Pillars of the Earth
Channel 4 today announced it has acquired the UK premiere broadcast rights to Tandem Communications' World Without End, the eight-hour Event series based on star author Ken Follett's worldwide bestseller and set in his fictitious English town of Kingsbridge, which fans of The Pillars of the Earth came to love. The series stars Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City), Miranda Richardson (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), Ben Chaplin (The Thin Red Line) and Peter Firth (Spooks). The ambitious series, produced by Tandem Communications and Take 5 Productions in co-production with Galafilm in association with Ridley Scott and Tony Scott's Scott Free Films, is directed by Michael Caton-Jones (Rob Roy, Shooting Dogs).
World Without End is a rousing epic tale of a feisty young woman, Caris, who inspires her medieval town of Kingsbridge to confront the most powerful forces of her time, namely the Church and Crown, as they must fight to save their town from ruin and, ultimately usher in a new era of freedom, innovation and enlightenment.
Labyrinth's world-renowned cast is led by BAFTA and Golden Globe winner and two-time Oscar nominee John Hurt (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy), Tom Felton (Harry Potter 1-9), Sebastian Stan (Captain America: The First Avenger), Jessica Brown-Findlay (Downton Abbey), Vanessa Kirby (The Hour, Great Expectations), Emun Elliot (Game of Thrones) and Janet Suzman (Nicholas and Alexandra)*. Produced by Tandem Communications, Ridley Scott and Tony Scott's Scott Free Films and Film Afrika Worldwide in association with Universal Production Partners (UPP), Labyrinth is a German/South African treaty co-production.
Kate Mosse's best-selling adventure thriller is adapted for TV by award-winning writer Adrian Hodges (My Week with Marilyn, Primeval) and directed by Christopher Smith (Black Death, Triangle). The high-concept thriller takes a journey through the south of France of the present, and the dark and tortured landscape of the Crusades and Cathar massacres of medieval times. Two spirited and charismatic heroines must somehow work together across the centuries in order to save a four-thousand-year-old secret from falling into the wrong hands. Labyrinth weaves its way through truth and legend, past and present, seamlessly blending into a unique and heart-wrenching thriller.
Tim Highsted, Programme Acquisition, Channel 4 says: "We are delighted to build on the success of last year's The Pillars of the Earth and to continue to work with Tandem. These epic historical dramas combine compelling story-telling, top-notch casting and excellent production values."
"Channel Four maintains a cutting edge to their programming, bringing cinematic quality to their choices." says Rola Bauer, President and Partner, Tandem Communications. "Gill Hay and Tim Highsted have for many years supported and recognized that Tandem strives to bring cinematic quality and scope to television. We're honoured that they have chosen our two projects this year."
Both series will air on Channel 4 later this year.
*Credits are non-contractual.
Note to editors
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. From the beginning, their strategy was to build a vertically integrated media company whose core business is primetime production and worldwide distribution.
2012 marks a new chapter in Tandem's history with STUDIOCANAL taking a majority stake in the company, effectively making Tandem the television production and distribution arm of the European studio.
Tandem develops, produces, markets and distributes high-quality, Event programming: From the ground-breaking Emmy® and Gemini Award-winning and Golden Globe® nominated series, The Pillars of the Earth with its record-breaking ratings and excellent critical acclaim, to the Emmy® Award winner Dune to the Golden Globe® nominated The Company, to the Emmy® nominated Dragons' World, to name a few.
Further high-profile titles that have garnered excellent ratings and praise from the critics include Impact, Ring of the Nibelungs, the Nora Roberts franchise, Lost City Raiders, the Patricia Cornwell franchise, The Lost Future and Treasure Guards. Tandem has been privileged to have partnered with acclaimed producers on several of these projects.