Saturday, April 13, 2024

First Word: Netflix’s $100 Million “The Crown” Will Fill Void Left by “Downton Abbey”


If you’re still mourning the end of “Downton Abbey,” the word is Netflix’s 10 part series “The Crown” should fill that void.

Our Paula Schwartz caught the first two episodes over the weekend, and she is raving about it. That’s a good thing, too, since “The Crown” cost Netflix a whopping $100 million.

Award winning director Stephen Daldry (“Billy Elliott,” “The Reader”) is the man behind the production and he should know a thing or too about Queen Elizabeth II. He directed Helen Mirren as Her Highness on Broadway and in the West End in “The Audience.”

Peter Morgan wrote that play, as he did the movie “The Queen,” which was directed by Stephen Frears. Morgan wrote all 10 episodes of “The Crown.” These people know their royals!

Paula says: “The series humanizes the royal family, making them hugely sympathetic, although still dotty. At the same time putting them under a microscope, flaws and all, especially Philiip’s cluelessness and Princess Margaret’s wild child behavior….I like the little touches, like the royal kitchen with all the servants making elaborate meals while there are mice running around in the corners. Who knew?”

Paula adds: “Jared Harris as King George and John Lithgow as Winston Churchill are stand outs.”

More on “The Crown ” later this week, but it sounds like a huge pay off for Netflix and Ted Sarandos. All 10 episodes will be released on November 4th.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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