The Wheel of Time is an in-development, proposed television series based on the novels of the same name by Robert Jordan. A live-action television series based on the novels was originally planned as early as 2000, but was not formally announced until 28 April 2016.
Robert Jordan originally sold a TV rights option to NBC in 2000. NBC planned to adapt the books as a network TV series spanning several seasons. However, interest in the project dried up after the writers involved departed from NBC. The rights subsequently returned to Robert Jordan.
Shortly after this, a Japanese animation studio contacted Jordan and proposed an anime series based on the first three books. However, they only wanted to adapt those books and not the complete series. Jordan was not interested in this adaptation and talks stalled before any formal deal could be discussed.
In 2004 Robert Jordan sold the TV, film, video game and comic book rights to Red Eagle Entertainment, a rights-handling company set up to develop multimedia projects based on the novels. This deal was worth approximately $640,000 and was due to last for eleven years, unless a long-running TV series or move franchise was in production by that time.
In 2008 Red Eagle re-sold the film rights to Universal Pictures for a "seven-figure sum". Universal developed a film script based on The Eye of the World. However, Universal decided not to proceed with the adaptation and the rights returned to Red Eagle.
In 2014 Sony Television developed an interest in the property as an ongoing, big-budget TV series. They discussed the project with Red Eagle and with Harriet McDougal, Robert Jordan's widow, editor and literary heir and executor.
The TV and film rights were due to revert to the Robert Jordan Estate (the Bandersnatch Group) in early February 2015. However, Red Eagle self-produced a 22-minute short film based on the prologue to The Eye of the World, starring Billy Zane, and paid to have it broadcast on the FX Network in the United States. They argued that this constituted getting a TV or film series into production and thus they should retain the rights. Legal discussions followed to clarify the situation.
On 28 April 2016, the Robert Jordan Estate issued a statement confirming that the legal discussions had been resolved satisfactorily and that a TV adaptation of The Wheel of Time was now being developed with a "major studio".