May 21, 2012 3:23pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'In Treatment's' Gabriel Byrne to Star in History Drama 'Vikings'
Gabriel Byrne is about to make history.
The In Treatment actor has been tapped to star in History Channel's first scripted series, Vikings, the cable network announced Monday.
The scripted drama, which is being written by The Tudors' Michael Hirst, revolves around the Norsemen who raided, traded and explored during medieval times and follows the adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok as he rises to become king of the Viking tribes.
Byrne will play Earl Haraldson, a former warrior and the most important ruler in Ragnar's district who clashes with the king.
Hirst will exec produce alongside Morgan O'Sullivan of World 2000, John Weber of Take 5 Productions, Sherry Marsh, Alan Gasmer, James Flynn and Sheila Hockin.
The Irish/Canadian co-production is being described as a look at Viking culture from within as well as an adventure and family saga.
Vikings, first announced in March, is considered a bold play for the channel, which has become a top-rated ad-supported cable network on the strength of its male-targeted unscripted slate including Pawn Stars and Ice Road Truckers.
The network is continuing to push into original scripted fare with its first miniseries, Hatfields & McCoys, starring Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton, premiering on Memorial Day.
Byrne, who received an Emmy nomination for his role in HBO's In Treatment, is repped by Teri Hayden and Paradigm.