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‘Mad Men’ scribes head to ‘Versailles’

Jacquemettons on board for 12-episode Gallic costumer

Paris– After depicting a big-time Manhattan ad agency in the 1960’s, Mad Men’s scribe duo Andre and Maria Jacquemetton are boarding “Versailles,” a period drama centering on the Court of French King Louis XIV.

The 12-episode series is produced by CAPA Drama and Marathon – now owned by Zodiak Entertainment, for Gallic pay TV giant Canal Plus, which is co-financing the show’s development.

HBO alumni Anne Thomopoulos serves as executive producer.

Skein will be penned and shot in English language. Each episode has an estimated budget of $2.5 million.

Fabrice De La Patelliere, Canal Plus’ director of the fiction department, said the producers are looking for British or American partners to develop the series.

Along with the period drama “The Borgias,” comicbook-based “XIII: The Series” and Ancient Egypt saga “Pharaoh,” “Versailles” is one of the various big-budget, English-language series launched by the French powerhouse in the past two years. And “Versailles” isn’t the only project to have attracted prestigious American scribes: John Milius will script “Pharaoh,” Tom Fontana will showrun “The Borgias” and Gil Grant will pen episodes of “XIII.”

“Louis XIV remains an iconic figure in French history and his reign continues to captivate people across the world,” explained De La Patelliere. “And even though it’s a costumer we’ll make sure it’s resolutely modern and unconventional to appeal to international audiences.”

Claude Chelli, topper of CAPA Drama, concurs, “The series will be culturally French, but The Jacquemettons will bring their American storytelling skills, and great sense of details and characters.

Currently in development, the series will lense on location at the French castle of Versailles and in the palace’s gardens.

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