Thursday, March 01, 2012

Three pirate TV series in development

Painting by Chris Bourassa.

Earlier this week, Wired updated about mega-producer Gale Ann Hurd's development of a pirate show called Port Royal for FX. The show was announced in May of last year, but Hurd now explains that it'll be "a sprawling show, following the interactions of not only shipboard pirates but also merchants, servants, slaves, prostitutes, and other unsavory inhabitants of the British outpost." In other words, the most awesome thing on television.

Unless, that is, one of the other two pirate shows currently in development turns out to be better. At the end of the article, Wired also mentions FOX's Pyrates and NBC's Republic of Pirates. FOX's show is produced by Ridley and Tony Scott's company and is "less criminal mischief, more sea battle tactics," as it's focused on the 1628 Danish capture of the Spanish silver fleet. It's basically a heist story, which raises the question of how they're going to stretch that into an ongoing series. Fortunately, they don't have to. As of last May, it was designed to be a 10-13 episode mini-series planned to air this summer.

NBC's show "focuses on the pirate-run nation of New Providence and the golden age of piracy," which - like Port Royal - sounds open-ended enough to make a great, long-running series. Depending on how faithful it is to the book of the same name, the series will feature real-life pirates like Blackbeard, Sam Bellamy, Charles Vane, Calico Jack Rackham, Mary Read, Anne Bonny, and Stede Bonnet.

As much as I like the idea of seeing Blackbeard, Anne Bonny, and Mary Read on a TV series, I think I'm still most fond of the romantic intrigue hinted at in Port Royal. But which one sounds best to you?
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