BBC takes War and Peace to US

BBC One’s adaptation of War and Peace has been picked up in the US.

War and Peace

War and Peace

Lifetime, A&E and History will all screen the series, which is based on Leo Tolstoy’s novel and written by Andrew Davies.

The six-hour series stars Paul Dano, Lily James, James Norton, Jim Broadbent, Gillian Anderson, Rebecca Front, and Kenneth Cranham.

Stephen Rea, Ade Edmondson, Greta Scacchi, Jack Lowden, Tom Burke, and Aisling Loftus have also joined the cast.

War and Peace is produced by BBC Cymru Wales Drama, in partnership with The Weinstein Company, BBC Worldwide, and Lookout Point.

Faith Penhale and Bethan Jones executive produce with Davies, Harvey Weinstein, Robert Walak, and Simon Vaughan. The producer is Julia Stannard.

War and Peace will air in 2016.

Damien checks in at A&E

The small screen follow-up to the classic horror film The Omen is changing channels – and has been given an increased episode order.

The Omen

The Omen

A&E will air the original drama Damien, which will now run for ten episodes, up from six. It was previously ordered for Lifetime.

The story follows the adult life of Damien Thorn, the mysterious child from the 1976 motion picture who has grown up seemingly unaware of the satanic forces around him.  Haunted by his past, Damien must now come to terms with his true destiny – that he is the Antichrist.

The cast includes Bradley James as Damien, with Barbara Hershey, Omid Abtahi, and Meganlyn Echikunwoke.

Produced by Fox 21 Television Studios, 44 Strong Productions and Fineman Entertainment, the executive producers are writer Glen Mazzara, Ross Fineman, Pancho Mansfield, and director Shekhar Kapur.

Damien is currently in production in Toronto.

Lifetime goes online with Fall Into Me

US cable channel Lifetime is moving into digital for the first time.



Fall Into Me (working title) will feature eight romantic stories, each six minutes long, that will be told from a woman’s point-of-view.

The concept comes from Guy Shalem. Produced by Propagate Content, it is executive produced by Shalem, Howard T Owens, and David McKillop.

It will launch this year.

Roots reboot for History, A&E, Lifetime

Classic drama Roots is getting a reboot.



US cable channels History, A&E, and Lifetime have partnered to make a version of Alex Haley’s American family origin story based around the life of Kunta Kinte.

The series is described as a historical portrait of American slavery recounting the journey of one family’s will to survive, endure and ultimately carry on their legacy despite enormous hardship and inhumanity.  Spanning multiple generations, the lineage begins with young Kunta, who is captured in his homeland in The Gambia and transported in brutal conditions to colonial America where he’s sold into slavery.

Throughout the series, the family continues to face adversity while bearing witness and contributing to notable events in US history – including the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, slave uprisings and eventual emancipation.

Roots will be an A+E Studios production in association with Marc Toberoff and original producer The Wolper Organisation.

Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal, Alison McDonald, and Charles Murray are writing the script.

Will Packer, Toberoff, Marc Wolper, Konner, and Rosenthal  will executive produce, with original cast member LeVar Burton and Korin Huggins as co-executive producer.

Roots will air across all three networks in 2016.

The series will be distributed internationally by A+E Networks under its A+E Studios International banner.

Lifetime unveils Marilyn

Here’s a first look at US cable channel Lifetime’s take on iconic star Marilyn Monroe.

The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe

The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe

Kelli Garner plays the actress in a new original miniseries called The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, which aims to uncover some of the secrets she kept from the public.

It also stars Susan Sarandon as Marilyn’s mother Gladys, Emily Watson, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

Based on J Randy Taraborrelli’s book of the same name, the story follows the battle of a woman to overcome her lonely and loveless childhood to become a Hollywood legend.

Produced by Asylum Entertainment, it is executive produced by Jonathan Koch, Steve Michaels, Intuition Productions’ Keri Selig, and writer Stephen Kronish.

The four-hour miniseries will air across two nights, on May 30 and May 31.

Winter is coming to A+E Studios

A+E Studios has signed a first-look development deal with producer Rachel Winter.

Under the deal, which covers series and other forms of scripted drama, Winter will work with A+E Studios to develop, create and produce original drama for A+E Networks’ channels, including A&E, Lifetime, and History, and other networks.

Winter recently signed on to executive produce Anne Rice’s The Sleeping Beauty erotic novels for Televisa USA.

She is also producing an ABC drama pilot starring Felicity Huffman, who also produces, about the fearless leader of a team of young agents on the New York City Joint Terrorism Task Force.

A+E Studios pacts with Vikings’ Michael Hirst

A+E Studios has signed a first-look development deal with Vikings creator Michael Hirst.



As part of the deal, Hirst will work with A+E Studios to develop, create and produce original drama series for A+E Networks’ channels, including A&E, Lifetime, and History, which airs Vikings.

He will also pitch series to outside broadcasters.

Hirst is the creator and executive producer of Vikings, which is now in its third season on History. He has also written every episode of the series.

He also created, executive produced and wrote every episode of The Tudors.

Lifetime films Perfect High

A new Lifetime original movie that exposes the world of teenage heroin use has started production.

Perfect High follows a high school dancer who starts using prescribed painkillers after suffering a knee injury. Feeling isolated, she is adopted by a new group of friends who introduce her to drugs, causing her to spiral into addiction until she is sold heroin disguised as a cheap painkiller.

The cast includes Bella Thorne, Israel Broussard, Daniela Bobadilla, and Ross Butler.

Bella Thorne

Bella Thorne

Written by Anne-Marie Hess, the film is produced by Sepia Films and Just Singer Entertainment.

The producers are Tina Pehme and Kim C Roberts, with Sheri Singer executive producing.

Filming will take place until February 22 in Victoria, British Colombia, and Perfect High is scheduled to air on Lifetime in the US and Super Channel in Canada this summer.

A&E Networks holds distribution rights to the movie.

Lifetime UK meets Blue

Julia Stiles is heading to Lifetime UK after the network picked up her gritty drama Blue.



The series, which airs in the US on web channel WIGS, stars Stiles as Blue, a single mum who lives a double life as an accountant by day and an escort at night.

The cast also includes William Peterson, Eric Stoltz, Kathleen Quinlan, and Uriah Shelton.

Blue is written and directed by WIGS co-founder Rodrigo Garcia, co-written by Karen Graci, and executive produced by Jon Avnet.

The 10×60′ season debuts on Lifetime on March 2.

Lifetime’s Lizzie gets two more episodes

Lifetime in the US has ordered two additional episodes of its forthcoming drama The Lizzie Borden Chronicles.

The eight-part series, which will debut in April, explores a fictionalised account of actual events and people surrounding Lizzie’s life after her controversial acquittal of the horrific double murder of her father and stepmother in 1892, when the exonerated figure lives a life awash in newfound celebrity filled with scandalous love affairs.

It stars Christina Ricci, who reprises her role as Lizzie after headlining Lifetime’s TV movie Lizzie Borden Took An Ax.

The cast also includes Andrew Howard, Jonathan Banks, Cole Hauser, John Heard, and Jessy Schram.

The Lizzie Borden Chronicles is produced by Sony Pictures Television and executive produced by Judith Verno and Ricci.  It is written by Greg Small, Rich Blaney, Barbara Nance, Jason Grote, and David Simkins.