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'Wolf Hall' has a big launch in the U.K.

The BBC2 miniseries Wolf Hall, based on Hilary Mantel’s novels, has gotten off to a successful start in the U.K. The Guardian reports that the first episode brought in 3.9 million viewers, the most for a new BBC2 drama series since the start of Rome in 2005, which had 6.6 million viewers. READ FULL STORY

See Mark Rylance and Damian Lewis in a trailer for 'Wolf Hall'

Hilary Mantel’s Man Booker Prize-winning Wolf Hall and its sequel, the Man Booker Prize-winning Bring Up the Bodies, are going to have a big 2015. Now you can watch the trailer for the novels’ television adaptation. The six-part series is set to air on BBC Two in January and will come to American televisions on PBS in April.

Wolf Hall follows Thomas Cromwell, who is portrayed here by acclaimed actor Mark Rylance. Rylance has won multiple Tony Awards, most recently for playing Olivia in Twelfth Night. Per Vanity Fair, Rylance is “routinely described, at 53, as the greatest English theater actor of his generation.” Damian Lewis, best known as Homeland‘s Brody, plays Henry VIII. “I keep you because you are a serpent,” Henry tells Cromwell in the trailer.

Another take on the novels is headed to Broadway in the new year, with the Royal Shakespeare Company’s plays having a stay in New York beginning in March.

Damian Lewis to wear crown for Masterpiece

Brody’s got a new job: Damian Lewis (Homeland) will play Henry VIII in Masterpiece’s Wolf Hall on PBS.

The program will follow the meteoric rise of Thomas Cromwell (Mark Rylance) in the Tudor court, from his start as a blacksmith’s son to Henry VIII’s closest advisor. Claire Foy (Little Dorrit) will play Anne Boleyn in the six-part mini-series written by Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy).

Other casting includes Jonathan Pryce (Cranford) as Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Joanne Whalley (The Borgias) as Henry’s first wife Katherine of Aragon, and Mark Gatiss (Sherlock) as Stephen Gardiner, Secretary to the King.

Filming has already started in the South West of England for broadcast in 2015 on Masterpiece on PBS and BBC2.

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