PBS Masterpiece announced a new drama series, titled “Victoria.”
The new miniseries will be aired during the “Downton Abbey” Sunday time slot starting in 2017. “Downton Abbey” has occupied the time slot for six years, Entertainment Weekly noted.
“Doctor Who” star Jenna Coleman will be the lead star and will play the role of Victoria.
According to EW, PBS Masterpiece acquired Victoria, an eight-part miniseries, from UK station ITV.
The new show will follow the life of a neglected teenager who overnight became Queen and eventually the most powerful woman in the world. The series will begin from Victoria’s ascension to the throne in 1837 at the age of 18, through to her courtship and marriage to Prince Albert.
“Victoria’s often tumultuous reign lasted for 63 years; she was England’s longest-serving monarch until she was overtaken by Elizabeth II in September 2015,” the PBS Masterpiece website wrote.
“Downton Abbey has proved that millions of viewers will turn up year after year for a beautifully crafted period drama. Victoria has it all: a riveting script, brilliant cast, and spectacular locations. And it’s a true story! This is exactly the kind of programming Masterpiece fans will love,” said Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena recently.
“Victoria” also stars Rufus Sewell as Lord Melbourne, Queen Victoria’s first prime minister and friend; Tom Hughes as Prince Albert; Alex Jennings as Leopold I, King of Belgium and uncle to both Victoria and Albert; Paul Rhys as Sir John Conroy; and Peter Firth as the Duke of Cumberland.
Meanwhile, series’ executive producer Gareth Neame told Forbes magazine that a possible spinoff film of “Downton Abbey” is something they are thinking about.
“The film is something we’re considering. We’re having very early conversations, but there are no firm plans. I hope the film does happen, I don’t want (the series) to be completely over,” he said.
Neame said he has mixed emotions about the conclusion of “Downton Abbey.”
“It dominated my life during six years of production and for two years before that getting it ready. Although I miss it very much, it’s great to take a break from it,” said Neame.
“Downton Abbey’s” sixth and final season started last Sunday (Jan. 3) on PBS Masterpiece.