War and Peace

The British Are Coming…to American Telly

The cast of "The Night Manager", airing on AMC. (Photo: Mitch Jenkins/The Ink Factory/AMC)

You may say that the title of this post is old news and, in a way, it is. British shows and actors have been making their way across the pond for quite some time with their main gateway being our favorite network, PBS.  In fact Masterpiece’s executive producer Rebecca Eaton estimates that since the early 1970’s, they have “put half a billion dollars into British drama. Either via financing it, acquiring rights or publicity, by flying over the casts to meet the American press.”

With the rise in popularity of British programming, premium pay channels have been following suit with collaborations on series such Rome and Extras for HBO, The Tudors and Episodes for Showtime and The Missing and The White Queen for Starz. It’s too complicated to tease the national origins of the money, locations and creative-types on any of the shows referenced above. Suffice it to say, American TV execs have sussed that their audiences like British stuff in general and they are doing all they can to cash in on that trend.

And if the beginning of 2016 is any indication, it appears it will be a banner year for British fare on American network and basic cable channels. 

Lily James, Paul Dano and James Norton in "War and Peace". (Photo: BBC)

Epic BBC ‘War and Peace’ Adaptation Gets American Airdate

The lavish new BBC adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s epic novel War and Peace has a US airdate – and, in exciting news for us Yanks on this side of the point – it won’t be too far behind the UK premiere.

War and Peace will be a four-week television event here in the US, with episodes simulcast on A&E, the HISTORY Channel and Lifetime, beginning Monday, January 18 at 9pm. It will then continue on Mondays from 9-11pm. (The drama kicks off in the UK on January 3.)

Watch: ‘Downton Abbey’s’ Lily James in New BBC 'War and Peace' Adaptation

Lily James (and her amazing outfits) star in the BBC's new "War and Peace". (Photo: BBC)

If you’re a fan of especially elaborate period dramas – or possibly just had to take a lot of English classes in college – you’re going to be pretty excited about this news.

The BBC is set to release a new adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel War and Peace, and the event series is being described as “one of the most ambitious” ever produced for the corporation.