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Pulse options Ackroyd history books

Vice-backed UK prodco Pulse Films has optioned author Peter Ackroyd’s book series History of England to develop into non-fiction and drama series.

Peter Ackroyd

The six-part history, which begins at the time of Stonehenge and will end in the 20th century, is a comprehensive depiction of England’s past with the emphasis on storytelling.

The deal comes as the fifth book of the collection, Dominion, is set to be published this month. Other periods captured in the series include the Tudors, William of Orange’s accession and the Regency era. The sixth volume is expected in 2021.

Ackroyd is a biographer, novelist and poet whose works have covered subjects such as Geoffrey Chaucer and the city of London.

Thomas Benski, CEO at Pulse Films, said Ackroyd’s works would help create an “epic multi-series for television.”

“The History of England series will not only help redefine the historical genre but will do so for a truly global audience,” Benski added. “Winning the race to secure this sought-after IP and matching it with top director talent reinforces our studios core strategy to push the boundaries of what fiction and non-fiction television can be.”

“Pulse’s approach to the books is a distinctive take on documentary drama storytelling and I am so looking forward to seeing how the development proceeds,” Ackroyd added.

Earlier this year, Pulse ramped up its focus on non-fiction by promoting Emma Cooper to global president for the genre and appointing former A+E exec Ryan Harrington as exec producer of non-fiction feature documentaries.

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