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Romance bookstore The Ripped Bodice poised to bring the genre to television

It’s a match made in, well, a romance novel.

Bea and Leah Koch, the sister duo who founded and own Los Angeles’ romance bookstore The Ripped Bodice, have signed an overall deal with Sony Pictures Television, the studio announced on Wednesday. The Koch sisters will partner with Sony to develop romance-focused projects for television based on their unique connection to romance readers and authors.

How the deal came to be is a meet-cute straight out of a classic rom-com, think The Shop Around the CornerThe Ripped Bodice is located in Culver City, Calif., only a few blocks from the Sony Pictures lot. “It actually happened whereby employees of Sony studio walked into our store,” Leah tells EW. “We started talking with them and eventually started imagining what a partnership could look like.”

In a time when romance is gaining increasing traction in Hollywood, the Koch sisters are poised to make a difference on the small screen, bringing their unique and expert opinions to help shepherd titles to television.

Shonda Rhimes recently announced her production company Shondaland is working on an adaptation of Julia Quinn’s beloved Regency-set Bridgerton series as part of her new Netflix deal. And there are screen adaptations in the work of best-selling rom-coms Helen Hoang’s The Kiss Quotient, Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game, and Christina Lauren’s Roomies. In other words, the time has never been more ripe for the Koch sisters to enter the fray.

Even though we’re seeing a rom-com resurgence in Hollywood currently, Bea notes, few studios are taking advantage of the rich source material of the romance genre. “There are so many amazing rom-coms coming out right now, but very few of them have been based on romance novels,” she says. “That’s what we’re really focused on. Because we love original projects, but romance novels are there and they’re waiting to be optioned

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