ZDF Enterprises, Parsonage Productions Partner on ‘The Bronte Girls’ (EXCLUSIVE)

ZDF Enterprises and the U.K.-based Parsonage Productions are developing a new drama, “The Bronte Girls,” a fictional account of the last summer which the three Bronte sisters spent together.

The drama is based on the stage play of the same name by New York-based playwright Caroline Franklin (“Last Night at the Carmine”). Franklin will adapt the drama for the small screen with the British writer-director Darcia Martin (“Riches,” “Shakespeare & Hathaway,”Call the Midwife”).

The initial series, structured as a six-part drama, will be executive produced by Harvey Myman, Patty Lenahan Ishimoto and Patrick Irwin, who first worked together on A+E Networks’ U..K. period crime drama, “Miss Scarlet & The Duke.”

“The Bronte Girls” is set in the village of Haworth, Yorkshire, where Reverend Bronte’s three daughters, Charlotte (19), Emily (17) and 17-year-old Anne spent their last summer together as teenagers. Theirs was not a prim and proper youth, “The Bronte Girls” imagines, painting a portrait which anticipates something of the passion of the sisters’ subsequent novels, which were to become literary sensations.

“With hormones raging, romances leading to sexual tension, political conflicts and guarded secrets, the sisters’ lives are anything but chaste in this fictionalized drama of three extraordinary women and the men, young and old, who are caught up in this adventure,” ZDFE announced Tuesday.

“Generations have been fascinated by the Brontes so when the producers presented us with this project about one of the literary world’s most famous families, it immediately grabbed my interest,” said Yi Qiao, director ZDFE.drama, who brokered the deal for ZDF Enterprises.

“‘The Bronte Girls’ is an exciting production that has all the right ingredients to entertain international audiences,” she added.

“Caroline’s play intrigued us right from the start. The idea of reimagining the lives of the Bronte sisters on the cusp of womanhood was just too good to resist. We’re delighted to be partnering with ZDF Enterprises, Caroline and Darcia to bring this story to life for the small screen,” said Lenahan Ishimoto.

The executive producers bring large experience to the production.

Lenahan Ishimoto began producing after an executive career that included launching the Audience Network for DirecTV, acquiring original seasons of U.S. sports drama “Friday Night Lights” and legal thriller “Damages” and executive producing the original series “Rogue,” starring Thandiwe Newton.

Irwin executive produced 2008 BBC series “The Last Enemy,” with Benedict Cumberbatch, as well as Allan Cubitt’s multi-prized international hit “The Fall,” starring Jamie Doran and Gillian Anderson, and historical fantasy series “Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell,” which won four BAFTA Award nominations.

Harvey served as a senior executive in development for HBO, Sony and ABC. He then produced for Disney, Carsey-Werner and Rocket Science Productions.  His background includes drama, comedy and animation and executive producer credits “Men Behaving Badly” and “Sons of Tucson.”

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