Following recent successes with gladiators, knights and zombies, television executives are taking a chance on pirates and Vikings with three new projects.
Deadline reports that FX and Fox International Channels is teaming with producers Graham King and Gale Anne Hurd for the pirate drama Port Royal just as Fox is negotiating with and Ridley and Tony Scott’s Scott Free Prods. and Ensemble Entertainment for Pyrates. Meanwhile, MGM is working with Michael Hirst and Morgan O’Sullivan of The Tudors and Camelot fame on Vikings.
Based on an idea by Hurd (The Terminator, The Walking Dead), Port Royal is set in the notorious Jamaican city that become the center of Caribbean commerce and piracy in the late 17th century. Pyrates, created by Law & Order producer/writer Barry Schindel and 24 director/producer Stephen Hopkins, is envisioned as a 10- to 13-episode “event” revolve around the men and women who pulled off the capture of the Spanish silver fleet in 1628.
Vikings, which started as an idea by producer Sherry Marsh, will center on the hero Ragnar Lodbrok, who briefly ruled Denmark and Sweden, and chronicle the exploits of the warriors, explorers, pirates and merchants during the Viking Age. Hirst, a Viking buff, will write most of the episodes for the series, which is expected to begin production next year at O’Sullivan’s new studio facility in Ireland.