The Royals, a one-hour drama centering on a British Royal family, will be the first original scripted series for E!.
The series is set in modern day London and resides in a world of wealth and regal. It also focuses on the price tag of duty, destiny and intense public scrutiny. Mark Schwahn (One Tree Hill) will executive produce, write and direct along with executive producer Brian Robbins and Joe Davola (One Tree Hill/Smallville).
“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. The Royals will offer a fictional look behind the very public gilded façade of the palace gates to imagine the private, lush, fun, sexy world of the most-watched celebrity family on the planet,” Executive Vice President of Original Programming & Development, Jeff Olde said. “It’s a perfect series to introduce E! viewers to scripted pop culture programming on the network.”
Senior Vice President for Scripted Programming for E!, Kevin Plunkett added, “This is a big idea and Mark, Brian, Joe and the Lionsgate team delivered. They have an extraordinary track record at crafting buzz worthy content that reflects and drives the pop culture discussion. This team, working on this concept, with this cast is a great way for us to launch our first scripted show.”
The Royals is set and shot in Britain and puts the public perception of the royal family against reality behind the castle walls. There comes a price with being born into this elite circle and The Royals lives play out for the world where press is 24/7.
The cast for the series includes Elizabeth Hurley, Vincent Regan, William Moseley, Alexandra Park, Tom Austen, Jake Maskall, Ukweli Roach and Oliver Milburn.
Hurley will portray Queen Helena. She has power, beauty and intelligence to get what she wants and failing is not an option, especially protecting the family image. King Simon (Regan) is the moral compass in the castle but often places his family above the rules of the people he rules. Youngest son Liam (Moseley) is thrown into the spotlight when he unexpectedly becomes the heir to the throne. He takes joy in being the world’s most eligible bachelor but must cope with the rigors and pressures of being the future King. He begins a relationship with a young American girl, Ophelia, who is at odds with the monarchy. Her father, Ted (Milburn), is head of security. The new relationship make Ted’s job nearly impossible. Park’s portrays the only daughter, Eleanor, whose bad choices play out in the tabloids. She is raw, intelligent and battling between the rules and traditions she was raised with and being young and independent.
Austen will portray Eleanor’s new bodyguard, Jasper, who is a match for the young daughter in both wits and cunning. Maskall portrays King Simon’s brother Cyrus. Roach will portray the prince’s bodyguard Marcus.
The series hails from Lionsgate and is set to premiere in 2015.