Starz is in the midst of the second season of its Chicago contemporary political drama “Boss,” but the network’s clearly got a taste for period drama, with the “Mad Men”-like “Magic City” renewed for a second season, the ancient Rome-set action series “Spartacus” wrapping up with “War of the Damned” in January and the historical fantasy “Da Vinci’s Demons” slated for next year.
The cable network’s newest acquisition is set during England’s Wars of the Roses in the 15th century, a good era for intrigue, feuding royal families and some late medieval fashions.
Starz has picked up the 10-episode historical drama “The White Queen,” based on three books from Philippa Gregory’s The Cousins War series: “The White Queen,” “The Red Queen” and “The Kingmaker’s Daughter.” The series will air on Starz in the US in 2013 and on BBC One in the UK.
“The White Queen” stars Max Irons (of “Red Riding Hood” and the upcoming Stephenie Meyer film “The Host”) as the newly crowned Edward IV, who falls in love with and marries commoner Elizabeth Woodville (Rebecca Ferguson), to the displeasure of “The Kingmaker,” the manipulative Lord Warwick (James Frain of “The Tudors”). The great Janet McTeer plays Elizabeth’s mother, a “self-proclaimed sorceress,” while the fiercely religious Margaret Beaufort (Amanda Hale of “The Crimson Petal and The White”) vies to have her own son Henry Tudor take the throne. Meanwhile, Warwick’s daughter Anne Neville (Faye Marsay) gets out from under her father’s thumb by marrying the King’s younger brother Richard Duke of York (Aneurin Bernard).
Starz’s sister network Encore with broadcast the US premiere of “The Crimson Petal and The White,” a miniseries based on Michel Faber’s Victorian era-set novel and starring Romola Garai and Chris O’Dowd, on September 10th and 11th.
Philippa Gregory’s novel “The Other Boleyn Girl” was adapted into a TV movie starring Natascha McElhone, Jodhi May and Jared Harris in 2003 and a big screen version with Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson and Eric Bana in 2008.