The History Channel has announced that they will take their first step into original scripted television with a 10 episode drama, Vikings, which will chronicle the world of the mighty Norsemen who raided, traded and explored during medieval times.
Vikings follows the adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok, an actual historical figure, and the greatest hero of his age. The series tells the sagas of Ragnar’s band of Viking brothers and his family, as he rises to become King of the Viking tribes. As well as being a fearless warrior, Ragnar embodies the Norse traditions of devotion to the gods. According to legend he was a direct descendent of Odin, the god of war and warriors.
According to The History Channel, the series “will boast a polished, stylized look that pushes the boundaries of television drama” and will feature “imaginatively choreographed battles that emphasize individual points of view, strategies and ruses rather than mindless, graphic slaughter.”
MGM TV and The Tudors and Camelot masterminds Michael Hirst and Morgan O’Sullivan will be working together to produce the series.
It will be filmed in Ireland at O’Sullivan’s newly build Ashford Studios, with location shoots throughout Northern Europe. “This is an amazing crossroads for History embarking on our first scripted series,” said the channel’s general manager Nancy Dubuc. “People think they know about the Vikings, we see references to them all the time in our popular culture from TV commercials to football teams, but the reality is so much more fascinating and complex, more vivid, visceral and powerful than popular legend.”
This is the highest-profile TV project to come out of MGM since it was rebuilt post-bankruptcy. “There is no better way to introduce the world to the new MGM Television Studios than with a powerful and epic drama like Vikings,” said Roma Khanna, President of MGM’s TV Group and Digita. The project was put in development at MGM last spring with the goal to go straight-to-series on a 10-episode first-season order. Hirst created Vikings and will executive produce with O’Sullivan.
The series is set to premiere in 2013.