NBC Orders New 'Dracula' Series

Categories: 1-Featured,Broadcast TV

Written By

July 24th, 2012

It was announced during NBC's TCA session this afternoon that NBC has ordered 10 episodes of 'Dracula' "from the company that brought you 'Downton Abbey.' Series will have former Tudors star Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the lead role.

Update: press release below:

NBC AND SKY LIVING HD ANNOUNCE NEW DRAMA SERIES ‘DRACULA,’ STARRING GOLDEN GLOBE WINNER JONATHAN RHYS MEYERS IN AN EPIC TALE OF LOVE AND REVENGE

THE TEN-EPISODE SERIES IS A CO-PRODUCTION OF UNIVERSAL TELEVISION, CARNIVAL FILMS & TELEVISION, FLAME VENTURES, PLAYGROUND, AND SKY LIVING

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. & LONDON -- July 24, 2012 – NBC and Sky Living today announced the co-production of “Dracula,” a provocative new drama series version of the classic Bram Stoker novel starring Golden Globe winner Jonathan Rhys Meyers (“The Tudors,” “Elvis") in the title role. It was announced jointly today by Universal Television Executive Vice President Bela Bajaria, and Sky’s Head of Drama, Anne Mensah.

"Dracula" is from the producers behind the critically acclaimed, Emmy Award-winning hit "Downton Abbey," Carnival Films & Television, along with Flame Ventures and Playground, and will begin production later this year.

The 10-episode series introduces Dracula as he arrives in London, posing as an American entrepreneur who maintains that he wants to bring modern science to Victorian society. In reality, he hopes to wreak revenge on the people who ruined his life centuries earlier. There's only one circumstance that can potentially thwart his plan: Dracula falls hopelessly in love with a woman who seems to be a reincarnation of his dead wife.

Based on a script by co-executive producer Cole Haddon, “Dracula” will be executive-produced by former president of HBO Films and Emmy winner Colin Callender (“The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby”) for Playground, Tony Krantz (“24”, “Sports Night”) for Flame Ventures, Gareth Neame ("Downton Abbey") for Carnival Films & Television (part of NBCUniversal International Television Production), Anne Mensah for Sky, and Universal Television. Reece Pearson from Flame Ventures is also co-executive producer.

Bajaria said: "We are thrilled to produce this smart, sophisticated, and provocative re-imagining of 'Dracula,' in partnership with Colin, Tony and our International studio arm and Sky Living for NBC Network. It is a timeless tale with relevant, surprising twists and turns with the exquisite Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the marquee role."

Michael Edelstein, President, NBCUniversal International Television Production, said: “We are delighted that Jonathan Rhys Meyers has chosen this project to return to television and have built an amazing team of producers behind the camera to deliver this extraordinary show. Since 1897, the story of Dracula has captivated readers and viewers alike and this sexy, updated twist on the classic also promises not to disappoint."

Mensah, Sky’s Head of Drama, commented: “I am so pleased to be announcing our first-ever co-production with NBCUniversal and we are delighted to be bringing an actor as exciting as Jonathan Rhys Meyers to Sky. ‘Dracula’ combines the biggest and best talent both in front of and behind the camera and will keep our customers intrigued and enthralled. With its dark, twisted and intelligent script it absolutely sets the scale, tone and ambition for future dramas on Sky Living.”

Antonia Hurford-Jones, Acting Director, Sky Living added: “As one of the nation’s most iconic literary characters, this new incarnation of ‘Dracula’ feels like the perfect fit for our Sky Living audience. It’s an extremely exciting time for the channel and this co-production with NBCUniversal marks the start of big things to come.”

“Dracula” is the latest in a series of co-productions embarked on by Sky, with previous projects including “Treasure Island” and “Strike Back.” Sky last year signaled its commitment to original production by increasing its investment in original British content by 50 per cent over the next three years. By 2014, Sky expects to invest £600 million a year on home grown content across its portfolio of channels.

Additional casting and production details will be announced at a later date.
About NBC Entertainment:
NBC Entertainment develops and schedules programming for the network’s primetime, late-night, and daytime schedules. NBC’s quality programs and balanced lineup have earned the network critical acclaim, numerous awards, and ratings success. NBC has earned more Emmy Awards than any network in television history.

NBC’s roster of popular scripted series includes the Emmy Award-winning comedies "The Office" and "30 Rock," as well as the critically acclaimed “Parks and Recreation” and “Community.” NBC’s drama slate is highlighted by the veteran, award-winning series “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Parenthood,” along with the popular recent additions “Smash” and “Grimm.” Unscripted series for NBC include the vocal competition hit “The Voice” as well as "The Biggest Loser," "The Celebrity Apprentice" and the perennial #1 most-watched summer series, "America's Got Talent."

In late-night, NBC regularly delivers #1 broadcast results with "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," "Last Call with Carson Daly" and "Saturday Night Live." NBC Daytime's "Days Of Our Lives" consistently ranks among daytime’s top programs in the valuable women 18-34 category.

The five-time, Emmy Award-winning NBC.com streams full episodes and provides original content for NBC entertainment shows online and through apps for mobile and tablet devices.

NBC recently launched NBC Kids, a new Saturday morning programming block designed specifically to address the developmental needs of preschool-aged children. Programmed by the kids’ experts at Sprout, the nation's first 24-hour preschool television channel, this new three-hour block will feature educational series that promote active, healthy lifestyles for younger children.

About Sky Living:
Sky Living HD is one of the U.K.’s ultimate entertainment destinations on TV, brining customers the highest quality U.K. and U.S. productions.

Hugely successful commissions including “Bedlam,” “Love Machine” and “Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model,” hosted by global style icon Elle Macpherson and now in its eighth season, have emerged as some of the U.K.’s most talked-about programs.

Sky Living HD begins a new journey from August with the launch of several strong, aspirational, female-facing programs -- including Rihanna’s new show “Styled to Rock,” an brand new season of “Mount Pleasant,” new comedy “Gates,” script-edited by Jennifer Saunders and starring Sue Johnston, Joanna Page and Tom Ellis, as well as “The Spa” -- a new comedy from Derren Litten, the creator of “Benidorm,” coming later in the year.

Sky Living HD has also built a reputation for identifying and bringing its customers the best U.S. shows including; “Bones,” “Cougar Town,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Unforgettable,” “Supernatural,” “Criminal Minds” and “America’s Next Top Model.” And this autumn will see one of the most talked-about new U.S. shows join this already amazing lineup as “Elementary,” starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu, comes to Sky Living.

Sky Living HD's is available at channel 107 cementing its place in Sky’s strengthened entertainment line-up, on the front page of the Sky EPG.

 
  • adanskiii

    NBC seems a little late on the Vampire genre.

  • Matt

    I see they’ve learnt nothing from another direct-to-series show – The Firm.

  • DamC

    NBC is slowly turning into a cable network.

  • Matt

    According to Digital Spy, it’s a co-production with BSkyB in the UK.

  • Babygate

    I don’t like NBC much. I only watch Park and Rec, Smash and Parenthood and it’s always on Hulu. And Smash almost lost me when they writing took a nose dive. But, with Jonathan Rhys attached to this project, I will have to watch. I don’t even care about vampire movies/shows or the ‘terror/supernatural’ genre. But he is phenomenal and to watch him on network TV would be a def treat. Looks like NBC is indeed copying a page from the cable playbook with this one…

  • Matt

    Ooops – it was updated.

  • William Haney

    Will this be like True Blood or Twilight???

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    @Matt: yeah, I added the release in like a minute after I posted originally, but sometimes our cache takes a few more minutes to update!

  • Leondre

    Will Dracula air next season?

  • Kyle

    From the people behind “Downton Abbey” comes Dracula

  • Erica

    When will this air?

  • DamC

    I doubt this will air this season, NBC has already a long list of midseason replacements.

  • Chris Dragon

    I like when ppl say “I hate NBC, but I watch some of their shows on HULU” Uhm…HULU is partially OWNED by NBC, idiots.

  • Anthony M

    I look forward to this series, the people behind Downton Abbey are pretty talented. This will be very well done, I am positive of that.

  • capslocke

    When Dracula and Hannibal fail, along with last season’s wreck The Firm, hopefully NBC will get the picture that straight- to- series shows are a bad idea.

  • PatheticNewGuy

    I hope it’ll be gritty and violent, along the lines of Blade or 30 Days of Night, with Van Helsing and his lot disposing of Dracula’s ilk and repairing the damage the vampires create. Ummm, but I won’t hold my breath.

  • DryedMangoez

    Well, if they were going to do it, at least Jonathan Rhys Meyers is a big get.
    At worst, this’ll be a nice miniseries.

  • silvit

    Broadcast networks are against anything original. And at least 4 years behind. Oh well…

  • Nick

    This will probably be aired in the summer or late, late spring (a la NYC 22). With this and Crossbones on the shelf, I think NBC expects their whole schedule to crumble. I doubt that though. Granted, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays (post-NFL) will suck, but Tuesdays and Mondays will rule, and Fridays will do OK. Ugh. NBC people are so stupid they try to ruin a perfectly good schedule!

  • Rex

    Can someone please break it to the senior citizens in NBC’s research department who, with this announcement, are collectively jumping in the air and shouting, “We did it, we got a hit! We got a hit!” that THESE are not the vampires teenage girls are obsessed with?

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