Damian Lewis In Talks For BBC/Masterpiece Miniseries ‘Wolf Hall’

By | Friday January 31, 2014 @ 9:00am PST

damian lewisErstwhile Homeland star Damian Lewis could step into the role of King Henry VIII in BBC Two and Masterpiece‘s major adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Booker Prize winning historical fiction novels Wolf Hall and … Read More »

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‘Downton Abbey’ Hits Series High With Season 4 Debut

By | Monday January 6, 2014 @ 1:43pm PST

Downton Abbey Ratings Season 4 Premiere PBSThere was mourning, the expected intrigue, dancing and  looming change both upstairs and downstairs last night on the Season 4 premiere of Downton Abbey on PBS. There were also a lot of people watching: Airing at 9 PM, the two-hour episode, which is set in 1922 and takes place six months after the sudden death of Downton heir Matthew Crawley, pulled in 10.2 million viewers. That’s up 22% from the Season 3 debut and a series high for the show, eclipsing the previous record of the Season 3 finale on PBS last February. The third season of the British aristocratic period drama debuted on January 6, 2013, to 7.9 million viewers, which was a strong leap from the 4.2 million who watched the second-season launch on January 9, 2012. Even before this latest cycle started, Downton Abbey has been the highest-rated drama in PBS history.

Related: ‘Downton Abbey’ Gets Fifth Season Order

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Hot TV Teaser: ‘Downton Abbey’ Christmas Special

By | Saturday December 7, 2013 @ 5:35am PST

Mild Spoiler Alert…
Although Downton Abbey‘s fourth season doesn’t begin airing in the U.S. for another few weeks, the regular UK season wrapped last month and the Christmas special is now nearly here. As is custom, the episode will air over two hours on Britain’s … Read More »

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Hot TV Teaser: ‘Death Comes To Pemberley’

Laurence Olivier did it, and so did Colin Firth. Now it’s Matthew Rhys‘ turn to portray Jane Austen’s Mr Darcy. Rhys is playing the iconic character in Death Comes To Pemberley, a three-part mini that unspools on BBC One in the UK over three days beginning … Read More »

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‘Downton Abbey’ Gets Fifth Season Order

By and | Sunday November 10, 2013 @ 2:35pm PST

UK network ITV has commissioned a fifth season of hit period drama Downton Abbey from producer Carnival Films, which also has been picked up by PBS in the U.S. Production on a new set … Read More »

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Masterpiece Boards BBC2′s ‘Wolf Hall’ & ‘Bring Up The Bodies’ Tudor-Era Mini

By | Sunday October 13, 2013 @ 2:10am PDT

BBC Two and Masterpiece are hooking up for a “major” adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Booker Prize winning historical fiction novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies. Tony and Olivier Award-winner Mark Rylance is now confirmed to play Thomas Cromwell in the six-part serial that follows Cromwell’s rise from the lowly son of a blacksmith to becoming King Henry VIII’s closest advisor in the Tudor court. BAFTA-winning helmer Peter Kosminsky is directing from a script by Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’s Peter Straughan. Wolf Hall is a co-production from Company Pictures, Colin Callender’s Playground Entertainment, and Masterpiece for BBC Two in association with BBC Worldwide.

The project was first tipped in 2011 as a four-part adaptation of just 2009’s Wolf Hall, but in 2012, Mantel’s second book in the Cromwell trilogy, Bring Up The Bodies, won her a second Booker prize and the miniseries will combine the two under the Wolf Hall title. Both have been best-sellers and gave Mantel the rare distinction of winning two Bookers, the UK’s highest literary honor. Shooting starts in spring 2014 for an as-yet determined airdate on BBC Two in the UK and Masterpiece in the U.S. in 2015. Read More »

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ITV’s ‘Breathless’ Catches 3.7M Viewers In UK Debut

By | Friday October 11, 2013 @ 5:19am PDT

Sixties-set medical drama Breathless premiered on ITV1 in the UK on Thursday night with 3.7M viewers (including +1s) for a 17.5% share in the overnights. That was consistent with the slot average and was enough for the show … Read More »

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Hot TV Teaser: ‘Breathless’

ITV Studios and Masterpiece teamed to co-produce Breathless, the upcoming six-part drama about a group of doctors and nurses working in a London hospital in the 1960s. Jack Davenport leads an ensemble cast that includes Game Of Thrones‘ Iain Glen, … Read More »

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PBS Orders Second Season of ‘Mr. Selfridge’

PBS has purchased a second season of Mr. Selfridge, starring Jeremy Piven as the American entrepreneur who founded UK’s Selfridge department store. The second season will air on PBS’s Masterpiece Classic franchise in ’14. PBS says the first season was sampled by 15 million viewers over its eight episodes; … Read More »

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Masterpiece To Co-Produce ITV Medical Drama ‘Breathless’

By | Wednesday June 19, 2013 @ 4:18pm PDT

Masterpiece is re-teaming with ITV Studios to co-produce Breathless, the upcoming six-part drama about a group of doctors and nurses working in a London hospital in the 1960s. Jack Davenport leads an ensemble cast that includes Game Of Thrones‘ Iain Glen, Downton Abbey‘s Zoe Boyle and Natasha Little (Kidnap And Ransom). The series is set in a busy gynecology unit in 1961, a time when abortion was still illegal, the contraceptive pill only just available to married women and moral codes were shifting. Shooting started in April. No U.S. or UK air date has been set. Read More »

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ITV Orders Four More ‘Endeavour’ Movies

By | Wednesday June 5, 2013 @ 4:40am PDT

From Downton Abbey to Mr. Selfridge to Broadchurch, the UK’s ITV has been enjoying a successful run of original drama series. Looking to continue the trend, the network has just ordered a second four-part outing for Inspector MorseRead More »

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‘Downton Abbey’ Season 4 To Bow Jan. 5

By | Tuesday May 14, 2013 @ 7:50am PDT

PBS has scheduled the eight-week run of the hit English period drama to run through the end of February, Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton said today during the PBS Annual Meeting. Downton Abbey is … Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Masterpiece’ Memoir; Endemol & AMC Pact On Non-Scripted; ‘Draw It’ In UK; ‘Boys In Trees’

Rebecca Eaton To Pull The Curtain Back On Masterpiece
Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton will publish a memoir this fall. Making Masterpiece: 25 Years Behind The Scenes Of Masterpiece Theatre And Mystery! PBS releases October 29 via Viking in the U.S. Eaton has presided over PBS’ Masterpiece, which airs such British and international hits as Downton Abbey and Sherlock, for 25 years. Eaton says, “As an Anglophile who loves books and great acting, I’ve had the perfect job.” For the book, she interviews actors, writers, directors and producers and is expected to share stories about Downton’s Maggie Smith, Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Radcliffe whose first TV role was as the title character in David Copperfield. Under Eaton’s leadership, Masterpiece has earned 44 Emmy Awards, 15 Peabody Awards, four Golden Globes, and two Oscar nominations. She’s writing the book with Patricia Mulcahy. Read More »

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BBC Worldwide America & PBS’ ‘Masterpiece’ Team Up For ‘The Paradise’ & ‘The Lady Vanishes’

By | Tuesday October 9, 2012 @ 12:00am PDT

A new co-production deal between BBC Worldwide America and Masterpiece will see two more U.K. titles coming to PBS. The Paradise is a rags-to-riches Victorian Era drama series set in Britain’s first department store. The Lady Vanishes is a … Read More »

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EMMYS: PBS’ ‘Downton Abbey’

By | Friday June 1, 2012 @ 11:40pm PDT

Downton Abbey Producers
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage

AwardsLineIt’s been 100 years since the Titanic sank but less than a year since a TV event that kicked off with that very disaster, Downton Abbey, took the Emmy Awards by storm last September. Relatively unheralded and on unsexy PBS, Downton Abbey managed to launch its own British invasion in claiming six trophies (including top movie/miniseries as well as the supporting work of Dame Downton AbbetMaggie Smith.) The show about the lives of English aristocrats and servants in the early part of the 20th century seemingly became a pop culture phenomenon the instant it arrived on our shores, demonstrating again that the Brits do period drama better than anyone else.

But in the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately? world of the primetime Emmys, Downton (a co-production of NBCUniversal’s Carnival Films in the UK and PBS affiliate WGBH/Boston) is about to find out how the other half really lives. Because it’s no longer a miniseries but a plain old drama series in its second season, it won’t be competing for Emmys this time with longform projects like HBO’s Mildred Pierce, Too Big to Fail and Cinema Verité as it did in 2011, but instead against American TV’s real aristocracy, which will include some combination of AMC’s Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Killing, Showtime’s Homeland and HBO’s Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire. That’s assuming, of course, that Downton earns second invitation to the party as it’s expected to. Read More »

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PBS’ ‘Masterpiece’ Nets $1M Donation

By | Wednesday March 28, 2012 @ 8:21pm PDT

Downton Abbey DonationDownton Abbey has generated plenty of fans for PBS’ Masterpiece, which has rejuvenated the franchise with two stellar seasons and a Best Movie/Miniseries Emmy win last year. But PBS said today that the Masterpiece franchise has … Read More »

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‘Masterpiece,’ ‘Downton Abbey’ Boost PBS Fortunes: TCA

By | Thursday January 5, 2012 @ 2:56pm PST

TCA: PBS Chief Paula Kerger Plays Defense Over Programming

Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.

Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton positively beamed at critics this afternoon during a lunchtime panel promoting the PBS series of British productions. Ratings … Read More »

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