WATERTOWN, NY (March 6, 2023) – Created and written by Deborah Davis (“The Favourite”), MARIE ANTOINETTE tells the story of the avant-garde young queen, played by Emilia Schüle. This lavish BBC historical costume drama will air Sundays at 10:00 pm – starting March 19th, 2023, on WPBS-TV and on the PBS App.
MARIE ANTOINETTE is just a teenager when she leaves Austria to marry the dauphin of France (Louis Cunningham, “Bridgerton”). With pressure to continue the Bourbon line and secure the Franco-Austrian alliance, she must follow the complex rules of the French court while attempting to charm her reluctant king-to-be, Louis XVI. Transforming into the Queen of Style and a true fashion icon, Marie Antoinette tries to recreate Versailles in her image: free, independent, and feminist. But defamatory pamphlets and persistent rumors about her private life undermine her status, and her opponents within the Royal Family will do everything they can to bring her down.
“This richly drawn period drama about the extraordinary young queen is sure to enthrall PBS fans from the opening scene until the credits roll,” said Germaine Sweet, managing director of content Acquisitions for PBS Distribution.
MARIE ANTOINETTE will be available to watch on-demand on all station-branded PBS platforms, including wpbstv.org and the PBS App, available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO.
WPBS members can view the entire series the day of its premiere via WPBS Passport – a member benefit that provides you with extended access to an on-demand library of quality public television programming. Learn more about WPBS Passport at: watch.wpbstv.org/passport/learn-more.
Episode One: “The Slap” – 3/19/23
Marie Antoinetee is just a teenager when she’s forced to leave Austria to marry the dauphin. She must produce a Bourbon heir to secure the alliance between France and Austria. But she’s as unprepared for her job as her awkward teenage husband. How will this free spirit react to Versailles with its ridiculous rules of etiquette?
Episode Two: “Rival Queens” – 3/26/23
When Louis refuses to share his bed with her, Marie Antoinette realizes that producing an heir will not be straightforward. She turns to Madame du Barry for support. But the favorite begins to see the dauphine as a rival for the king’s affections. There can’t be two queens at Versailles, and du Barry isn’t about to disappear.
Episode Three: “Pick a Princess” – 4/2/23
The royal family goes on holiday at Fontainebleau to escape stifling Versailles. Marie Antoinette discovers du Barry’s plan to welcome Provence’s betrothed. Will the spare to the French throne deliver a son before she and Louis perform their duty? Marie Antoinette’s escalating hostilities with du Barry threaten her relationship with the king.
Episode Four: “Queen of France” – 4/9/23
Marie Antoinette and Louis are about to make their first official visit to Paris. But when the king becomes seriously ill, the succession suddenly becomes a reality. Du Barry knows that if she doesn’t protect herself from the future queen of France, her time at Versailles will be over.
Episode Five: “Rebel Queen” – 4/16/23
Louis may now be king, but Marie Antoinette is determined to launch her reign as the queen of France. First steps: organize a glittering Inauguration Ball and convince Louis to choose her pro-Austrian candidate as his new prime minister. But their marriage hits the rocks when Louis isn’t prepared to let his Austrian wife dabble in French politics.
Episode Six: “Deus Ex Machina” – 4/23/23
Surprisingly, the person who comes to Versailles to save the royal marriage is Marie Antoinette’s brother, Joseph, who realizes he will have his work cut out if he’s going to unite this estranged couple. Time is running out to save the Franco-Austrian alliance.
Episode Seven: “The Ostrich” – 4/30/23
Marie Antoinette is pregnant at last! But her reputation is attacked when pornographic pamphlets challenging the legitimacy of her unborn child appear at Versailles. Louis locks down the château and demands a full-blown investigation to nail the seditious traitors.
Episode Eight: “Queen of Hearts” – 5/7/23
Louis becomes increasingly confident in his position as king as he throws himself into supporting the American War of Independence. Meanwhile, Marie Antoinette embraces life at the Petit Trianon where she becomes enamored by a familiar face—Count Axel von Fersen.
MARIE ANTOINETTE is produced by Claude Chelli and Margaux Balsan for Capa Drama, Stéphanie Chartreux for Banijay Studios France, and Christophe Toulemonde for Les Gens. Filming took place in many prestigious historical places including the Châteaux of Versailles, Vaux-le-Vicomte, Lésigny, Champs, Voisins, and in the studios of Bry-sur-Marne.
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