Tuesday, December 10, 2019



-- Starring Rose Williams, Theo James and Anne Reid --
Arlington, VA – December 10, 2019 – Andrew Davies, Britain’s national treasure, has given Jane Austen fans what they have been waiting over a century for…the completion of Austen’s last piece of work, unfinished due to her death in 1817. Now Davies (“Pride and Prejudice,” “Les Misérables,” Primetime Emmy® winner for “Little Dorrit”) takes the first 11 beautifully crafted chapters of the final Austen masterpiece and creates an epic drama for us all to enjoy. The debut episode of the series will begin streaming on the MASTERPIECE PRIME VIDEO CHANNEL on January 12, with new episodes debuting Sunday of each following week. On February 23, fans can binge-watch the program in its entirety.

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Set during the Regency Period, the storyline is as follows: Tom Parker is obsessed with turning the sleepy seaside village of Sanditon into a fashionable health resort, and he enlists the financial backing of the local, curmudgeonly wealthy widow, Lady Denham. Through a mishap while traveling through the countryside, Tom and his wife, Mary make the acquaintance of the Heywoods, a local farming family. While describing his plans for Sanditon, their eldest daughter Charlotte is intrigued and excited and Tom invites her for an extended stay at the seaside town.

Streaming: January 12, 2020
Episodes: 6
Genre: British Drama
Language: English
Upon her initial arrival, the sensible and naïve Charlotte observes hypochondria, avarice and attempted seduction run amok. Lady Denham is playing matchmaker for her destitute nephew, Sir Edward, who is determined to seduce Lady Denham’s ward, Clara and become the primary heir to his aunt’s estate. The arrival of wealthy, mixed-race heiress Miss Lambe, under the guardianship of Tom’s upright brother Sidney, due to a promise he made to Lambe’s father on his deathbed, adds an interesting complication. Eligible men naturally find Miss Lambe fascinating, while Charlotte is intrigued by Sidney…

With many promising loose ends and romantic possibilities, how will the young people pair off? Who will Lady Denham designate as her heir? Will Tom’s tourist spa finally catch on with the public? Where will that lead? Andrew Davies imaginatively enters this world of Georgian-era suitors, hustlers, and health cranks and boldly tells us what happens next.

MASTERPIECE’s lavish adaptation of Jane Austen’s final work stars Rose Williams (“Curfew”) as Austen’s lively but levelheaded heroine, Charlotte Heywood; Theo James (“Divergent,” “Downton Abbey”) as the humorous, charming (and slightly wild!) Sidney Parker; Anne Reid (“Years and Years”) as the forthright grande dame of Sanditon, Lady Denham; Kris Marshall (“Love Actually”) as Sanditon’s compulsively enterprising promoter, Tom Parker; and Crystal Clarke (“Ordeal by Innocence”) as the mysterious West Indian heiress, Miss Lambe.

Also appearing are Kate Ashfield (“Secrets and Lies”) as Tom’s stalwart spouse, Mary; Jack Fox (“Riviera”) as the fortune hunter Sir Edward Denham; Charlotte Spencer (“Watership Down”) as Sir Edward’s scheming sister, Esther; and Lily Sacofsky (“Bancroft”) as the enigmatic and elegant Clara Brereton.

Remarkably, even as Jane Austen was succumbing to the ravages of her fatal illness, she chose to lampoon the contemporary fad for tonics, sea water cures, and other medical remedies. Undiagnosed at the time, her malady was probably Addison’s disease, which today is easily treatable. She might have had many years of writing ahead of her, but Jane Austen died at age 41, on July 18, 1817.

Sanditon is a Red Planet Pictures production commissioned for ITV by Polly Hill and MASTERPIECE by Susanne Simpson. Based on the unfinished novel by Jane Austen, it is written and executive produced by Andrew Davies with Belinda Campbell as Executive Producer for Red Planet Pictures and Rebecca Eaton as Executive Producer for MASTERPIECE. Series producer is Georgina Lowe and it is directed by Olly Blackburn, Lisa Clarke and Charles Sturridge. BBC Studios is distributing the series internationally.

Other Jane Austen titles available on the MASTERPIECE PRIME VIDEO Channel include Northanger Abbey.
Winner of 83 Primetime Emmys and 16 Peabody Awards, MASTERPIECE has been essential Sunday night viewing for millions of fans since 1971. Rebecca Eaton is the Executive-producer-at-large. Susanne Simpson is the executive producer of the series. Funding for MASTERPIECE is provided by Viking with additional support from public television viewers and contributors to The MASTERPIECE Trust. Presented on PBS by WGBH Boston, MASTERPIECE is known for recent hits such as Sherlock, Downton Abbey and Victoria, and beloved classics such as Upstairs Downtstairs, Prime Suspect, The Forsyte Saga and Poldark.

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