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.
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:
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.