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Starz Developing Six-Hour Ottoman Empire Series (Exclusive)

UPDATED: Ann Peacock would pen the project, based on an idea by Gina Gershon, about Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent's "Reign of Women."

Ann Peacock Headshot - P 2011
Ann Peacock

Starz is putting its lens on the Ottoman Empire.

The male-skewing cable network and BBC Worldwide Productions are developing Harem, a potential six-hour miniseries exploring the reign of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent and the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe scribe Ann Peacock is near a deal to pen the project, which is based on an original idea by Gina Gershon.

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Harem would tell the story of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent, the longest-reigning sultan of the Ottoman Empire who reconstructed its legal system and presided over the fleet's annexation of most of the Middle East.   

The Starz project would revolve around Roxelana, a beautiful young slave girl whose ambitions knew no bounds and whose marriage to Suleyman kicked off what became known as the "Reign of Women."

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The project would mark Peacock's return to television since her Emmy win for A Lesson Before Dying. Repped by CAA, Principato-Young and attorney Don Steele, Peacock is currently working on Universal's Cinderella.

The project would continue the premium cable's love affair with the sword-and-sandals genre. The network has found success with Spartacus and its various incarnations.

Starz and BBC Worldwide Productions declined comment.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit