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Starz Greenlights Queen of England Series ‘Becoming Elizabeth’

Starz has greenlit series Becoming Elizabeth, about the early life of the queen of England. Anya Reiss created the project and is writing and executive producing it. Starz is on board for eight episodes.

The series has an all-female writers room that includes Emily Ballou and Suhayla El- Bushra. George Ormond and George Faber are also exec producing.

“The world of Becoming Elizabeth is visceral and dangerous--judgments are rendered quickly and no one is safe,” said Starz CEO Jeffrey A. Hirsch. “This series explores the Tudor Reign and young Elizabeth, who would become England’s ‘Gloriana’ and one of history’s most dynamic figures, through a new lens which we think viewers will find highly engaging.”

Long before she ascended the throne in 1558, young Elizabeth Tudor was an orphaned teenager who became embroiled in the political and sexual politics of the English court, according to Starz. “With no clear heir, the death of King Henry the VIII sets into motion a dangerous scramble for power. His surviving children find themselves pawns in a game between the great families of England and the powers of Europe who vie for control of the country,” the network said.

“Drama seems to skip straight from Henry VIII’s turnstile of wives to an adult white-faced Gloriana,” said Reiss. “I should have found it hard to relate to 500-year-old royalty but Elizabeth lived in dangerous, polarising times and often made terrible hormone-fuelled decisions. I’ve found writing her story a thrilling experience.”

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.