×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Netflix’s ‘The Crown’: How Long Will It Reign?

Writer-producer Peter Morgan and director Stephen Daldry were the royal couple at the Museum of Modern Art on Sunday as Netflix hosted a sneak-peek screening for the pair’s period drama “The Crown,” which bows Nov. 4.

At the dinner that followed at the Modern, guests were quick to genuflect to producers and cast members for the artistry of the series that examines Queen Elizabeth II’s early years on the throne. Claire Foy drew raves for a performance that depicts QEII as a woman as much as a monarch. Matt Smith impressed with his work as the conflicted Prince Philip, while Jared Harris nearly runs away with the first two episodes with his touching portrayal of the dying King George VI.

Harris was humble about how he landed the part. “Colin Firth was too expensive,” he joked, citing the star of the Oscar-winning 2010 feature “The King’s Speech.”

The Crown,” from Sony Pictures TV, arrives at a momentous time for the U.S. — with its first female president expected to ascend to the throne next month — and an opportune time for Britain to look back at its recent past, what with the Brexit business still roiling the nation.

The big question audience members had after the screening was: How long will “Crown” reign? Writing 20 episodes to run over two seasons has been an all-consuming three-year odyssey for Morgan, who also penned the 2006 Helen Mirren starrer “The Queen.”

“Rather than finding this woman and this predicament less and less interesting it becomes more and more interesting,” Morgan said. The Queen’s story is a good way to examine the modern history of England because she is so intertwined with the “British constitution and the British soul,” he said.

But Morgan admitted he’s still wrestling with whether he will continue the story — should Netflix seek to renew “Crown” — that ends in the 1960s at the close of season two. Morgan may not know, but “Crown” producer Suzanne Mackie, of Left Bank Pictures, has a dream of mounting another three-season arc to take the House of Windsor through the Margaret Thatcher and Princess Diana years.

Producers Jason Blum and Colin Callender, Tina Brown and Harold Evans, Gay Talese, financier Leon Black, actor Zachary Quinto, UTA’s Peter Benedek and Sony TV’s Andrea Wong were among the notables who made time for an audience with “The Crown.”

(Pictured: “The Crown” stars Matt Smith, Claire Foy and John Lithgow)

More TV

  • Peppa Pig

    U.K. Competition Watchdog to Examine Hasbro's $4 Billion Deal for Entertainment One

    Britain’s competition watchdog will investigate Hasbro’s $4 billion takeover of Entertainment One. The Competition and Markets Authority was deeply involved in scrutinizing the sale of Sky, which was ultimately bought by Comcast at an unusual auction. The CMA said Thursday that it would examine whether Hasbro’s intended acquisition of eOne would result in a “substantial [...]

  • Democratic presidential candidate South Bend, Ind.,

    MSNBC and Washington Post Air Strong, Substantial Democratic Debate (Column)

    The Democratic party primary debate in Atlanta ran long (by about 20 minutes) and had a crowded stage of 10 candidates — and yet, relatively speaking, flew by efficiently. After a passel of debates that had been wildly oversubscribed and caught fire more for personality conflict than policy difference, the MSNBC and Washington Post debate [...]

  • Subhash Chandra Chairman of the Zee

    Another 16% Slice of India’s Zee to be Sold by Essel

    The Essel Group is to sell a further 16.5% stake in Zee Entertainment Enterprise Limited, India’s largest private sector broadcast group. The debt-reduction move comes just months after Essel auctioned off an 11% tranche of ZEEL. “The Group seeks to sell up to 16.5% stake in ZEEL to financial investors, in order to repay loan [...]

  • Fuller House

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Sets Premiere Date for Final Season of Fuller House

    In today’s TV news roundup, Netflix announces the Fuller House’s final season premiere date, HGTV provides a Variety exclusive to the reboot of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and Freeform announces the premiere date for Josh Thomas’ new comedy “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay.” DATES HGTV provided Variety with an exclusive trailer for the reboot of “Extreme Makeover: [...]

  • Tomiko Iwata

    Fox Promotes Creative-Services Head Tomiko Iwata

    Tomiko Iwata has been promoted to executive vice president, head of creative services at Fox Entertainment. She will be responsible for overseeing all of Fox’s creative services, including experiential marketing across divisions. In addition to overseeing her Los Angeles-based staff, she will lead a team based in New York. Her previous role was senior vice [...]

  • Frank Cicha

    Listen: Why Fox Television Stations Embraced Trial and Error in Daytime

    Frank Cicha, head of programming for Fox Television Stations, saw the future coming nearly a decade ago when Fox’s TV station group committed many millions to land syndication rights to “The Big Bang Theory” back in 2010. Even then, it was clear that big hits on the scale of “Big Bang” were going to be [...]

  • Sterling K. BrownVariety and Women in

    Sterling K. Brown to Narrate Disney Plus Documentary 'One Day at Disney' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sterling K. Brown is set to lend his voice to the upcoming Disney Plus feature documentary “One Day at Disney,” Variety has learned exclusively. “One Day at Disney” will highlight the people who work on some of Disney’s most beloved stories. The film will highlight 10 specific people and their role at Disney through the lens [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content