The NBCUniversal cabler has been focused on launching a scripted series for some time. The Lionsgate TV production from writer-director Mark Schwahn, is slated to be shot in the U.K. and air next year. Brian Robbins and Joe Davola, who worked with Schwahn on the long-running WB/CW drama “One Tree Hill,” will exec produce with Schwahn.
“Royals” is described as a sweeping ensembler set in London that revolves around the high-class hurly-burly of modern life in the fishbowl for the regal set. Hurley plays the demanding matriarch Queen Helena. William Moseley, Alexandra Park, Vincent Regan, Tom Austen, Jake Maskall, Ukweli Roach and Oliver Milburn also star.
” ‘The Royals’ will offer a fictional look behind the very public gilded facade of the palace gates to imagine the private, lush, fun, sexy world of the most-watched celebrity family on the planet,” said Jeff Olde, E’s exec veep of original programming and development. “It’s a perfect series to introduce E! viewers to scripted pop culture programming on the network.”
Kevin Plunkett, E’s senior VP of scripted programming described E! first swing as “a big idea.”
The production team of Schwahn, Robbins and Davola ” have an extraordinary track record at crafting buzz worthy content that reflects and drives the pop culture discussion,” Plunkett said. ” This team, working on this concept, with this cast is a great way for us to launch our first scripted show.”
E!’s move into the scripted realm follows the same move by another Peacock cabler built on the success of its unscripted programming. Bravo last month ordered its first drama, “The Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce,” also slated for a 2015 premiere.