By Ben Travers | Indiewire March 7, 2014 at 1:26PM
The "!" in E! just got a little more exciting. The network announced they will be moving forward with their first original scripted series, "The Royals," with a targeted release of 2015. Revolving around a British Royal family in modern day London, the fictional one-hour drama was written by Mark Schwann ("One Tree Hill," "Coach Carter") who is also signed on to direct.
"We are excited that E!'s first original scripted series will transport viewers into a world that they are already intensely interested in, but reality cameras would never give them access to," said Jeff Olde, Executive Vice President of Original Programming & Development. "'The Royals' will offer a fictional look behind the very public gilded facade of the palace gates to imagine the private, lush, fun, sexy world of the most-watched celebrity family on the planet. It's a perfect series to introduce E! viewers to scripted pop culture programming on the network."
Elizabeth Hurley ("Austin Powers," "Bedazzled") is set to lead the ensemble cast featuring Vincent Regan, William Mosely, and Alexandra Park. The series is to be shot in Great Britain. Check out the full plot synopsis from the press release below:
"Queen Helena (Hurley) has the power, beauty and intelligence to get anything and everything she wants. And failure isn’t an option, especially when it comes to protecting her family’s image, which she will stop at nothing to control. King Simon (Regan) is a moral compass amidst the chaos of palace life. He is a good king, yet one who controversially places his own family above the people he rules. The youngest son of Simon and Helena, Liam (Moseley) is thrust into the spotlight when he unexpectedly becomes the heir apparent in the pilot. Liam enjoys the many perks of being the world’s most eligible bachelor while coping with the rigors and pressures that come with being the future King. Sole daughter Eleanor (Park) is a controversial princess whose bad choices play out in the tabloids, much to the Royals’ chagrin. She is raw, intelligent and forever waging a battle between her desires to be young and independent and the rules and tradition she was raised to live by. Ophelia, a young American girl, is modern, self-reliant and independently thinking, which causes her to butt up against the traditions and rigidity of the Royal family when she embarks on a romance with Liam. The monarchy is a world she has known for a long time as her father is the head of security, but she now experiences the spotlight in a different, more personal way when she starts dating the prince.
Eleanor’s new bodyguard Jasper (Austen) is as confident and charismatic as he is cunning and duplicitous. He will prove to be one of the few people in Eleanor’s life who can match wits and cunning with her. Cyrus (Maskall), the nefarious brother of King Simon, has gone through life with none of the responsibility, but all of the benefits of a King’s existence. He is a man of dubious moral fiber who will stop at nothing to reverse the injustice of being second born. Prince Liam’s bodyguard, Marcus (Roach), becomes a knowing confidant for the wayward prince. Marcus has a great sense of integrity that belies his youth; time and again, he will prove his mettle in protecting his charge. Ted (Milburn) is head of the Royals’ security detail and the father of Ophelia. He is steadfastly dedicated to keeping a professional distance from the Royal family, which becomes nearly impossible when Ophelia and Liam become romantically involved"