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Netflix Takes ‘The Crown’ British Drama Series, Set for 2016

It’s official: Netflix has announced an initial order for “The Crown,” a drama about the interplay and political intrigue between Queen Elizabeth II and the British prime ministers spanning several decades, with the first 10-episode season set to premiere worldwide in 2016.

The Crown,” produced by Left Bank Pictures in association with Sony Pictures Television, is based on the play “The Audience” from scribe Peter Morgan (“The Queen,” “Frost/Nixon”), director Stephen Daldry (“Billy Elliot,” “The Hours”) and producer Andy Harries (“The Queen”). Morgan, Daldry and Harries will serve as executive producers of “The Crown” along with Robert Fox and Matthew Byam Shaw.

“The Crown” tells the story of two of the most famous addresses in the world — Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street — and the intrigues, love lives and machinations behind the events that shaped the second half of the 20th century. The project is Netflix’s first U.K.-based original series.

“‘The Crown’ is not only about the royal family but about an empire in decline, a world in disarray and the dawn of a new era,” Morgan said in a statement. “I am beyond thrilled to be reunited with partners from film, theatre and television for this epic project and delighted to be working for the first time with Netflix.”

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Casting has not been announced for the series. Helen Mirren starred in “The Audience” as Queen Elizabeth II (pictured above) as well as Miramax’s “The Queen.” The BBC and ITV were in talks for “The Crown” before Netflix came in as lead suitor, per reports about the project earlier this year.

Netflix has announced the pickup of a first season, but said each season of “The Crown” will cover a decade of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. Season one begins with Elizabeth as a 25-year-old princess faced with the daunting prospect of leading the world’s most famous monarchy while forging a relationship with domineering Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

“‘The Crown’ is storytelling that lives somewhere between television and cinema from Britain’s foremost chroniclers of modern politics, class and society,” said Cindy Holland, VP of original content at Netflix. “We are enormously proud to be the exclusive home of a series from Peter Morgan and Stephen Daldry that promises to fascinate and entertain audiences around the world.”

Harries, CEO of Left Bank Pictures, added, “Peter is a writer at the height of his powers and Stephen Daldry is one of the most entertaining and original film directors in the world. The series will be hugely ambitious and surprising, and perfectly captures the changes and complexities of a post-war world.”

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