Kevin Murphy (‘The Son’ showrunner) chats adapting ‘sprawling, epic’ novel into Pierce Brosnan TV western [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO]

“The book is a sprawling, epic affair,” divulges “The Son” showrunner and writer Kevin Murphy during our recent webcam chat (watch the exclusive video above) when asked about the challenges of adapting Philipp Meyer‘s novel to television. This AMC western stars Pierce Brosnan as Eli McCullough, a Texas cattle baron who moves into the oil industry during America’s boon as a superpower. The first season chronicles McCullough’s life from 1849 through 1915. “It’s essentially the history of oil in Texas,” adds Murphy, “which is also the history of the modern, industrialized United States, and it’s told through the eyes of one particular family.”

Meyer adapted his own book alongside Brian McGreevy and Lee Shipman (“Hemlock Grove”). The challenge Murphy reveals “was deciding what pieces to use and what pieces to set aside.” He adds, “Although we deviated quite a bit in many places, that was done with Philipp as an enthusiastic participant, and what was really wonderful about working with Philipp is that there were no sacred cows: if something was a good idea and made for a better television show, he was all for it.”

Murphy won an Emmy for Best Music and Lyrics for “Reefer Madness: The Musical” (2005). That same year, he competed in Best Comedy Series for “Desperate Housewives.” He has written and produced for such shows as “Hellcats,” “Defiance,” “Caprica,” and “Valentine.” Check out our full interview above for more about his work on “The Son.”

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Related: Watch our interview with Catherine Adair (“The Son” costume designer”)

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