Historical Series “The White Princess” Produced by Company Pictures Takes Court at Starz
Starz Greenlights New Original Limited Series “The White Princess” Adapted from Philippa Gregory’s Historical Novel
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Starz announced today the company has greenlit “The White Princess,” the follow-up to the critically-acclaimed STARZ Original Miniseries event “The White Queen,” from Company Pictures. Adapted from Philippa Gregory’s best-selling novel of the same name and part of The Cousins’ War book series, "The White Princess" tells the story of England’s War of the Roses from the perspective of the women. The 8-episode limited series drama is currently in pre-production.
“’The White Queen’ was a phenomenal performer at Starz, averaging 4.8 million multiplatform viewers per episode in the United States*”
Acclaimed writer Emma Frost (“The White Queen,” “The Man in the High Castle,” “Shameless”) returns to serve as Showrunner and Executive Producer with Gregory serving as Executive Producer for “The White Princess.”
Lachlan MacKinnon (“Burton and Taylor”) will serve as Producer for the series. Playground’s Colin Callender (“The White Queen,” “The Dresser,” “The Missing,” “Wolf Hall”) will serve as Executive Producer with Company Pictures’ Michele Buck (“Parades End,” “Sex Traffic,” “Hornblower”).
“The White Princess” concludes the story of England's War of the Roses and charts the rise of the House of Tudor through the tortuous marriage between Princess Elizabeth of York and King Henry Tudor. The year is 1485 and Princess Elizabeth, daughter of “The White Queen,” has been pledged in marriage to the newly anointed King Henry Tudor in hopes that it will bring peace to a war torn country. England is united, but their marriage is soon divided, as rumors circulate that Elizabeth’s long-lost brother Prince Richard is alive and planning to take the throne. Now she must choose between Tudor wife and York princess, between her new husband and the boy who claims to be her own blood and the true heir to the crown.
“’The White Queen’ was a phenomenal performer at Starz, averaging 4.8 million multiplatform viewers per episode in the United States*,” said Carmi Zlotnik, Managing Director for Starz. “There is a dearth of programming that tells women’s stories and ‘The White Queen’ was embraced with great success by audiences worldwide. The passionate fanbase for Philippa Gregory’s historical novels are undeniable and we are confident ‘The White Princess’ will become the next must-see fandom drama series.”
“The White Queen” was the first STARZ Original series to attract more women than men viewers with women making up 55 percent of the viewership. “The White Queen” also consistently ranked in the Top 10 cable shows for each premiere night**.
“The White Queen” received a 2014 Golden Globe® nomination for Best TV Movie or Mini-Series with Rebecca Ferguson and Janet McTeer each receiving Golden Globe® nominations in the Best Actress in a TV Movie or Miniseries category and the Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie category, respectively.
“The White Queen” also received several Emmy® nominations in 2014 for Outstanding Mini Series; Outstanding Costumes for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special; Outstanding Hairstyling for a Miniseries or a Movie; and Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special (Original Dramatic Score).
About “The White Princess”
The year is 1485 and Henry Tudor is king, having snatched the crown from Richard III in a surprise victory at the Battle of Bosworth. Elizabeth of York, “The White Princess,” is faced with marrying Henry, the man who has just killed her lover. While Elizabeth’s mother Dowager Queen Elizabeth, “The White Queen,” encourages her to marry to preserve the York claim of title and ensure her family’s safety, Henry’s mother Margaret Beaufort detests the idea, but knows it is the only way for her son to stay on the throne and unify a country divided by war.
In the court of Burgundy, the Duchess rules over a new enemy stronghold for disenfranchised Yorkists and all of Henry Tudor’s enemies. It is from here that a Pretender is mustering an army. He claims to be brother to the Queen, and the true heir to the throne. But is he the missing prince from the tower sent by his mother, the White Queen? Or a counterfeit prince – a low-born enemy to Henry Tudor and his York princess wife?
Princess Elizabeth must choose between Tudor wife and York princess - between her new husband and baby son, and the boy who claims to be her beloved lost brother. Has the rose of York come home at last and at what cost to her?
“The White Princess” tells the story of one of the most fascinating periods of British history, spanning the winter court of Henry Tudor – uniquely from the women’s point of view. The most ruthless players in history will stop at nothing to support their own causes and those of the ones they love.
“The White Princess” will film on location in Bristol, UK and will air on STARZ in 2017. Starz will retain all network pay TV and SVOD rights to the project.
* Source: Based on STARZ internal estimates of linear and time-shifted results from Nielsen (NPower), Rentrak (On Demand Essentials) and internal broadband data. Subject to further qualifications available upon request.
** Source: Nielsen NPower, Live +SD demo projections (000s) for the season and Live +3 Coverage Household ratings on premiere days 8/9/13 -10/25/13.
Starz (NASDAQ: STRZA, STRZB) is a leading integrated global media and entertainment company with operating units that provide premium subscription video programming on domestic U.S. pay television channels (Starz Networks) and global content distribution (Starz Distribution), www.starz.com.
Starz Networks is a leading provider of premium subscription video programming through the flagship STARZ® and ENCORE® pay TV networks which showcase premium original programming and movies to U.S. multichannel video distributors, including cable operators, satellite television providers, and telecommunications companies. As of September 30, 2015, STARZ and ENCORE serve a combined 55.8 million subscribers, including 23.3 million at STARZ, and 32.5 million at ENCORE, making them the largest pair of premium flagship channels in the U.S. STARZ® and ENCORE®, along with Starz Networks' third network MOVIEPLEX®, air more than 1,000 movies monthly across 17 linear networks, complemented by On Demand and authenticated online offerings through STARZ PLAY, ENCORE PLAY, and MOVIEPLEX PLAY. Starz Distribution develops, produces and acquires entertainment content, distributing it to consumers globally on DVD, digital formats and traditional television. Starz Distribution's home video, digital media and worldwide distribution business units distribute original programming content produced by Starz, as well as entertainment content for itself and third parties.
Playground is a New York and London based film, television and theatre company that was founded in 2012 by Emmy and Tony award winning producer Colin Callender. It is committed to producing quality drama for the screen and the stage bringing together the finest US and UK talent from the worlds of theatre, film, and television. Callender won his first Emmy for the television adaptation of the RSC’s “The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby” and, as president of HBO Films, was responsible for an unprecedented award-winning slate of movies and mini-series.
Playground has produced over 50 hours of prime time television drama garnering 13 Emmy nominations and 11 Golden Globe nominations, including a Golden Globe win for Best Miniseries. Recent productions include the Emmy-nominated and Golden Globe winning six-part miniseries adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s “Wolf Hall” starring Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis, Claire Foy and Jonathan Pryce for the BBC and Masterpiece, the television adaptation of Ronald Harwood’s “The Dresser” starring Ian McKellen and Anthony Hopkins and directed by Richard Eyre for the BBC and Starz, Golden Globe nominated “The Missing” an eight part thriller with Charlie Pattinson’s New Pictures for the BBC and Starz, Emmy and Golden Globe nominated “The White Queen” for BBC and Starz, and Golden Globe nominated “Dancing on the Edge” also for BBC and Starz. Upcoming productions include Stephen Poliakoff’s post-WWII miniseries “Close To The Enemy” with Helen Flint’s Little Island Production and a miniseries adaptation of “Howards End” written by Ken Lonergan for the BBC.
On the theatre front, Playground’s recent productions include Jez Butterworth’s The River starring Hugh Jackman on Broadway, Nora Ephron’s Tony-nominated Lucky Guy starring Tom Hanks in his Broadway debut, Tony-nominated Casa Valentina from Harvey Fierstein, the Tony Award-winning musical revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch starring Neil Patrick Harris; and the critically acclaimed production of Macbeth at The Park Avenue Armory starring Kenneth Branagh. Playground, alongside Sonia Friedman Productions and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions is currently producing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, based on an original new story by JK Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, that will receive its world premiere in London’s West End in the summer of 2016.
About Company Pictures
Company Pictures is one of the UK’s largest independent film and television producers.
Founded in 1998, we have produced hundreds of hours of critically acclaimed, award winning drama.
Company has produced major drama series for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky, WGBH, HBO, Starz and other leading broadcasters all over the world. Company was responsible for period drama Elizabeth (winner of three Golden Globes), eleven series of the multi award winning Shameless, the much loved long running family series Wild at Heart and the hugely popular teen drama Skins.
Recently, Company produced a big budget six part adaptation for the BBC of Hilary Mantel’s prize winning “Wolf Hall” (recent winner of a Golden Globe®), written by Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), directed by BAFTA nominated Peter Kosminsky and starring Mark Rylance and Damian Lewis.
From seminal drama “The Lakes” in the 1990s to “The White Queen,” “Inspector George Gently” and “The Village” today, Company Pictures continues to produce and deliver high quality, distinguished drama that attracts the best talent the UK has to offer.
Since October 2004 Company has been part of All3Media.
All3Media is a leading independent television, film and digital production and distribution companies. The All3Media group is comprised of 21 production and distribution companies from across the UK, Europe, New Zealand and USA including Apollo20, Bentley Productions, Company Pictures, IDTV, John Stanley Productions, Lime Pictures, Lion Television, Little Dot Studios, Maverick Television, MME Moviement, Neal Street Productions, New Pictures, North One Television, Objective Productions, Optomen, One Potato Two Potato, Seven Stories, South Pacific Pictures, Studio Lambert, All3Media America and All3Media International. All3Media is owned jointly between Discovery Communications and Liberty Global.