Scott Free reups for 'Pillars of the Earth' sequel

Starz and a slew of European broadcasters have re-upped for “World Without End,” the TV adaptation of Ken Follett’s bestselling sequel to “Pillars of the Earth.”

Scott Free and Tandem Communications are re-teaming on the eight-hour miniseries, which will be a German-Canadian co-production with Toronto-based Take 5 Prods.

“Pillars” scribe John Pielmeier will pen the new adaptation.

Starz, which aired “Pillars” in the U.S. this summer, is co-financing development with Tandem, and has an option for U.S. rights.

Also back on board are Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1, Spain’s Cuatro, Austria’s ORF, Rupert Murdoch’s pay TV platform Sky Italia and German distrib Universum Film, which is handling home entertainment rights.

“Pillars” was a solid hit in Europe but underperformed Stateside.

In Germany, it attracted an average 6.8 million viewers and a 25.3 share in the key 14-49 demo during its recent run on ProSiebenSat.1’s flagship channel Sat.1, which will also air “World Without End.”

“Pillars” bowed Sept. 14 on Cuatro in Spain. The first two episodes, broadcast back-to-back, averaged an extraordinary 31.1 share and 5.1 million viewers. The series averaged a 24.7 share and 4.2 million viewers.

” ‘The Pillars of the Earth’ has attracted a committed worldwide audience and has demonstrated it is a program with wide appeal and staying power,” said Tandem partner and managing director Rola Bauer. “It’s a testament to the quality and all of the partners involved that we can do it again on ‘World Without End.’ “

Scott Free topper Ridley Scott said: “With the now long-standing relationship between Tandem and Scott Free, it makes perfect sense that we are moving forward on ‘World Without End’ together, showcasing more of Ken Follett’s great storytelling and John Pielmeier’s wonderful adaptation.”

(Emiliano de Pablos in Madrid contributed to this report.)

Filed Under:

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more