For immediate release
TANDEM COMMUNICATIONS AND CHANNEL 4 BUILD A HOME FOR THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH IN THE UK
IAN MCSHANE, RUFUS SEWELL, MATTHEW MACFADYEN, EDDIE REDMAYNE, HAYLEY ATWELL AND DONALD SUTHERLAND TOPLINE ALL-STAR CAST FOR EPIC STORY BASED ON KEN FOLLETT’S GLOBAL BESTSELLER
Munich and London (June 10, 2010) – Channel 4 has acquired the UK premiere broadcast rights to TANDEM COMMUNICATIONS’ groundbreaking television adaptation of The Pillars of the Earth. The Event series will make its UK debut in 2010 on Channel 4 after it airs this summer in the US on Starz.
The ambitious eight-hour series, produced by TANDEM Communications, MUSE Entertainment and in association with Ridley Scott and Tony Scott’s SCOTT FREE Films is directed by three-time DGA award-winner Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (Heroes).
Set against a backdrop of war, religious strife and power struggles in 12th Century England, an enduring love story is masterfully entwined with political turmoil in Ken Follett’s masterpiece. The all-star cast includes: Ian McShane (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Deadwood, Sexy Beast), Rufus Sewell (The Tourist, The Illusionist, A Knight’s Tale), Matthew Macfadyen (Robin Hood, Pride and Prejudice), Eddie Redmayne (Glorious 39, The Good Shepherd), Hayley Atwell (Captain America, The Duchess, Any Human Heart), Donald Sutherland (Dirty Sexy Money, The Italian Job), Sam Claflin (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Any Human Heart) and Sarah Parish (Merlin). The drama was shot on location in Hungary with Mid Atlantic Films.
Tim Highsted, Programme Acquisition, Channel 4 says, “We are delighted to premiere The Pillars of the Earth on Channel 4. Epic in scale and ambitious in its storytelling, this miniseries is sure to spellbind viewers and is the perfect addition to our acquired programmes.”
"We could not imagine a better home for Pillars in the UK,” says Rola Bauer, Executive Producer and Tandem Communications Senior Partner. “We have worked with Channel 4 in the past on event miniseries; their taste in programming has always been progressive and innovative. They also have the expertise to create an event around a program’s launch.”
Author Ken Follett says, “I might be prejudiced, but finding the right network for Pillars in the UK was very important for me. Channel 4’s profile and image is a perfect fit for a story with such broad appeal. I know we are in good hands.”
"It was always our intention to make Pillars fresh and accessible to modern-day audiences - nothing stuffy here," adds Executive Producer and Chairman of Scott Free Films, Ridley Scott. "Channel 4 has always been on the cutting edge, which makes this a wonderful match."
The eight-hour series assembles a vast array of veteran executive producing talent in various functions, three-time Oscar® nominee Ridley Scott (Robin Hood, American Gangster), Tony Scott (The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3)- both Golden Globe® and Emmy® Award winners, Rola Bauer (Ring of the Nibelungs), David W. Zucker (The Good Wife), Michael Prupas (Human Trafficking), Emmy® Award-winner David Rosemont (Steven Spielberg’s Into the West, Door to Door starring William H. Macy), Tim Halkin (Lost City Raiders) and Jonas Bauer (Impact) and is produced by Emmy® nominated John Ryan (Hitler: The Rise of Evil, Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows).
TANDEM COMMUNICATIONS is located in Munich, Germany and was started in 1999 by Rola Bauer and Tim Halkin. In 2007 Jonas Bauer became a partner in the company and in 2009 Malisa Scott became a partner and Chief Operating Officer. From the beginning, their strategy was to build a vertically-integrated media company whose core business is international production and worldwide distribution. From Emmy® Award winner Frank Herbert’s Dune to the Emmy® nominated Dragons’ World to the Golden Globe® nominated The Company to the Nora Roberts Franchise, TANDEM continues to develop, produce and distribute high-quality projects.
TANDEM produced the DIVA Award-winning Ring of the Nibelungs and garnered excellent ratings on the SCI FI channel in the U.S., as well as internationally for its event movie, Lost City Raiders. Impact premiered successfully in the U.S. on ABC Network.
In 2009, TANDEM launched the new Patricia Cornwell movie franchise with At Risk and The Front, based on her worldwide bestselling crime novels.
MUSE ENTERTAINMENT ENTERPRISES, headed by President and CEO Michael Prupas, is a major Canadian independent film and television producer and a leading service producer for international studios and networks. Muse Entertainment is known for bringing well-crafted, high-quality, award-winning productions with strong international appeal to big and small screens. Since 1998, Muse has produced, co-produced or provided production services on 100 TV movies and mini-series, television series and feature films. Muse’s head office is located in Montreal. Muse has four production operations in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Los Angeles.
SCOTT FREE, based in London and Los Angeles, was formed in 1995 and is the film and television production company of directors Ridley Scott and Tony Scott.
The Scott brothers appointed producer David W. Zucker to start up and spearhead their television division as President in 1995. Scott Free Television has become known for such high-quality and internationally successful programs as the new CBS drama series, The Good Wife, starring Julianna Margulies, Numb3rs, which wrapped its sixth season in March 2010, award-winning long-form programs including the 14 Emmy® nominated Into The Storm for HBO, which is a sequel to the Emmy®-winning telefilm, The Gathering Storm, A&E's Emmy®-nominated miniseries, Michael Crichton's The Andromeda Strain, and TNT's epic six-hour spy thriller, The Company, a Golden Globe® nominee, starring Michael Keaton and Alfred Molina.
This year Scott Free Films has produced the highly-anticipated Robin Hood, directed by Ridley Scott, starring Oscar®-winners Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett, also starring Matthew Macfadyen, who plays the “Prior Philip” in the up-coming eight-hour series The Pillars Of The Earth. Previously, Scott Free Films produced the box-office smash, American Gangster, starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe and Body of Lies starring Leonardo DiCaprio, both directed by Ridley Scott. Tony Scott recently directed Unstoppable, starring Chris Pine and Denzel Washington and previously collaborated with Washington and John Travolta on the actioner The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3. Tony Scott is also director of Man on Fire, Spy Game and Top Gun while Ridley Scott is responsible for the classic films Gladiator, Thelma & Louise, Alien and Blade Runner.
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