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||24 (List of episodes)|
|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 fiction television series following the early years of Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1557 France. The series, created by Stephanie SenGupta and Laurie McCarthy, airs on The CW as part of the 2013–14 American television season. The leading roles are played by a combination of Australian, Canadian, and English actors.
On February 13, 2014, The CW renewed the series for a second season.
- 1 Plot
- 2 Cast and characters
- 3 Episodes
- 4 Development and production
- 5 Other Media
- 6 Reception
- 7 Broadcasts
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Set in 1557 France, the highly fictionalized series follows the life of Mary, Queen of Scots, at French court while she awaits her marriage to the future Francis II of France, to whom she has been engaged since they were six. At court, Mary has to contend with the 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, is secretly trying 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 (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.||”|
Cast and characters
|Adelaide Kane||Mary, Queen of Scots||Main|
|Megan Follows||Catherine de' Medici||Main|
|Torrance Coombs||Sebastian (Bash)||Main|
|Toby Regbo||Prince Francis, later King Francis II||Main|
|Celina Sinden||Greer of Kinross||Main|
|Jonathan Keltz||Leith Bayard||Recurring||Main|
|Sean Teale||Louis of Condé||Main|
|Jenessa Grant||Aylee||Main (8 eps)|
|Alan van Sprang||King Henry II||Main|
|Michael Therriault||Lord Castleroy||Recurring|
|Craig Parker||Lord Stefan Narcisse||Recurring|
|Rose Williams||Princess Claude||Recurring|
|Anna Walton||Diane de Poitiers||Recurring|
|Yael Grobglas||Olivia D'Amencourt||Recurring|
|Giacomo Gianniotti||Lord "Julien"/Remy||Recurring|
|Manolo Cardona||Tomas of Portugal||Recurring|
|Gil Darnell||Christian, Duke of Guise||Recurring|
- Amy Brenneman as Marie de Guise
- Tahmoh Penikett as John
- Shauna MacDonald as Cortenza
- Luke Roberts as Lord Simon Westbrook
- Shawn Doyle as Claude de Guise
- Michael Aronov as Count Vincent of Italy
- Ted Atherton as Lord Hugo
- Daniel Fathers as Alec
- Greg Bryk as Viscount Richard Delacroix
- Hannah Anderson as Rowan
- Andrew Airlie as Lord MacKenzie
- Joe Doyle as James Stewart
- Matthew MacFadzean as Roman
- Ari Cohen as Robert Norwood
- Sarah Winter as Yvette Castleroy
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.
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".
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|
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
|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|
|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|
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 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.
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- CW 'Reign': Canada's Whizbang Films and Take 5 Productions to Co-Produce
- M3 - Details
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- Reign on CTV
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