Last year, premium cable channel Starz aired an eight hour mini-series based on acclaimed Welsh author Ken Follett's epic historical fiction novel The Pillars Of The Earth. The program did very well, both critically and in the ratings, garnering seven Emmy nominations when it was all said and done. After the Starz exclusivity window finished, cable network ReelzChannel acquired the series for non-premium airings, also to great success.
Now it seems that Reelz has opted to cut out the middle man, as the network has directly acquired the first premiere rights to the mini-series adaptation of Follett's sequel novel, World Without End. Reelz has seen first hand what an exclusive deal on a mini-series can get you, as the network picked up controversial drama The Kennedys last year, and was rewarded with huge publicity, critical acclaim, and new cable companies signing up to carry the channel. ReelzChannel SEO Stan Hubbard had this to say about the move - "With The Kennedys we conditioned our audience to know that our network is home to the biggest miniseries, and World Without End is exactly that."
World Without End was filmed on a hefty budget (for TV) of 46 million dollars, and picks up the story some 200 years after the conclusion of Pillars. The all new cast of characters is led by "Caris (Charlotte Riley), who inspires her medieval town to confront the Church and the Crown as they fight to save their town from ruin and, ultimately, usher in a new era of freedom, innovation and enlightenment". The cast also includes Cynthia Nixon, Miranda Richardson, Ben Chaplin, Peter Firth and Sarah Gadon.
Are you interested in watching World Without End? Do you think it will be better or worse than The Pillars Of The Earth?
Edit: To the commenter below, the mini-series will air sometime in Fall 2012. No concrete date yet.