The Original Drama Series Starring Prolific Actor Ian Richardson
Explores Political Power, Deceit and Ambition
Burbank, Calif.- Jan. 6, 2014 - For the first time on public television in more than two decades, BBC's iconic political thriller, House of Cards will premiere on KCET and Link TV next month. The original drama, set in Great Britain, starring prolific stage and screen actor Ian Richardson, explores the complex and maniacal political landscape of the country following Margaret Thatcher's tenure. The series is also the basis for the critically acclaimed Netflix adaptation. The original, four episode drama will debut in its entirety in one night on KCET (Southern California) and Link TV (DirecTV 375 and DISH Network 9410) on Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. EST & PST.
"The American remake of House of Cards is entertaining and brilliant. The original production, however, is truly groundbreaking," said Bohdan Zachary, Vice President of Broadcasting, Syndication and Production of KCETLink. "We're excited to introduce a new generation of fans to such a pioneering, culturally relevant series, more than 20 years after its debut on BBC."
Adapted by Andrew Davies from Michael Dobbs' novel, House of Cards debuted on the BBC in 1990 to popular acclaim. The series, which consists of four, 60-minute episodes, follows protagonist Francis Urquhart (Ian Richardson), who is the chief whip of the Conservative party. When Margaret Thatcher resigns as leader, he remains neutral and after a general election where the conservatives are returned with a reduced majority, he fully expects the new Prime Minister, Henry Collingridge (David Lyon), to give him his just reward: a senior Cabinet post. When he's informed that he is to stay in his current position, he devises a plot to unseat Collingridge and ensure his own election as party leader and Prime Minister with encouragement from his wife, Elizabeth (Diane Fletcher).
At the same time - with Elizabeth's blessing - Urquhart begins an affair with Mattie Storin (Susannah Harker), a junior political reporter at a Conservative -leaning tabloid newspaper called The Chronicle. The affair allows Urquhart to manipulate Mattie and indirectly skew her coverage of the Conservative leadership contest in his favor.
In 2000, House of Cards was ranked as one of the top 100 "greatest British television programs" by the British Film Institute list. Last year, House of Cards was adapted in the U.S. by Netflix and has earned three Emmy® awards.
KCETLink is the new national independent public transmedia organization formed by the merger between KCET and Link Media. A viewer-supported 501c(3) organization, its content is distributed nationally via satellite on DirecTV and DISH Networks, in Southern and Central California via broadcast, as well as through various digital delivery systems. KCET and Link TV are services of KCETLink. For additional information about KCETLink productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and events, please visit kcet.org or linktv.org.