Lionsgate Television U.K. has acquired the rights to non-fiction novel “Jerusalem” to develop the best-seller as its first series. It will be developed by Steve November, Lionsgate’s creative director of U.K. television, in collaboration with Lionsgate’s U.S. creative team.
Lionsgate will produce and act as global distributor, including in the U.S. and U.K., for the series which is based on the 2011 novel by historian Simon Sebag Montefiore. Lionsgate describes “Jerusalem” as a character-driven, action-filled account of war, betrayal, faith, fanaticism, slaughter, persecution and co-existence in the universal city through the ages.
“‘Jerusalem’ is a compelling narrative which tells the human story of empires, nations, dynasties, politics and religions,” said November. “This project will bring the story of this unique city and the people who have fought and died for it alive in an epic, dynastic television saga.”
Kevin Beggs, chairman of Lionsgate Television Group, described the project, which is intended to run across multiple season, as the kind of “high-end event programming that is a Lionsgate signature.” “This is the perfect property to launch Lionsgate Television U.K.’s slate of premium series for a global audience,” said Beggs.
Montefiore will bring his knowledge of the subject to the series as a consultant and executive producer on the series. The deal was negotiated between Lionsgate and Georgina Capel Associates, acting on behalf of Montefiore.