ITV And Hulu Order Harlots Straight To Series

ITV and Hulu have announced a straight to series order for Harlots, an eight part drama that will air on ITV Encore in the UK and stream exclusively in the US on Hulu. Written by Moira Buffini (Tamara Drewe) and produced by Monumental Pictures, Harlots will star Samantha Morton (The Last Panther), Lesley Manville (River) and Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey).

Set in 18th century London, Harlots will offer a new take on the city’s most valuable commercial activity: sex. Based on the stories of real women, the series follows Margaret Wells (Morton) and her daughters, as she struggles to reconcile her roles as both mother and brothel owner.

When her business comes under attack from rival madam Lydia Quigley (Manville), Margaret fights back, even though it means putting her family at risk. Meanwhile, Margaret’s eldest daughter Charlotte (Brown Findlay) is the city’s most coveted courtesan who is grappling with her position in society.

Executive Producer Alison Owen said: “In 1760s London there were brothels on every corner run by women who were both enterprising and tenacious. History has largely ignored them, but their stories are in turn outrageous, brutal, humorous and real.”

Victoria Fea, Controller of Drama for ITV, said: “Harlots is an exploration of family, power and brutal economics in a vibrant booming world full of colour and noise. We’re delighted to be commissioning the series for ITV Encore. Moira and Alison’s scripts are shocking, fascinating and compelling.”

Harlots begins filming in London in June 2016, and will be directed by Coky Giedroyc (Penny Dreadful) and China Moo-Young (Humans).