‘Downton Abbey,’ ‘Fantastic Beasts’ stars cast in new Hulu, ITV brothel drama
LOS ANGELES — Hulu is partnering up with UK’s ITV Encore to bring brothel drama Harlots to viewers.
The eight-part series, which will air on ITV Encore in the UK and stream exclusively in the US on Hulu, follows the sex trade in London during the 18th century.
Samantha Morton (upcoming Fantastic Beasts), Lesley Manville (Maleficent) and Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey) are set to star in the series, which will be produced by Monumental Pictures.
Written by playwright and screenwriter, Moira Buffini (Jane Eyre), the series is based on the stories of real women. It follows Margaret Wells (Morton) as she struggles to reconcile her roles as a mother and brothel owner.
Brown Findlay will star as Charlotte, Margaret’s eldest daughter and the city’s most coveted courtesan. Manville plays rival madam Lydia Quigley, who has “a ruthless streak,” according to the release.
“Written and produced by an award-winning creative team with an all-star cast, Harlots offers a unique perspective of life on the streets of 1760s London with fast-moving and action-packed storylines and strong lead characters,” Maria Kyriacou, president of international for ITV Studios, said in a statement. “This is a world class drama which is sure to appeal to audiences across the globe as strongly as it will to ITV Encore and Hulu’s viewers in the UK and U.S.”
The series is the latest addition to Hulu’s growing drama program offerings.
“I think this is going to be our year for drama,” Beatrice Springborn, head of original programming at Hulu, told Mashable earlier this year.
Under Springborn, the company has successfully released eight-part series 11.22.63 (produced by J.J. Abrams and starring James Franco) and The Path (starring Aaron Paul, Hugh Dancy and Michelle Monaghan).
Already, Hulu is home to a slate of successful comedies including The Mindy Project, Difficult People and the Golden Globe-nominated sitcom Casual.
Harlots will begin filming in London in June 2016 and will be directed by Coky Giedroyc (Penny Dreadful) and China Moo-Young (Thirteen).
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