HBO Max has picked up the U.S. streaming rights for the BBC One drama The Trial of Christine Keeler. The miniseries tells the true story of "The Profumo Affair" in 1963, one of the biggest sex scandals to rock the British government. As reported by Variety, the show premieres on HBO Max on December 9th and recreates 1960s London to tell the story from Keeler's perspective for the first time. BAFTA winner Amanda Coe scripted the series and Andrea Harkin is the director.
Produced by Ecosse Films and Great Meadow Productions, the Profumo Affair was about the attempted cover-up of an affair between a British minister (Ben Miles) and model Christine Keeler (Sophie Cookson) that threatened to destroy the government because she was allegedly involved with a suspected Soviet agent. The miniseries, which premiered on the BBC in December 2019, also stars James Norton, Emilia Fox, and Ellie Bamber. It is the latest in HBO Max's buying spree from the BBC and Sky as well as other international shows like the Chilean drama La Jauria and the Israeli-French psychological thriller Possessions.
The story was previously made into the movie Scandal in 1989 directed by Michael Caton-Jones. It starred Ian McKellen as John Profumo, John Hurt as Stephen Ward, Bridgit Fonda as Mandy Rice-Smith, and Joanne Whalley as Christine Keeler. There was a West End play in 1997 about the story, and even Andrew Lloyd-Webber wrote a musical about it in 2013. This marks the first time the story was actually dramatized for television.
Keren Shahar, COO and president of distribution for Keshet International, said: "We are thrilled to have found this stunning series a home in the U.S. on HBO Max. By retelling this scandal from Christine's perspective for the first time, this captivating period piece feels relevant, contemporary and so very HBO Max, despite depicting real-life events from nearly six decades ago."
The drama was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, director of BBC Content, and Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama. Kate Triggs and Douglas Rae of Ecosse Films, with Amanda Coe the BBC's Lucy Richer are Executive Producers. The Trial of Christine Keeler begins streaming on HBO Max on December 9, 2020.