Emma Thompson to Star in HBO-BBC Limited Series 'Years & Years'

The six-part series from Russell T. Davies ('Doctor Who') will follow a family surviving the near future in the U.K.
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Emma Thompson, Russell T. Davies

HBO and the BBC are teaming for Years & Years, a limited series led by Emma Thompson and Rory Kinnear that follows a family navigating the uncertainties of life in a near-future United Kingdom.

The six-episode series, created by Russell T. Davies (Doctor Who, A Very English Scandal) and produced by StudioCanal's Red Production Company, is set to air in 2019 on HBO, BBC One and Canal+. 

Years & Years begins in 2019 with Britain rocked by unstable political, economic and technological changes. It will follow members of the Lyons family as their lives converge on one night, and then over the next 15 years, as the twists and turns of everyday life are explored and viewers find out what, if any, effect the clan had on the world.

"HBO is thrilled to once again partner with the BBC and to be joining Red Production Company in showcasing the stellar work of Russell T. Davies and Emma Thompson with this sweeping family saga which captures the spirit of our time,"  HBO programming president Casey Bloys said Thursday in a statement.

Two-time Oscar winner Thompson will play Vivienne Rook, a celebrity-turned-politician whose positions have proved divisive. An entertainer, rebel and trickster, her rise to power leads to an unknown future. The role will be Thompson's first for HBO since an Emmy-nominated turn in 2003's Angels in America.

Kinnear (Penny Dreadful) will play financial adviser Stephen Lyons. He is his family's peacekeeper and is married to ambitious, opinionated accountant Celeste, played by T'Nia Miller (Obey).

The cast also includes Russell Tovey (Quantico) as Stephen's brother Daniel, a housing officer; Jessica Hynes (Paddington 2) as their radical sister Edith; Ruth Madeley as sister Rosie, who's "heavily pregnant"; and Anne Reid (Last Tango in Halifax) as Muriel, the Lyons matriarch. 

"This is a dream cast, put together by Andy Pryor, the man who found Jodie Whittaker to be Doctor Who," said Davies. "I'm very lucky and very excited to start filming."

Davies will executive produce Years & Years with longtime producing partner Nicola Shindler, Michaela Fereday, Lucy Richer and director Simon Cellan Jones.