RedEye

TCA press tour: Can CW period drama 'Reign' rule with young viewers?

The network that has given us "Gossip Girl" and "The Vampire Diaries" is taking teenage angst to another level -- or rather, century. The 16th century.

The CW's forthcoming drama "Reign" follows the early years of Mary, Queen of Scots as a teenager embarking on her arranged marriage to a heartthrob Prince Francis to forge an alliance between her native Scotland and his native France -- except, Mary also has a thing for Francis' hot illegitimate stepbrother Bash. 

But does the network's traditionally young-skewing viewers even know about the historical figure? Or, for that matter, will they even care?

VIDEO: Summer 2013 TV preview

Laurie McCarthy, the period drama's executive producer, is hoping her portraiture of the time can draw them in so that Mary can become the Serena van der Woodsen or Elena Gilbert of 1557.

"I think in each episode we’ll educate people on what element of history helps our story," she said Tuesday during the show's panel at the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Beverly Hills. "We've  taken a certain amount of latitude in dramatizing events."

Like the fact that Francis, unlike in the show, was actually 14 and didn't have stepbrother named Bash? Or the idea of a hunky Nostradamus?

PHOTOS: Hollywood Backlot moments

"There are many things that happened that never made it into history. ... My job is to tell compelling stories convincingly." 

That's not to say it's all fluff, McCarthy said, underscoring that the extraordinary and dramatic real facts surrounding Mary's life provided a sturdy framework. Still, it's a TV show, star Adelaide Kane pointed out, posing the question:  "How many teenage girls do you know that are obsessed with history? ... It's entertainment. It's not the History Channel."

To aid in the young viewer-appeal mission, the show will make use of contemporary music -- some with a Celtic feel.  Popular folk-rock band The Lumineers wrote a song for the pilot, and there are plans to continue the collaboration, McCarthy said. 

ALSO:

CW aims to draw broader audience

'The Originals' sets up 'Vampire Diaires' rivalry

CW moves 'Originals' premiere date, renews 'Whose Line Is It Anyway?' 

Follow @villarrealy

yvonne.villarreal@latimes.com

 

PHOTOS, VIDEOS & MORE: PHOTOS: TV shows and their spinoffs Overrated/Underrated 2014 PHOTOS: 101 best-written TV shows of all time

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Aldermen looking to stop stores from getting around plastic bag ban

    Aldermen looking to stop stores from getting around plastic bag ban

    Chicago's ban on plastic bags starts to take effect at many big stores Saturday, but an alderman who helped craft the law already is talking about changing it in order to thwart a few large retail chains that he says are trying to skirt the new rules.

  • State police: Man shot while riding in van on Eisenhower

    State police: Man shot while riding in van on Eisenhower

    A man was shot multiple times while traveling in a minivan on the inbound Eisenhower Expressway on Friday morning, authorities said.

  • Lollapalooza liquor gardening: fact or fiction?

    Lollapalooza liquor gardening: fact or fiction?

    It may sound like an urban legend: Music festival-goers bury bottles of booze in Chicago parks, plot a GPS location for the goods and uncover them days later when the festival comes alive.

  • Chicago plans to cut O'Hare noise by rotating runways at night

    Chicago plans to cut O'Hare noise by rotating runways at night

    The Emanuel administration on Friday will propose an experiment at O'Hare International Airport to rotate the runways used late at night, possibly on a weekly basis, to spread out jet noise, the city's aviation chief told the Chicago Tribune.

  • Almost 6 acres of land added near Fullerton Avenue Beach

    Almost 6 acres of land added near Fullerton Avenue Beach

    Along Chicago's lakefront at Fullerton Avenue Beach, cranes rolled along a causeway that only a few months ago was part of the lake itself. Every day this summer, roughly 40 construction workers are filling in Lake Michigan with dredged material and gravel, which will eventually add up to 5.8 acres...

  • Doughnut panic

    Doughnut panic

    I'm not ashamed to admit that for the past several years, I have mapped my walk to work around which doughnut shop I'd like an excuse to stop at on the way. There's nothing like the thought of a crunchy, craggy old fashioned doughnut or the sweet, yeasty chew of a classic glazed doughnut to help...

Comments
Loading
89°