NBC is heading back in time to create a Cleopatra drama with a magical twist. In a bidding battle, NBC has nabbed the rights to Cleopatra, a new series that will follow the last pharaoh of ancient Egypt as she makes political decisions and involves herself in various romantic trysts. The idea for the project was penned over at ABC by Michael Seitzman before being bought by NBC. Seitzman will still executive produce, alongside Lorenzo Di Bonaventura and Dan McDermott.

With the producing details settled, Cleopatra can spend more time working on its story, which sounds as if it will be a whopper of a tale. According to Deadline, some of the detail’s of Egypt’s most famous Pharaoh will remain integral to the series, including her romances with both Mark Antony and Julius Caesar, as well as her subsequent suicide. However, also key to the plot will be sorcerer’s, monsters, and even a few mystical curses. I think “epic” may be the proper term for the project.

Television shows about the ancient world can work, as Rome and Spartacus have shown in the past, but the period piece scenes necessary to create a historically relevant set are often expensive to produce. Such was the case with HBO’s Rome, which actually featured an intriguing Cleopatra plotline, but was cancelled after its second season due to budget concerns. An entire show based on one of history’s most interested females may be worth a pilot pickup for the peacock network, but it better watch out for monetary pitfalls along the way.
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