Reign (TV series)
|Created by||Laurie McCarthy
|Opening theme||"Scotland" by The Lumineers|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||41 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||42 minutes|
|Original channel||The CW|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
|Audio format||Dolby Digital 5.1|
|Original run||October 17, 2013– present|
Reign is an American historical fantasy television series following the early years of Mary, Queen of Scots living in France. The series, created by Stephanie SenGupta and Laurie McCarthy, airs on The CW and premiered as part of the 2013–14 American television season. The leading roles are played by a combination of Australian, Canadian, English and New Zealander actors. Despite the show's subject matter, there are no Scottish or French actors in the main cast (though Adelaide Kane is of Scottish descent), and the show has yet to air in the UK or France.
On February 13, 2014, The CW renewed the series for a second season, which premiered on October 2, 2014. On January 11, 2015, The CW renewed the series for a third season.
- 1 Series overview
- 2 Cast and characters
- 3 Development and production
- 4 Broadcasts
- 5 Reception
- 6 Home media releases
- 7 Other media
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The highly fictionalized series follows the early exploits of Mary, Queen of Scots during her years living in France. The first season opens in 1557, with Mary living in French court and awaiting her marriage to Prince Francis, to whom she has been engaged since they were six. Mary has to contend with changing politics and power plays, as well as her burgeoning feelings for Francis and the romantic attentions from Francis' bastard half-brother, Bash. Francis' mother, Catherine de' Medici, secretly tries to prevent the marriage following Nostradamus's confidential prediction that the marriage will lead to Francis' death. The series also follows the affairs of Mary's Scottish handmaidens Kenna, Aylee, Lola and Greer, who are searching for husbands of their own at court.
Opening narration for Season 1 (episodes 2-11):
|“||Since Mary, Queen of Scotland, was a child the English have wanted her country and her crown. She is sent to France to wed its next king, to save herself and her people - a bond that should protect her, but there are forces that conspire, forces of darkness, forces of the heart. Long may she reign.||”|
The second season opens after the death of King Henry II, and follows the rise of Francis and Mary as King and Queen of France and Scotland. Together they have to balance their marriage with their roles as monarchs, and deal with the rising religious conflict between Catholics and Protestants, as well as the ambitions of the rival House of Bourbon for the throne of France.
Cast and characters
|Adelaide Kane||Mary, Queen of Scots||Main|
|Megan Follows||Catherine de' Medici||Main|
|Torrance Coombs||Sebastian "Bash"||Main||TBA|
|Toby Regbo||Francis II of France||Main||TBA|
|Alan van Sprang||Henry II of France||Main||Recurring||TBA|
|Jonathan Keltz||Leith Bayard||Recurring||Main||TBA|
|Sean Teale||Louis, Prince of Condé||Main||TBA|
|Craig Parker||Stéphane Narcisse||Main||TBA|
|Rose Williams||Claude of France||Main||TBA|
|Rachel Skarsten||Elizabeth I of England||Guest||Main|
|Michael Therriault||Aloysius Castleroy||Recurring|
|Anna Walton||Diane de Poitiers||Recurring||Guest|
|Gil Darnell||Christian, Duke of Guise||Recurring||Guest|
|Yael Grobglas||Olivia D'Amencourt||Recurring|
|Giacomo Gianniotti||"Lord Julien"/Remy||Recurring|
|Ben Aldridge||Antoine of Navarre||Recurring|
- Amy Brenneman as Marie de Guise
- Joe Doyle as James Stewart
- Tahmoh Penikett as John
- Shauna MacDonald as Cortenza
- Shawn Doyle as Claude de Guise
- Luke Roberts as Simon Westbrook
- Manolo Cardona as Tomas of Portugal
- Michael Aronov as Vincent
- Daniel Fathers as Alec
- Greg Bryk as Richard Delcroix
- Jonathan Higgins as Ferdinand
Development and production
In February 2013, The CW announced its order of a pilot for a TV series based on the life of Mary, Queen of Scots, created by Stephanie Sengupta and Laurie McCarthy, and produced by CBS Studios. Part of the reason McCarthy chose Mary Stuart as the subject is because of her life history and multiple husbands, which makes her story "sexier". The pilot was directed by Brad Silberling, with Sengupta and McCarthy as the writers and executive directors; Sengupta left the team in May 2013, leaving Laurie McCarthy as the sole showrunner. On February 9, 2013, it was announced that Australian actress Adelaide Kane would be playing the main character.
Showrunner McCarthy describes the show as deliberately taking liberties with history, and that it's more "entertainment" than history, while actress Anna Popplewell refers to the show as "fantasy history", exploring the characters in hypothetical situations. Actress Megan Follows describes the show as "24 for the pre-Renaissance", as they may extend historical events over a longer period of time. McCarthy adds that the show is designed to be interesting to a contemporary audience, so viewers who aren't familiar with history will be able to watch and relate to the characters. Among the creative choices is the use of modern music in the show soundtrack, and its costumes. The show's costumes are designed by Meredith Markworth-Pollack, who worked on the CW's other shows Hart of Dixie and Gossip Girl, who created different looks for Mary and her ladies, each to complement their differing personalities. The ladies: Lola, Kenna, Greer, and Aylee, are loosely based on Mary Beaton, Mary Seton, Mary Fleming, and Mary Livingston who were ladies-in-waiting to Mary, Queen of Scots.
Kane auditioned when she was filming a recurring role on the third season of MTV TV series Teen Wolf. When Kane got the part, the Teen Wolf writers wrote her character leaving the series. Kane is part Scottish on her mother's side, and did research on the historical Mary Stuart in preparing for the role. Torrance Coombs was announced as having been cast as Sebastian, one of the leading characters, in March 2013. Sebastian is an original character created for the show, so Coombs didn't have as much research in preparation for the role, though he faced the challenge of changing his performance from that in The Tudors, another historical TV series he'd been involved in. Alan Van Sprang, who was cast as Henry II of France, modeled his performance after Bill Clinton. In November 2013, Amy Brenneman was announced as having been cast as Mary Stuart's mother, Mary de Guise, a role that initially went to Brenneman's Private Practice co-star Kate Walsh, who was unable to commit due to conflicting filming commitments. Toby Regbo was cast as Dauphin Francis in March 2013. On March 10, 2015, it was announced that Rachel Skarsten has been cast as Queen Elizabeth, a role that is planned to debut in season two and become a regular in season three. Showrunner McCarthy described the addition of Elizabeth expands the scope of the series, and that she will be part of season three's focus on the show's three queens.
Editing for sexual content
The show's pilot was distributed on May 20, 2013 to advertisers and critics for promotion and to generate hype. The pilot was edited before its final airing on October 13, trimming the sexual content of the scene where Kenna masturbates after witnessing a bedding ceremony. A later episode of the season, 1.13 "The Consummation", has two versions: an on-air cut for television broadcast, and an online streaming version with additional sexual content that was made available on the CW's website a few hours later. This action was criticized by the Parents Television Council for putting sexual content online "where presumably children will be able to watch them with no rating or blocking capability".
Reign was announced on The CW's 2013 autumn line-up on May 10, 2013, placing it in the Thursday timeslot following The Vampire Diaries, its biggest hit in young women demographic. The show had its series premiere on October 17, 2013, in the U.S. In Canada, the series airs a day earlier on M3, in simulcast with The CW on CTV Two, and in reruns on E! Canada.
In New Zealand, Prime premiered the show Thursdays at 9:30 p.m., starting November 21, 2013. In the Philippines, Reign is scheduled to broadcast on ETC starting May 30, 2014. In Croatia, Reign is scheduled for Sunday evening on HRT 1 at 10:00 pm. In Australia, Reign was originally scheduled to premiere on Eleven, but premiered on Fox8 on August 5, 2014. In the Middle East, it is aired on MBC4 at 10:00pm every Friday. Reign started to air in Romania in Fall 2014, on AXN Spin. Reign has yet to be broadcast in the United Kingdom.
Response to the show has been mixed, with various critics highlighting the show's focus on romance and teenage drama instead of historical accuracy. A number of reviewers have compared it to Gossip Girl, with similar emphasis on fashion, drama, and soap opera antics. The review of the pilot by The New York Times described Reign a strong candidate as a "camp classic", calling it fun and acknowledging its historical inaccuracies. The reviewer of The A.V. Club described the show as "an alternate-universe fanfiction than anything pretending to approach history", calling the show camp and fun. The Miami Herald describes the show's opening episodes as "surprisingly entertaining", with Adelaide Kane's portrayal of Mary as "a teenager with a dawning realization that her royal caprices can have unexpectedly grim consequences offers an interesting take on the traditional coming-of-age story". The review of Flavorwire described the show as "fantastical princess wish-fulfilment", a guilty pleasure that is relaxing to watch, and that its historical inaccuracy is to its advantage: "There is something about abandoning all pretense of authenticity that gives this story a lightness it badly needs; dead-seriousness just isn’t something that plays all that well at the moment." Community Voices highlighted Reign as an interesting departure from The CW's other shows, but describes it as stuck in a rut, making it difficult to sustain a show that's "built on a binary premise: either Mary and Francis are coming together or they are drifting apart." A review by a The Los Angeles Times critic is more critical, saying that the "sexed-up version of high school with horses" show "does not deserve" its main character, who is described as a "The Princess Diaries knock-off", but acknowledges that the show is self-aware of its position as a guilty pleasure. USA Today is also critical, describing the show as anachronistic and "dumbing down" history for the sake of entertainment.
Awards and accolades
|2015||Pending||Canadian Screen Awards||Shaw Media Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role||Megan Follows|
|Pending||Canadian Screen Awards||Best Achievement in Make-Up||Consummation
Jenny Arbour, Linda Preston
|2014||Won||People's Choice Awards||Favorite New TV Drama||Reign|
|Nominated||Monte-Carlo Television Festival||Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series||Torrance Coombs|
|Nominated||Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series||Adelaide Kane|
|Nominated||Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV: Breakout Show||Reign|
|Nominated||Choice TV: Female Breakout Star||Adelaide Kane|
|Nominated||Choice TV: Male Breakout Star||Toby Regbo|
|Nominated||The Joey Awards||Young Actress age 9 or younger in a TV Series Drama or Comedy Guest Starring or Principal Role||Vanessa Carter|
|Won||Hollywood Post Alliance Awards||Outstanding Color Grading – Television||Pilot
David Cole - Modern VideoFilm
|Season||Timeslot (ET)||No. of
|1||Thursday 9:00 PM||22||October 17, 2013||1.98||May 15, 2014||1.24||2013–2014||#158||1.94||0.9/3|
|2||22||October 2, 2014||1.01 ||TBA||TBA||2014–2015||TBA||TBA||TBA|
Home media releases
The first season was released on DVD in region 1 on September 23, 2014. This set includes two featurettes: "The Making of a Queen" and "The Authenticity of Reign: Recreating the 16th Century" and deleted scenes.
Novels based on the series have also been published.
|Darkness Rises||Lily Blake||May 20, 2014||Little, Brown Books for Young Readers||Digital Short Story||ISBN 978-0-31-629611-3|
|The Prophecy||Lily Blake||September 23, 2014||Little, Brown Books for Young Readers||Novel||ISBN 978-0-31-633459-4|
|The Haunting||Lily Blake||December 9, 2014||Little, Brown Books for Young Readers||E-Novella||ISBN 978-0-31-633455-6|
|Hysteria||Lily Blake||May 12, 2015||Little, Brown Books for Young Readers||Novel||ISBN 978-0-31-633462-4|
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- M3 - Details
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