Also, Films aren't limited to 3 hours. Lord of the Rings certainly wasn't Granted, each film had an extra 30mins of film in the extended edition, but I don't see how WoT couldn't do that. You know, cut out things that aren't [i]that[i] relevant to the main story for the cinema release, but have them on an extended or directors cut etc.
LORD OF THE RINGS was a special case. The movies were based on what is, by some counts, the single most popular novel ever written, with 250 million or more copies sold. It was a hugely well-known property that was already a household name worldwide. The studio was prepared to take a bit more of a risk by making a 3-hour movie, and once the first film was successful they were happy to make the third film a lot longer to fit everything in.
WHEEL OF TIME is not in that bracket. Outside of fantasy fans, it's a relatively obscure work without that worldwide, built-in audience. It's unlikely the first film would be that long. Later films if the first is successful, sure, but the first one would likely have to come in at 2-2.5 hours at the most. And that's only possible if it only adapts part of THE EYE OF THE WORLD or strips out about 50% of the plot and characters.
However, a television series would actually add to the amount of material needed - an hour long episode in FoH onwards would require a hell of a lot of recap on even a small selection of characters
Not necessarily. A TV series would likely adopt the same format as LOST and some other shows (including GAME OF THRONES): each episode would focus on a number of characters and focus on them, and then switch to others in the next episode, then back and so on. Pretty much like in the books already, where some characters sit out a book or just a few chapters in a row and then come back later on. The narrative structure of WoT actually maps to a TV adaptation rather better than GAME OF THRONES, where the POV chapter format is sometimes a constraint on what can be adapted and changed.
I have better things to do than watch 14 seasons of a tv show.
You wouldn't do it like that (10 episodes of CROSSROADS OF TWILIGHT, yay!). You'd adapt maybe 2 books as a season, possibly 3 books per season later on. That's why 15-20 episode seasons would be desirable, but it would be more likely to be 10-12 episode seasons. It would still be doable: 6 hours for EYE OF THE WORLD is still a vast improvement on the 2.5 hours that a movie adaptation would be able to deliver at best.