Helen Mirren holds court as formidable Russian Empress in Sky and HBO’s Catherine the Great

Set against the lavish backdrop of the politically ruthless 18th century Russian court, this is the first image of Helen Mirren as one of the most powerful female leaders of all time, in Sky and HBO’s original British drama Catherine the Great.

Starring alongside the Oscar® winner in the glittering and power-hungry court are Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty) as Catherine’s favoured statesman, military commander and lover Potemkin, BAFTA winner Gina McKee (Bodyguard), as Catherine’s lifelong friend and confidante Countess Bruce, and Rory Kinnear (The Imitation Game) as Minister Panin, a skilful politician, advisor and governor to Catherine’s son and heir Paul (Joseph Quinn).

Richard Roxburgh (Moulin Rouge) also joins as Grigory Orlov, one of Catherine’s former lovers who, with his brother Alexei Orlov (played by Kevin R McNally, Unforgotten), orchestrated the coup that brought Catherine into power.

Currently shooting in palaces and sets across Russia, Latvia and Lithuania, this four-part epic will chart the latter years of Catherine’s 34-year reign, as she builds Russia’s reputation as one of the great powers of Europe.

The first-look image shows Helen Mirren as Empress Catherine in her private quarters modelled on the original Russian palaces and surrounded by hand-copied paintings from the Hermitage.

The wider cast includes Clive Russell (Game of Thrones) as The Fool, Sam Palladio (Nashville) as Catherine’s young lover Alexander Vasilichikov, Lucas Englander (Genius) as Lieutenant Mirovich, Antonia Clarke (Les Misérables) as Princess Sophie, Paul Ritter (Friday Night Dinner) as General Suvorov, Paul Kaye as Pugachev, Thomas Doherty as Peter Zavadovsky, Raphael Acloque as Platon Zubov, James Northcote as Alexander Bezborodko and Andrew Rothney as Alexander Dmitriev-Mamonov.

Written by Nigel Williams (Elizabeth I) and directed by BAFTA and Emmy® Award-winning Philip Martin (The Crown), Catherine the Great is produced by Origin Pictures and New Pictures. It is the third commission from Sky and HBO’s high-end global drama partnership.

The series will air on Sky Atlantic and TV streaming service NOW TV in the UK and Ireland next year, and on Sky Atlantic in Italy, Germany, Austria and Spain. Sky Vision will handle international sales and distribution.

For further information:

Nicole.estwick@sky.uk

Claire.barson@sky.uk


Notes to editors

Catherine the Great is executive produced by David M. Thompson (Woman in Gold, Death Comes to Pemberley) for Origin Pictures and Charlie Pattinson (Elizabeth I, The Missing, Skins) for New Pictures, Helen Mirren and Philip Martin. Jules Hussey (Hooten and the Lady) is producing.

The series commissioned by Sky’s director of programmes Zai Bennett, Sky’s head of drama Anne Mensah and commissioning editor for Sky drama, Cameron Roach. Sky Vision will handle distribution rights.

About Sky

Sky is Europe's leading entertainment company, serving 23 million customers across seven countries - UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and Switzerland. The company had annual reported revenues of £12.9 billion in 2016/17, and is Europe’s leading investor in television content with an annual programming spend of around £7 billion.

From exclusive partnerships with HBO, Showtime and Warner Bros. to Sky Original Productions, Sky offers the best and broadest range of content along with the best viewing experience to suit each and every customer. Whether that’s through the multi-award winning next generation box, Sky Q, or Sky’s contract-free online streaming service, NOW TV, customers have access to the latest movies, drama, sports and kids entertainment wherever and whenever they like. This is all supported by Sky’s best in class customer service.

Sky’s success is not just based on what the company does but how it does it. Three new major commitments have been launched for Sky’s corporate campaign Sky Ocean Rescue; the reduction of our own single-use plastics by 2020; an investment fund of £25 million over five years in technology solutions; and support of marine protected areas across our markets.

Sky has over 31,000 employees and is listed as one of The Times Top 50 employers for women, as well as being recognised in the Stonewall list of Top 50 LGBT-inclusive employers. Sky is listed on the London Stock Exchange (SKY).

About HBO

Home Box Office, Inc. is the premium television programming subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. and the world’s most successful pay TV service, providing the two television services – HBO® and Cinemax® – to approximately 131 million subscribers worldwide. The services offer the popular subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand® and Cinemax On Demand®, as well as HBO GO® and MAX GO®, HD feeds and multiplex channels. HBO NOW®, the network’s internet-only premium streaming service, provides audiences with instant access to HBO’s acclaimed programming in the U.S. Internationally, HBO branded television networks, along with the subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand and HBO GO, bring HBO services to over 60 countries. HBO and Cinemax programming is sold into over 150 countries worldwide.

About NOW TV

NOW TV is a pick and mix TV streaming service that lets you choose from a range of passes contract free. Available anytime, anywhere, you can watch through a NOW TV Box, on the web or on over 60 devices with the NOW TV app.

Whether you’re into big dramas, blockbuster movies, live sports or even just some extra TV for the kids, NOW TV offers four passes which include the latest and best TV and movies: Entertainment, Sky Cinema, Kids and Sky Sports. This includes Sky Atlantic, over 300 Box Sets on demand, all 10 Sky Sports channels and over 1,000 movies – all available with no contract.

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