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The eight-part straight-to-series drama will star Samantha Morton, Lesley Manville and Jessica Brown Findlay and will air on Hulu in the U.S. and the U.K.’s ITV.
Set against the backdrop of 18th century Georgian London, Harlots is a family drama exploring the city’s “most valuable commercial activity” — sex. Based on the stories of real women, the series follows Margaret Wells (Morton) and her daughters as she struggles to reconcile her roles as mother and brothel owner. When her business comes under attack from Lydia Quigley (Manville), a rival madam with a ruthless streak, Margaret will fight back, even if it means putting her family at risk. Brown Findlay will star as Charlotte, Margaret’s eldest daughter and the city’s most coveted courtesan, who begins to grapple with her position in both society and her immediate family.
Written by playwright-screenwriter Moira Buffini (Jane Eyre) the drama is based on an original idea by Buffini and Alison Newman. Harlots is the first series commissioned by Monumental Pictures, the independent company founded by Oscar-nominated producers Alison Owen (Suffragette) and Debra Hayward (Bridget Jones’s Baby). Production begins in June in London, with Coky Giedroyc (Penny Dreadful) and China Moo-Young (Thirteen, Humans) set to direct. Lawrence Till (Shameless) will produce, with Alison Owen and Debra Hayward also on board to exec produce alongside Alison Carpenter, Buffini and Newman.
For Hulu, Harlots joins a drama slate that also includes Shut Eye, Chance and newly ordered The Handmaid’s Tale.
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