CBS STUDIOS ANNOUNCES NEW EPIC DRAMA SERIES “KING AND CONQUEROR” STARRING JAMES NORTON AND NIKOLAJ COSTER-WALDAU
Created by Michael Robert Johnson with Premiere Directed by Baltasar Kormákur, the Sweeping Series for BBC One and BBC iPlayer Begins Production in 2024
Distributed by Paramount Global Content Distribution, “King and Conqueror” Is Produced by Rabbit Track Pictures, The Development Partnership, RVK Studios and Shepherd Content
LOS ANGELES and LONDON – CBS Studios today announced the new premium period drama series KING AND CONQUEROR, based on the iconic 11th century figures Harold of Wessex and William of Normandy.
Written by Michael Robert Johnson (“Sherlock Holmes) and premiere directed by Baltasar Kormákur (“Everest,” “2 Guns”), the eight-episode series stars James Norton (“Happy Valley,” “Bob Marley: One Love”) as Harold, Earl of Wessex, who will also executive produce through his production company Rabbit Track Pictures, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (“Game of Thrones”) as William, Duke of Normandy, who is directing an episode and also serves as executive producer. The series will commence production next year in Iceland and is produced by The Development Partnership, Rabbit Track Pictures, Shepherd Content, RVK Studios and CBS Studios, in association with the BBC.
KING AND CONQUEROR is the story of a clash that defined the future of a country – and a continent – for a thousand years, the roots of which stretch back decades and extend out through a pair of interconnected family dynasties, struggling for power across two countries and a raging sea. Harold of Wessex and William of Normandy were two men destined to meet at the Battle of Hastings in 1066; two allies with no design on the British throne, who found themselves forced by circumstance and personal obsession into a war for possession of its crown.
“We are thrilled to partner with James, Nikolaj, Baltasar and the entire creative team on KING AND CONQUEROR, a truly groundbreaking series with world-class talent and global reach,” says Lindsey Martin, senior vice president of international co-productions and development at CBS Studios. “Michael’s scripts offer a bold and fresh take on a story that has endured for nearly 1,000 years, and yet, the themes are as contemporary and relevant as ever. We are incredibly proud of what the team has achieved so far and can’t wait to see it all come to fruition on screen with our star-studded cast.”
“In the U.K. we learn about William the Conqueror, the Battle of Hastings and King Harold’s gruesome death in our school history lessons – but those headlines are all most of us can remember. KING AND CONQUEROR will bring Harold and William to life, depicting their lives, loves and families, and the gripping, high-stakes power game that led to their fateful meeting in 1066. With incredible talent both in front of and behind the camera, I cannot wait for this exciting project to be realized,” says Sue Deeks, head of BBC programme acquisition.
The series is created and executive produced by Michael Robert Johnson. Also serving as executive producers are James Norton and Kitty Kaletsky for Rabbit Track Pictures, Baltasar Kormákur for RVK Studios, Robert Taylor for The Development Partnership, Dave Clarke and Richard Halliwell for Shepherd Content, Ed Clarke, Robert Jones, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and CBS Studios’ Lindsey Martin. Kormákur will direct the premiere episode and, as executive producer, will steer the creative across the series. The BBC has acquired broadcasting rights for the series on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the United Kingdom. The series will be distributed outside of this market by Paramount Global Content Distribution.
KING AND CONQUEROR expands the slate of international co-productions from CBS Studios, which already includes critically acclaimed series and fan favorites COLIN FROM ACCOUNTS, MUNICH GAMES, GOLD DIGGERS, BESTSELLER BOY, NCIS: SYDNEY and the upcoming ODERBRUCH, COMA and THE DARKNESS.
About CBS Studios
CBS Studios is one of the world’s leading suppliers of entertainment programming with development and production for broadcast, cable networks, streaming services, and other emerging platforms. The Studio’s expansive portfolio spans a diverse slate of commercially successful and critically acclaimed scripted programming, which includes genre-defining franchises such as NCIS, CSI and the ever-growing Star Trek universe, award-winning late night and daytime talk shows, as well as an extensive library of iconic intellectual property. The Studio also develops and produces local language and international content originating outside of the US for viewers around the world.
About The Development Partnership
The Development Partnership is a talent first production company that sits with The Partnership Group, a collection of talent, literary, below the line and publishing agencies. Previous credits include BIFA nominated Rose: A LOVE STORY, Close to me (C4), Queen of Oz (BBC), Rogue Agent (Night Train Media/Netflix), Fiennes: Return to the Wild/ Return to the Nile (Nat Geo).
About Rabbit Track Pictures
Rabbit Track is a London-based film and TV production company. Headed up by actor James Norton and former LA-based Black Bear exec, Kitty Kaletsky, Rabbit Track bridges the gap between Hollywood and European television and cinema, mining James’ and Kitty’s varied experiences. Their feature, Rogue Agent, starring James Norton, Gemma Arterton, Sarah Goldberg and Marisa Abela, was released Summer 2022 on Netflix. Other projects include an ITV greenlit series, and more in development with the BBC; other television projects with Sony, Fifth Season and StudioCanal; and features with Film4 and the BFI. Banijay UK recently invested in Rabbit Track to build the company’s team and accelerate its growth strategy, ensuring it can continue to acquire the best IP. The deal includes a first look with distributor, Banijay Rights.
About Shepherd Content
Shepherd Content is a European TV Production and financing company. Headed by Dave Clarke and Richard Halliwell Shepherd is a disruptive partner for TV producers looking for innovative financing and pan -European production solutions. Formed in 2022 Shepherd represents multiple European producers and projects at various stages of development. Shepherd operates on a ‘make stuff happen’ basis, creating bridges between producers, commissioners, buyers and financiers.
About RVK Studios
RVK Studios is an Icelandic production company formed in 2012 with a focus on film and television and owned by filmmaker Baltasar Kormákur, who is a highly acclaimed director, writer and producer on an international scale. The company has produced movies including “Jar City”, “The Deep”, “Virgin Mountain” and “The Oath”. RVK Studios has also produced or co-produced hit films, “Two Guns”, “Everest”, “Contraband”, “Adrift” and “Beast”, all directed by Baltasar Kormákur. For television, RVK titles include the 10-part crime series, “Trapped” and “Katla,” an original series that has been viewed worldwide since its release in 2021. RVK’s Production Service has also provided the global screen production industries with unparalleled production resources, including titles such as “Star Trek Discovery”, “The Witcher,” and “Luther: The Fallen Sun.”
About Paramount Global Content Distribution
Paramount Global Content Distribution is the leading distributor of premium content across multiple media platforms throughout the global marketplace. The division’s portfolio is comprised of some of the world’s most recognized brands, including feature films and television programs from Paramount Pictures, Republic Pictures, Paramount Television Studios, CBS Studios, CBS Media Ventures, CBS News, SHOWTIME Networks, Nickelodeon, MTV Entertainment Studios, Miramax and third-party partners. The division also has the largest distributed library of series and film titles, including global franchises such as “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “NCIS,” “Star Trek,” “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Transformers,” “Mission: Impossible,” and more. In addition, the division licenses a diverse lineup of scripted and unscripted formats for local production and international co-productions. Paramount Global Content Distribution is a division of Paramount.