Banijay Rights Secures Marie Antoinette’s Return to BBC

17 October, 2023

Banijay Rights, the global distribution arm of media and content powerhouse Banijay, today announces UK public broadcaster the BBC has pre-bought the second series of landmark historical drama Marie Antoinette.

The CANAL+ Creation Originale, produced by Capa Drama, Banijay Studios France and Beside Productions will once again air on BBC Two and iPlayer following an agreement negotiated by Chris Stewart, SVP Sales, UK & Eire, Banijay Rights. The deal follows CANAL+’s second series order of the Banijay and Newen drama in March, with filming now underway.

Created by Deborah Davis, the new 8 x 60’ series of Marie Antoinette continues the extraordinary story of the incredibly modern and avant-garde young queen, played by Emilia Schüle (Ku’damm 56/ 63), with Louis Cunningham (Bridgerton) as the king of France, Louis XVI.

At the height of their power, while Marie Antoinette and Louis face an unprecedented financial crisis, the incessant attacks of Provence and Chartres against the royal couple stir up the hatred of the nobles while disastrous consequences are looming with infamous Affair of the Diamond Necklace incident. From Versailles to the Palais-Royal, the revolt rumbles…

Marie Antoinette’s first series has been sold to broadcasters in more than 147 territories, including PBS Distribution in the US, BBC First in Australia and BBC Two and iPlayer in the UK, and a raft of broadcasters across Europe and Latin America.

Chris Stewart, SVP Sales, UK & Eire, Banijay Rights, said: “Extraordinary performances, enigmatic writing and high-quality production values are just some of the reasons Marie Antoinette has proved popular with buyers worldwide. With another series now being filmed, we’re delighted the BBC is on board again to take this fascinating portrayal of France’s most iconic queen to UK viewers.”

Sue Deeks, Head of Programme Acquisitions, BBC, said: “Following the great success of series one, we are delighted to return to Versailles for the next entertaining chapter in the eventful life of the charismatic and captivating Marie Antoinette.”

Marie Antoinette is produced by Claude Chelli and Margaux Balsan for Capa Drama, Stéphanie Chartreux for Banijay Studios France. The season two writing team is led by Louise Ironside, joined by Charlotte Wolf, Francesca Forristal and Andrew Bampfield. Ed Bazalgette will direct the first four episodes, while Raf Reyntjens will direct the remaining four.