One thing the scouts are buzzing about this week is the latest from Pat Conroy. The Prince of Tides author's new one, South of Broad, is being shopped for film by Lynn Pleshette (and is due out from the author's longtime publisher, Doubleday, in August 2009). The book, which is set in Charleston and follows an 18-year-old named Leopold Bloom King, has good film lineage, Conroy's lit agent, Marly Rusoff, points out. All of the author's novels (excluding one, The Boo, which he wrote when he was still a cadet at The Citadel) have been made into movies.

On the sales side, Bill Contardi has just closed a deal for film rights on Meg Cabot's All-American Girl series. (There are two books in the series, American Girl and Ready or Not, about a 15-year-old middle child named Samantha who lives in Washington, D.C.; Harper published and Laura Langlie is Cabot's lit agent.) Contardi sold rights to producers Joan Singleton (Because of Winn-Dixie) and Harry Winer (House Arrest) and the deal, it happens, is one of many on the film side for the prolific Cabot. With Girl, Cabot now has seven titles in various stages of production: How to Be Popular is at MTV; Avalon High is at the Disney Channel; The Mediator is with producer Julia Pistor; The Heather Wells Mysteries is at ABC Family, as is Jinx; and the Queen of Babble is with producer Jeff Sharp of Sharp Independent.

Contardi has also just closed a feature film deal with the German film and television company UFA for Tom Gabbay's Jack Teller thriller series. The books--Berlin Conspiracy, Lisbon Crossing and Tehran Conviction are published by William Morrow--and Contardi, with Brandt & Hochman on this, reps Gabbay for literary and dramatic rights.