NBC has given the green light to the 10-episode series Dracula, with Jonathan Rhys Myers (The Tudors) set to play the title role. The series was bought by NBC in January with a “script-to-series” commitment, meaning that if executives liked it it would not have to go through a pilot pitch. Why mess around with no-name vampires when you can get back to basics with the most famous one of all? And then of course, why make him audition?
The series has beed called “Dangerous Liasions meets The Tudors,” and that last part is not just because of Meyers’ old job. Dracula will take place in the 1890s, and is being produced in part by Carnival Films & Television, who also produces Downton Abbey (maybe we’ll get an upcoming series Dowager Countess: Zombie Avenger?) For more on Dracula, hit the jump.
The project will reunite Meyers with NBC’s Bob Greenblatt, who cast him in his iconic role on The Tudors when Greenblatt was still with Showtime. Greenblatt also gave him his first starring role in the CBS telefilm Elvis.
According to Deadline, the Dracula of this series will arrive in London posing as an American entrepreneur who claims to want to bring modern science to Victorian society (sounds like a steampunk dream!) However, similar to the Count of Monte Cristo, his actual desire is to wreck havoc on the people who ruined his life centuries earlier (are those people still alive? Hmm). Of course there is a woman, and she is – naturally – an almost a perfect reincarnation of his dead wife.
NBC, desperate to get out of their fourth spot in the ratings, seems to be pandering to anything considered hot at the moment. Dracula is the third straight-to-series commitment from the network in as many months (the other two are Hannibal and Neil Cross’ Crossbones). But as Greenblatt recently intimated (not an actual quote) at the NBC TCA panel, “We did your shows, now we’re going to make shows people watch”, which can more or less be translated to “thanks for the love, but it doesn’t pay the bills. And it sucks being No. 4. So, dumb shows here we come!” Still, the project may have value, and having Meyers as the star is a good start.