Reign (TV series)

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Reign
Reign intertitle.png
Created by Laurie McCarthy
Stephanie SenGupta
Starring
Opening theme "Scotland" by The Lumineers
Composer(s) Trevor Morris
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 24 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Production company(s)
Distributor
Broadcast
Original channel The CW
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
Audio format Dolby Digital 5.1
Original run October 17, 2013 (2013-10-17)  – present
External links
Official website

Reign is an American historical fiction television series following the early years of Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1557 France.[1] The series, created by Stephanie SenGupta and Laurie McCarthy, airs on The CW as part of the 2013–14 American television season.[2][3][4] 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.[5]

Plot[edit]

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):

Cast and characters[edit]

Main cast[edit]

Actor Role Seasons
1 2
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
Caitlin Stasey Kenna Main
Anna Popplewell Lola 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

Recurring cast[edit]

Actor Role Seasons
1 2
Rossif Sutherland Nostradamus Recurring
Michael Therriault Lord Castleroy Recurring
Craig Parker Lord Stefan Narcisse Recurring
Rose Williams Princess Claude Recurring[6]
Anna Walton Diane de Poitiers Recurring
Katie Boland Clarissa Recurring
Yael Grobglas Olivia D'Amencourt Recurring
Kathryn Prescott Penelope Recurring
Giacomo Gianniotti Lord "Julien"/Remy Recurring
Manolo Cardona Tomas of Portugal Recurring
Gil Darnell Christian, Duke of Guise Recurring

Guest cast[edit]

Episodes[edit]

Development and production[edit]

Conception[edit]

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.[7] 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".[8] 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.[9] On February 9, 2013, it was announced that Australian actress Adelaide Kane would be playing the main character.[10]

Showrunner McCarthy describes the show as deliberately taking liberties with history, and that it's more "entertainment" than history,[11] while actress Anna Popplewell refers to the show as "fantasy history", exploring the characters in hypothetical situations.[12] Actress Megan Follows describes the show as "24 for the pre-Renaissance", as they may extend historical events over a longer period of time.[13] 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.[14] Among the creative choices is the use of modern music in the show soundtrack, and its costumes.[14] 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.[15] 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.

Casting[edit]

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.[16] Kane is part Scottish on her mother's side, and did research on the historical Mary Stuart in preparing for the role.[11] Torrance Coombs was announced as having been cast as Sebastian, one of the leading characters, in March 2013.[17] 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.[18][19] Alan Van Sprang, who was cast as Henry II of France, modeled his performance after Bill Clinton.[20] 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.[21][22] Toby Regbo was cast as Dauphin Francis in March 2013.

Filming[edit]

A large part of the filming for the first season took place in Toronto, Canada and Ireland.[20][23][24]

Editing for sexual content[edit]

The show's pilot was distributed on May 20, 2013 to advertisers and critics for promotion and to generate hype.[25] 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.[26][27] 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.[28] 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".[29]

Other Media[edit]

Novels[edit]

Novels based on the series have also been published.

Title Author Published Publisher Type ISBN
Darkness Rises[30] Lily Blake May 20, 2014 Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Digital Short Story ISBN 978-0-31-629611-3
The Prophecy[31] Lily Blake September 23, 2014 Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Novel ISBN 978-0-31-633459-4

Reception[edit]

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.[32][33][34][35] 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.[36] 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.[32] 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".[33] 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."[37] 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."[35] 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.[38] USA Today is also critical, describing the show as anachronistic and "dumbing down" history for the sake of entertainment.[34]

Awards and accolades[edit]

Awards and accolades for Reign
Year Result Award Category Recipients
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[39] Choice TV: Breakout Show Reign
Nominated Choice TV: Female Breakout Star Adelaide Kane
Nominated Choice TV: Male Breakout Star Toby Regbo

Ratings[edit]

Season Timeslot (ET) No. of
episodes
Premiered Ended TV season Rank Viewers
(in millions)
18–49
rating
(average)
Date Premiere viewers
(in millions)
Date Finale viewers
(in millions)
1 Thursday 9:00 PM 22 October 17, 2013 (2013-10-17) 1.98 May 15, 2014 (2014-05-15) 1.24 2013–2014 #158[3] 1.94[3] 0.9/3
2 22 October 2, 2014 (2014-10-02) 1.01 [40] TBA (TBA) TBA 2014–2015 TBA TBA TBA

Broadcasts[edit]

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.[2][3] The show had its series premiere on October 17, 2013, in the U.S.[41] In Canada, the series airs a day earlier on M3 [42] in simulcast with The CW on CTV Two and on !E Canada.[43]

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.[44] In Australia, Reign was originally scheduled to premiere on Eleven,[45] but premiered on Fox8 on August 5, 2014.[46]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "REIGN (CW)". The Futon Critic. Retrieved May 10, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b James Hibberd (May 9, 2013). "CW orders 3 new sci-fi shows". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 10, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d Nellie Andreeva (May 9, 2013). "UPDATE: CW's 'The Tomorrow People', 'The 100', 'Reign' & 'Oxygen' Ordered To Series". Deadline.com. Retrieved May 10, 2013. 
  4. ^ Cynthia Littleton (May 9, 2013). "CW Orders 4 Dramas; Renews 'Carrie Diaries,' 'Nikita'". Variety. Retrieved May 10, 2013. 
  5. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (February 13, 2014). "'Reign', 'Arrow', 'Supernatural', 'The Originals' & 'The Vampire Diaries' Renewed by The CW". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  6. ^ King, Chris (2014-08-19). "Reign Casts British Actress Rose Williams as New Princess". TVOverMind.com. Retrieved 2014-08-20. 
  7. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 24, 2013). "Alex Graves, Bharat Nalluri & Brad Silberling To Direct CW Pilots". deadline. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  8. ^ Nicholson, An (2013-10-28). "Interviewing CW's 'Reign' Cast And Executive Producer". StarPulse.com. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  9. ^ "‘Reign’ Co-Creator Stephanie SenGupta Exits". deadline. May 23, 2013. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  10. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 9, 2013). "The CW Casts Its Mary Queen Of Scots". deadline. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b De Moraes, Lisa (July 30, 2013). "TCA: CW’s First Crunchy-Gravel Drama ‘Reign’ Flirts With History". deadline. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  12. ^ Swift, Andy (October 18, 2013). "Mary Queen Of Scots: ‘Reign’ Stars Separate Historical Fact From Fiction". Hollywood Life. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  13. ^ Martin, Denise (2013-10-10). "Megan Follows on Anne of Green Gables and Her Racy New CW Series, Reign". Vulture.com. Retrieved 2014-12-07. 
  14. ^ a b Hinckley, David (July 30, 2013). "'Reign,' a prime-time soap about Mary, Queen of Scots, is a royal departure for CW". NYDailyNews.com. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  15. ^ Bricker, Tierney (November 22, 2013). "All Hail Reign's Fashion! The CW Hit's Costume Designer Breaks Down Mary and Her Ladies-in-Waiting's Looks". E Online. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  16. ^ Radish, Christina (October 10, 2013). "Adelaide Kane Talks REIGN, How She Joined the Series, How the Role Affects Her Part on TEEN WOLF, and Her Character’s Sense of Duty and Loyalty". Collider.com. Retrieved December 19, 2013. 
  17. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (2013-03-11). "Torrance Coombs To Co-Star In CW Pilot ‘Reign’, Thomas McDonell Joins ‘The 100′, Lane Garrison Cast In ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ Mini". Deadline.com. Retrieved 2014-12-07. 
  18. ^ Busch, Jenna (2013-10-14). "Reign: Torrance Coombs on The CW’s New Historical Drama". Fan TV. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  19. ^ Glennan, Morgan (2013-10-24). "'Reign' Interview: Toby Regbo and Torrance Coombs Discuss The Royal Love Triangle". BuddyTV. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  20. ^ a b Wilford, Denette (2013-10-16). "'Reign' Cast Gets Down And Dirty With Details On Royal TV Show". HuffingtonPost. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  21. ^ "Amy Brenneman Joins CW’s ‘Reign’". Variety. 2013-11-26. Retrieved 2013-12-30. 
  22. ^ Bricker, Tierney (2014-02-05). "Surprise! Kate Walsh Was Supposed to Play the Mom on This Amazing CW Show…". Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  23. ^ CW 'Reign': Canada's Whizbang Films and Take 5 Productions to Co-Produce
  24. ^ M3 - Details
  25. ^ Kaye, Dierdre (May 20, 2013). "The CW makes it Reign". She Knows Entertainment. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  26. ^ Hibberd, James (2013-10-14). "The CW trims 'Reign' masturbation scene". InsideTV.com. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  27. ^ Steinberg, Brian (2013-10-11). "Sex on Broadcast TV Needs Plot: Networks that use intimacy merely to titillate are stripping themselves of integrity". Variety.com. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  28. ^ Johns, Nikara (2014-03-07). "CW’s ‘Reign’ Streams Racy Episode for a Network TV First". Variety.com. Retrieved 2014-03-08. 
  29. ^ Kaplan, Don (2014-03-09). "The CW puts a racier version of a 'Reign' episode online, and the Parents Television Council is fuming". NYDaily.com. Retrieved 2014-03-10. 
  30. ^ "Reign: Darkness Rises". hachettebookgroup.com. Retrieved 2014-06-16. 
  31. ^ "Reign: The Prophecy". hachettebookgroup.com. Retrieved 2014-06-16. 
  32. ^ a b Valentine, Genevieve (November 21, 2013). "Reign: "Chosen"". A.V. Club. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  33. ^ a b Garvin, Glenn (October 16, 2013). "Think of CW’s ‘Reign’ as ‘Mary, Teen of Scots’". Miami Herald. Retrieved 13 @ERROR@ 2013.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  34. ^ a b Robert, Bianco (October 16, 2013). "Wrong as 'Reign': CW ignores history, insults viewers". USA Today. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  35. ^ a b Owen, Rob (November 14, 2013). "There will be no reining in of 'Reign'". Community Voices. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  36. ^ Hale, Mike (October 16, 2013). "Even a Doomed Queen Just Wants to Have Fun". NY Times. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  37. ^ Dean, Michelle (2013-10-17). "The CW’s ‘Reign’ Is the Guilty-Pleasure Period Drama You’ve Been Waiting For". Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  38. ^ McNamara, Mary (October 17, 2013). "Review: The CW's 'Reign' sexes up, dumbs down Mary, Queen of Scots". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  39. ^ "Second Wave of Nominations for 'Teen Choice 2014' Announced". TVbythenumbers. July 18, 2014. Retrieved July 18, 2014. 
  40. ^ http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/10/03/thursday-final-ratings-greys-anatomy-scandal-how-to-get-away-with-murder-adjusted-up-final-football-numbers-2/310587/
  41. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (July 29, 2013). "The CW Moves Up 'The Originals' Premiere to Follow 'The Vampire Diaries' + 'Supernatural' Gets Earlier Start". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved July 29, 2013. 
  42. ^ "All Hail The Queen! M3 Premieres Exclusive, Racy, Period Drama REIGN, Oct 16". Bell Media Press Room. September 26, 2013. Retrieved September 17, 2014. 
  43. ^ Reign on CTV
  44. ^ . HRT. April 19, 2014 http://hrtprikazuje.hrt.hr/vladarica.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  45. ^ Knox, David (November 19, 2013). "TEN Upfronts: Sport, Kylie Kwong, and 6pm entertainment". TV Tonight. Retrieved November 19, 2013. 
  46. ^ Knox, David (July 15, 2014). "Airdate: Reign". TV Tonight. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 

External links[edit]