Stevie Wonder is set to executive produce an eight-hour miniseries for NBC based on a book by former Detroit News columnist Betty DeRamus.

The series, "Freedom Run," is based on DeRamus' 2005 book "Forbidden Fruit: Love Stories From the Underground Railroad." It will focus on "specific epic journeys and love stories, each based on actual people," according to an NBC release.

The DeRamus book is also in the process of being developed into a stage musical, for which Wonder will compose the score. Miniseries scribes Brian Swibel, Adam Westbrook, and Charles Randolph-Wright will adapt the book for the stage.

"I'm very excited," DeRamus said by phone on Friday.

DeRamus, who also wrote for the editorial department at the Detroit Free Press, retired in 2006 after 17 years at The News. She was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1993.

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