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helen mirren catherine the great

Sky has announced two new series: historical drama 'Catherine the Great' and street racing drama 'Curfew'.

'Catherine the Great' is a four-part drama about the most powerful female monarch in history. It's the third commission from Sky and HBO's high-end global drama partnership, and stars Helen Mirren in the titular role.

It will focus on the end of the monarch's reign, and her affair with Grigory Potemkin.

"I am very excited by the possibility of embodying a woman from history who grabbed and then wielded power," Mirren said in a statement. "She rewrote the rules of governance by a woman, and succeeded to the extent of having the word Great attached to her name, Catherine the Great.

"I an very grateful to have HBO and Sky as partners in this endeavour. There are no other homes on television that bring the support and understanding needed for this kind of project."

'Curfew' – a Sky Original Production – stars Sean Bean, Adrian Lester, Phoebe Fox and Malachi Kirby.

The eight-parter sees challengers risk everything as they race through the night from London to Scotland in pimped-out, weaponised vehicles (a bit like 'Wacky Races' meets 'The Cannonball Run'). Their prize? Freedom from the totalitarian government curfew that controls their lives.

Both series will air next year.

Sky has also announced that Richard Dormer and Dennis Quaid will return for the third and final series of artic thriller 'Fortitude'. It will air later this year.

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