×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jane Austen’s Unfinished Novel ‘Sanditon’ Set as ITV, PBS Masterpiece Series

Jane Austen’s unfinished final novel, “Sanditon,” is being developed as a lavish period epic for ITV in Britain and PBS Masterpiece in the U.S. Veteran TV scribe Andrew Davies (“Pride and Prejudice”) is writing the eight-part series, with Tony Jordan’s “Hooten & The Lady” drama indie Red Planet Pictures on production duty.

Austen penned the first 11 chapters of Sanditon months before her death in 1817. It follows Charlotte Heywood, a spirited and impulsive woman who moves from her rural home to Sanditon, a sleepy fishing village attempting to reinvent itself as a seaside resort. Heywood’s spiky relationship with the humorous, charming Sidney Parker is a key part of the story, which has “a spirited young heroine, a couple of entrepreneurial brothers, some dodgy financial dealings, a West Indian heiress, and quite a bit of nude bathing,” said Davies.

“It’s a rich, romantic, family saga built upon the foundations Jane Austen laid,” said Polly Hill, head of drama at ITV, which counts “Downton Abbey” and “Victoria” among its period drama hits. “There is no one better to adapt her unfinished novel than Andrew, who has an incredible track record for bold and original adaptations.”

Added executive producer Belinda Campbell of Red Planet Pictures: “Andrew Davies’ compelling scripts bear all the hallmarks of the biting social commentary and realism that makes Jane Austen one of the most widely read writers in English literature.”

Davies, whose other credits include “Mr. Selfridge” and “War and Peace,” will also exec produce. He paid tribute to the source material. “Jane Austen managed to write only a fragment of her last novel before she died – but what a fragment,” he said. “It’s been a privilege and a thrill for me to develop ‘Sanditon’ into a TV drama for a modern audience.”

“Sanditon” is a Red Planet Pictures production commissioned for ITV by Hill and for PBS Masterpiece by Rebecca Eaton. Filming gets underway next spring. BBC Studios will distribute the series internationally.

More TV

  • Dom Delport

    Vice Swings to Profit in the U.K., Eyes International Partnerships

    After a tumultuous period involving harassment scandals, job losses and restructuring, Vice has registered a small profit in the U.K., according to the company’s latest results. The uptick is welcome news for Vice as its new international boss, Dominique Delport, scopes out new production and partnership possibilities for the company’s content business. The U.K. was [...]

  • Stephen Colbert

    Stephen Colbert Mocks Former CBS Chief Leslie Moonves on 'Late Show'

    Leslie Moonves was known to take an active dislike of David Letterman making fun of him during that host’s tenure on CBS’ “The Late Show.” He probably isn’t enjoying being mentioned by Stephen Colbert either. Colbert used his monologue on Tuesday’s broadcast to poke fun at the former CBS Corp. CEO, who yesterday learned that [...]

  • Ruth Wilson and Idris Elba'Luther Series

    'Luther' Creator Neil Cross Working on Show's Movie Version, Idris Elba Says

    A movie version of crime series “Luther” is moving forward, with writer-creator Neil Cross working on the script, the show’s star Idris Elba confirmed at the launch of Season 5 in London. “We are really advancing on getting a movie version [of the show] up on the screen,” Elba said. “Neil is beavering away on [...]

  • THE VOICE -- "Blind Auditions" --

    TV News Roundup: NBC Announces Midseason Premiere Dates

    In today’s roundup, NBC reveals midseason premiere dates for six shows, including “The Voice.” DATES  NBC has announced midseason premiere dates for four returning and two new series. “The Voice” will air Feb. 25 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, Feb. 26 at 8 p.m., and March 5 at 8 p.m. It will return April 23 at 8 [...]

  • Penny Marshall Dead Obit

    Remembering Penny Marshall, Who Forged Her Own Path and Paved the Way for Others

    She was a natural comedian — fearless and funny, willing to trade on her natural Bronx brogue to craft a sassy and street-wise character that was tailor-made for sitcoms. But Penny Marshall, who died Monday night at the age of 75, proved throughout her long career that she had so much more in the way [...]

  • David Rhodes CBS News

    CBS News Faces New Challenges in Weeks Ahead

    At CBS News, President David Rhodes has a series of important decisions to make that could affect the trajectories of some of TV’s best-known news programs. As its parent company seeks to move forward from recent seismic events – the ouster of its former CEO, Leslie Moonves; a corporate probe into its workplace culture; and [...]

  • European Union Placeholder

    Europe, Hollywood Hail Landmark E.U. Territorial Licensing Agreement

    Industry organizations and major companies in Europe and Hollywood welcomed Tuesday a high-level European Union agreement that in large part preserves producers’ ability to sell movies and TV shows on an exclusive territory-by-territory basis. Territorial licensing is a financial backbone of the film and TV business in Europe. Recognition of such licensing came last Thursday in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content