Period Drama ‘Victoria’ to Air in Masterpiece ‘Downton Abbey’ Timeslot in 2017

Jenna Coleman as Queen Victoria in "Victoria", coming in January 2017. (Photo: Courtesy of Des Willie/ITV Plc)

Victoria Coming to MASTERPIECE in January 2017 Shown: Jenna Coleman as Queen Victoria (C) Des Willie/ITV Plc This image may be used only in the direct promotion of MASTERPIECE CLASSIC. No other rights are granted. All rights are reserved. Editorial use only. USE ON THIRD PARTY SITES SUCH AS FACEBOOK AND TWITTER IS NOT ALLOWED.

©ITV Plc

Jenna Coleman as Queen Victoria in "Victoria", coming in January 2017. (Photo: Courtesy of Des Willie/ITV Plc)
Jenna Coleman as Queen Victoria in "Victoria", coming in January 2017. (Photo: Courtesy of Des Willie/ITV Plc)

Rest easy, Downton Abbey fans – there will still be another prestige period drama to watch on Sunday nights in January come 2017.

Victoria, a lavish new series starring Doctor Who alum Jenna Coleman as the titular nineteenth century queen, will be making its American debut on PBS stations nationwide next winter on Masterpiece.

The eight-part drama will focus on the early life of the Queen, from her ascension to the throne at the age of 18, through her courtship and marriage to Prince Albert. Victoria went on to rule for 63 years, – Queen Elizabeth II just broke her record as longest-serving British monarch in September of 2015 – had nine children, and experienced both incredible triumph and agonizing heartbreak. So, should Victoria prove successful as a series, there’s plenty more material in her life to mine for future seasons. 

Coleman is joined by a talented ensemble that includes such familiar faces as Tom Hughes as Prince Albert, Rufus Sewell as Victoria’s first prime minister Lord Melbourne, Peter Firth as the scheming Duke of Cumberland, and Alex Jennings as King of Belgium Leopold I, who was uncle to both Victoria and Albert.

“Downton Abbey has proved that millions of viewers will turn up year after year for a beautifully crafted period drama,” Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton said during the Television Critics Association winter press tour. “Victoria has it all: a riveting script, brilliant cast, and spectacular locations. And it’s a true story! This is exactly the kind of programming Masterpiece fans will love.” 

Thoughts? Does Victoria seem like a worthy successor to the Downton Abbey January timeslot? 


Lacy Baugher

Lacy's love of British TV is embarrassingly extensive, but primarily centers around evangelizing all things Doctor Who, and watching as many period dramas as possible.

Digital media type by day, she also has a fairly useless degree in British medieval literature, and dearly loves to talk about dream poetry, liminality and the medieval religious vision. (Sadly, that opportunity presents itself very infrequently.) York apologist, Ninth Doctor enthusiast and unabashed Ravenclaw. Say hi on Twitter at @LacyMB