Peacock signs Windsor to Queen Mum biopic

Ardent also inks separate made-for, E! royalty series

The century-spanning life story of Britain’s beloved Queen Mum is headed to NBC as a telefilm produced by her grandson, Edward Windsor.

Windsor’s Ardent Prods. last week inked a development deal with the Peacock for a biopic on H.M. Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, who celebrated her 99th birthday on Aug. 4.

Windsor, the youngest child of Queen Elizabeth II, was in Los Angeles last week with Ardent’s head of development, Nigel McCrery, for a whirlwind round of meetings with networks and cablers. He inked a separate deal for a second high-profile made-for with the Peacock, but details of that project were sketchy.

The E! cabler also picked up a series of specs on Windsor’s famous family and its royal forebears, to be dubbed “Royalty A-Z.”

Another project hitting close to home for Windsor is “Stalkarazzi,” an hourlong CBS spec on the rise of paparazzi and tabloid journalism, to be produced with Phil Gurin Prods.

Ardent has established itself over the past few years as a docu shop, but the company is now looking to branch into scripted fare. The company has three telepics in development with Showtime, including a rendition of Mark Twain’s evergreen tale of “The Prince and the Pauper.”

“The heart of all the projects we do is the story — that’s our aim, whether it’s a factual piece or fiction,” Windsor told Daily Variety. “If I think there’s a decent story there, we’ll do it.”

Airing tonight at 8 p.m. on PBS is Ardent’s docu on the “Stars Over Mississippi” benefit concert organized every other year by Amory, Miss., native son Sam Haskell. Haskell, the West Coast head of TV for the William Morris Agency, reps Windsor and his Ardent Prods. banner.

Like the performers, which included Pam Tillis, Ann-Margret and Marilu Henner, Windsor bunked with a local family during his stay in Amory last October. The hourlong spec wound up focusing more on the volunteer effort that Amory residents marshal to put on the benefit, which funds a scholarship program for local students.

“There have been so many concert specials done,” Windsor said. “We found it fascinating just to walk up and talk to people. Rather than editing it all down, we give a cinema verite look at the people of Amory.”

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