Netflix UK has picked up the exclusive UK broadcast rights to the upcoming third season of The CW’s period drama Reign from international distributor CBS Studios International, TVWise has learned.
The third season of Reign will premiere on Netflix UK on Saturday October 10th, when the first episode will be available to stream, less than 24 hours after its debuts in the United States. New episodes will then continue to be made available every Saturday.
Penned by Stephanie Sengupta and Laurie McCarthy, Reign tells the previously unknown and untold story of Mary Queen of Scots’ rise to power when she arrives in France as a 15-year-old, betrothed to Prince Francis, and with her three best friends as ladies-in-waiting. The drama is produced by CBS Television Studios and stars Adelaide Kane, Anna Popplewell, Toby Regbo, Celina Sinden, Megan Follows, Janessa Grant, Caitlin Stasey, Torrance Coombs and Rossif Sutherland.
The acquisition of the show’s third season comes out of a long-running life-of-series deal that Netflix UK sealed with CBS Studios International last month, which saw the streaming service become Reign‘s exclusive UK broadcaster. Prior to that there had been little interest from UK broadcasters in the show, despite the obvious appeal of the subject matter. The first two seasons of Reign are currently available to stream on Netflix UK.
This is yet another example of Netflix UK riding to the rescue of a hit U.S. show which, for one reason or another, has been overlooked by traditional UK broadcasters. They previously did the same with Breaking Bad, picking it up from season three onwards after it was dropped by FX UK and Channel 5; Once Upon A Time, which was dropped by Channel Five after two seasons; and the ABC Family series Pretty Little Liars, which briefly aired on MTV UK before Netflix took the rights.
Over the course of the stormy first season, Mary, Queen of Scots, struggled to balance her many roles — as Queen of Scotland, as royal fiancée, and later as young wife to the future King of France, and as faithful friend to her ladies in waiting.
Challenges came in every form: the reigning queen consort of France, Francis’ mother, Catherine de Medici, did everything she could to destroy the union of Mary and Francis, even if that meant taking Mary’s life. Francis and Mary were both torn by their duties to their nations, paving the way for Mary to form a close bond with Bash, Francis’ illegitimate brother, who could offer Mary a level of devotion the future king could not. King Henry descended into madness. And a bloodthirsty menace in the woods was annihilated, but not before taking dozens of lives and heralding the coming of a plague. By the end of the season, the shocking death of King Henry made Francis and Mary the new King and Queen of France. But before their new crowns could be placed on their heads, Francis had placed himself on the wrong side of the quarantined castle’s gates, rushing to help Lola give birth to his first and possibly only child.
The second season begins with Mary and Francis on the throne of a nation burning. France is rocked by the aftereffects of the plague , a disease that crept inside the castle walls, taking thousands upon thousands of lives across the land, and ravaging the stability of a nation. From the ashes, powerful lords will rise, carrying out personal, religious and political vendettas, taking lives, and tearing at Mary and Francis’ commitment to their people – and to each other. Though the plague will come to an end, famine will follow, and among the devastated survivors, there is a feeling that the dead still walk the earth. Reports of ghostly visitations will result in mass hysteria and lawlessness. Across all levels of society, there are people eager to exploit the fear and guilt of those who managed to live through the plague. Royals and commoners alike now face a future where friendships will be tested, loyalties betrayed and loved ones murdered.