The CW Developing Teenage Drama About Mary Queen Of Scots

Mary Queen Of Scots CW SeriesEXCLUSIVE: Big-swing dramas are those that have worked lately — from AMC’s The Walking Dead and HBO’s Game Of Thrones to ABC’s Once Upon A Time and NBC’s Revolution. The CW is taking a step in that direction with Reign, from writers/executive producers Laurie McCarthy (CSI: Miami) and Stephanie SenGupta (Outlaw). The project, which was sold directly to the CW and laid off at CBS TV Studios, is a fantastical reimagining of the teenage Mary Queen of Scots.

Mary was 6 days old when she succeeded her father, King James V of Scotland, to the throne. Her mother, Mary of Guise, was French, and Mary spent most of her childhood and teen years in France while Scotland was ruled by regents. She was 16 when she married Francis, Dauphin of France, who became King of France the next year but died a year later, leaving Mary a widow at age 18. The CW’s project is described as Game Of Thrones meets Marie Antoinette — if Marie Antoinette had a girl posse and was coming of age as a warrior queen. It’s about the secret history of survival at French Court amidst fierce foes, dark forces, and a world of sexual intrigue. In addition to Reign, the CW has another drama in the works that is set in a kingdom, the Hunger Games-esque The Selection, which is awaiting a new script.

This is the first joint project for McCarthy and SenGupta, who have been good friends since they met working on CBS’ The Ghost Whisperer. McCarthy, repped by UTA and attorney Wendy Kirk, was most recently a consulting producer on ABC’s Good Christian Belles. She previously created and executive produced the summer NBC series Windfall. SenGupta, repped by UTA and Michael Gendler, is a co-executive producer on CBS’ Hawaii Five-0, also produced by CBS Studios. She came out of the Law & Order camp, having worked on both the mothership series and on spinoff Criminal Intent.

Comments (34)

  • This actually seems like a good idea.

    Comment by mark — Tuesday October 23, 2012 @ 3:18pm PDT  
    • IMO it would seem like a good idea if HBO or AMC were doing it. At the CW, it’s likely to be a 16th century version of Gossip Girl. With characters using the wrong accents. She wasn’t a “warrior queen.” More like the queen of bad marriages, with questionable judgment and little understanding of the country she was attempting to rule.

      Comment by Lynn — Tuesday October 23, 2012 @ 3:38pm PDT  
      • oh right Lynn. Because anything on CW would definitely be defined by shows like 90210, Veronica Mars and Gossip Girl.

        And yet great shows like Arrow, Supernatural, Vampire Diaries and Nikita airs on *gulps The CW.

        please.

        Comment by agnes — Wednesday October 24, 2012 @ 7:41am PDT  
    • Given Mary, Queen of Scots was a dim, easily manipulated tramp it sounds like a perfect fit for CW.

      Comment by Jace — Wednesday October 24, 2012 @ 3:01pm PDT  
      • I disagree. I always saw Mary as an intelligent, MANIPULATIVE tramp. Which is also a perfect fit for the CW. ;) I just hope there’s a whole season about Lord Darnley in there.

        Comment by Annie — Wednesday October 24, 2012 @ 6:07pm PDT  
  • This is the kind of show CW should be doing.

    Comment by WouldWatchThis — Tuesday October 23, 2012 @ 3:26pm PDT  
  • This sounds really fun! I hope the CW doesn’t dumb it down or pretty it up too much. Hang tight as you can to your vision, ladies — it sounds original and cool.

    Comment by dr.dre — Tuesday October 23, 2012 @ 3:28pm PDT  
  • Congrats, Stephanie! You are so talented and deserve all the best. This would be a great project for the CW.

    Comment by Tara — Tuesday October 23, 2012 @ 3:34pm PDT  
  • Blah… Copy-crap CW-stylized (meaning, female protagonist)

    Comment by Andy — Tuesday October 23, 2012 @ 3:36pm PDT  
    • You are so right, Andy, why are there not more shows with guys in the lead? It’s such a dude wasteland out there! Girls are super lame! They should stay home and have babies! And not date you!

      Comment by AndyLovesDudes — Tuesday October 23, 2012 @ 3:43pm PDT  
  • So who does she fight, vampires or zombies?

    Comment by sffan — Tuesday October 23, 2012 @ 3:48pm PDT  
  • This sounds like a show without an audience.

    What is the intersection of people who like historical dramas and teenage soaps? Approximately zero.

    Not only that, it’s on totally the wrong network. It would be a hard sell on AMC/HBO/PBS/Showtime, but on The CW? Really?

    Comment by Oliver — Tuesday October 23, 2012 @ 4:01pm PDT  
    • This “Mary Queen of Scots” drama is not only a bad idea, but should be limited to a 1-off movie that is released in January.

      With that said, I wonder why there isn’t a Batman version of Smallville? That would work much better than this crap.

      Comment by Jessy S. — Tuesday October 23, 2012 @ 6:31pm PDT  
      • SMALLVILLE was originally supposed to be about BATMAN. They couldn’t use the character due to Nolan’s movies launching, so they went with Superman instead.

        Now they have ARROW, featuring Green Arrow who draws his own parallels to Batman (billionaire with tragedy in his life, night-stalking vigilante), and was used to fill his role in the buddy/fellow hero role on SMALLVILLE.

        I’d love to see it, tho!

        Comment by Anonymous — Wednesday October 24, 2012 @ 10:26am PDT  
    • Are you kidding? This could be a game changer for the CW. I’d definitely tune in.

      Comment by I'm the audience — Tuesday October 23, 2012 @ 6:49pm PDT  
    • You’re envisioning this show as HBO would make it. Envision it as the CW would make it, with zero concern about historical accuracy. Mary may not fight vampires but at the very least, she’s a warrior queen, Joan of Arc except minus all that boring religion stuff.

      See how it makes so much more sense?

      Comment by sffan — Tuesday October 23, 2012 @ 6:59pm PDT  
      • I’m trying to envisage the audience who are willing to watch 16th Century historical fiction on The CW, regardless of its accuracy. Good luck trying to market Hillary Mantel’s Gossip Girl. They would be better abandoning the history element and turning it into a fantasy series.

        Comment by Oliver — Tuesday October 23, 2012 @ 9:42pm PDT  
    • Um, have you *seen* The Tudors/The Borgias/Rome? Somewhat different production and network, but still, those shows were ridiculously soap-y at points and I know plenty of people–professional historians included–who ate that stuff up, including myself. Even though I generally think little of the CW’s programming, I would *totally* watch this in a heartbeat and love every anachronistic minute of it.

      Comment by DB — Wednesday October 24, 2012 @ 5:02pm PDT  
  • Yah Stephanie! Couldn’t have happened to a better person and truly talented writer.

    Comment by Fatwa — Tuesday October 23, 2012 @ 4:12pm PDT  
  • This doesn’t seem like a show that the usual CW audience would embrace but then again if done right could work. CW has had a lot of success with darker dramas lately.

    Comment by Jared — Tuesday October 23, 2012 @ 4:37pm PDT  
  • Congrats to Stephanie! A kind, smart, super-talented writer who has everything it takes. It’s great when the good guys get ahead!!!

    Comment by CeeKeezy — Tuesday October 23, 2012 @ 5:04pm PDT  
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