it justice

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