News: Victoria to Air on MASTERPIECE on PBS
Victoria to air on MASTERPIECE on PBS in the Downton Abbey Time Slot
Major New Drama Stars Jenna Coleman as the Young Queen Victoria
Victoria, the highly anticipated new drama series about the epic life of Queen Victoria, will air on MASTERPIECE on PBS in 2017 in the Sunday night time slot which Downton Abbey has occupied for six years. Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who) stars as the young Victoria, a tiny (4'11"), neglected teenager who overnight became Queen and eventually the most powerful woman in the world.
In an announcement at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, CA, MASTERPIECE Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton said: "Downton Abbey has proved that millions of viewers will turn up year after year for a beautifully crafted period drama. Victoria has it all: a riveting script, brilliant cast, and spectacular locations. And it's a true story! This is exactly the kind of programming MASTERPIECE fans will love." MASTERPIECE is presented on PBS by WGBH Boston.
Victoria is a coproduction with Mammoth Screen, producers of high profile returning dramas such as Poldark and Endeavour, for ITV and is distributed internationally by ITV Studios Global Entertainment. It is created and written by best-selling novelist Daisy Goodwin (The American Heiress) in her screenwriting debut. Ms. Goodwin read through 62 million words of Victoria's diaries, which vividly portray her astonishing transformation form rebellious teenager to Queen.
The eight-part drama follows Victoria from the time she becomes Queen in 1837 at the age of 18, through her courtship and marriage to Prince Albert. Famous for her candor and spirit, she was the first woman who seemed to have it all: a passionate marriage, nine children, and the job of being Queen of the world's most important nation. Victoria's often tumultuous reign lasted for 63 years; she was England's longest-serving monarch until she was overtaken by Elizabeth II in September, 2015.
"MASTERPIECE is the perfect home for an ambitious series like Victoria," said Damient Timmer, executive producer for Mammoth Screen. "We're proud to inherit the Downton Abbey time slot, and delighted to continue our longstanding partnership with MASTERPIECE."
Greg Johnson, EVP Distribution for the Americas for ITV Global Entertainment said, "We have enjoyed numbers successful collaborations with Rebecca Eaton and MASTERPIECE across our portfolio of quality British drama, from Mr. Selfridge to Home Fires and Poldark. We're delighted to be working together again on Victoria; it's an epic new drama following the fascinating life of one of Britain's most iconic monarchs and we look forward to debuting to US viewers next year."
In addition to Ms. Coleman, the stellar ensemble includes Rufus Sewell (The Man in the High Castle, The Pillars of the Earth) as Lord Melbourne, her first prime minister and intimate friend; Tom Hughes (Dancing on the Edge) as her husband Prince Albert; Alex Jennings (The Lady in the Van) as Leopold I, King of Belgium and uncle to both Victoria and Albert; Paul Rhys (Borgia, Being Human) as Sir John Conroy, the ambitious controller of the household of Victoria's mother, the Duchess of Kent; and Peter Firth (MI-5) as Victoria's conniving uncle, the Duke of Cumberland.