BBC Two has acquired all three series of the 18th century period drama Harlots from ITV Studios.
Written by playwright Moira Buffini, Harlots explores the world of Georgian London’s most valuable commercial activity – sex.
Inspired by the stories of real women in 18th century London, the high-powered family drama follows Margaret Wells (Samantha Morton), a brothel owner struggling to reconcile her profession with her role as mother to her daughters.
Lesley Manville (Mum) stars as the rival madam Lydia Quigley, who ruthlessly attempts to upend Margaret’s business.
As the most coveted courtesan in the city, Margaret’s eldest daughter Charlotte, played by Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey), is forced to reckon with her position in both society and her immediate family.
BBC’s Head of Programme Acquisition, Sue Deeks, commented: “Aided by a truly magnificent cast, Harlots brings 18th Century London to life with enormous style, wit, intelligence and humour.
“BBC viewers will become immersed in the gripping lives of business women Margaret Wells and Lydia Quigley as they make their way in London’s grimy, decadent world.”
Series one and two, each comprised of eight episodes, will air back to back on BBC Two later this year.
Ok so since #HARLOTS is coming to @BBCTwo let me tell you a little about it:
This is the most punk version of 18th Century London you will ever see, it focuses on the fearsome women who held their own positions of power and the murky underworld they lived in pic.twitter.com/tOaaxjNc4P
— Nicola Coughlan (@nicolacoughlan) July 3, 2020