Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald have set up a new pirate drama at NBC under their TV company, Parkes/MacDonald. Deadline reports that the series is tentatively titled Republic of Pirates, and is the first drama pickup for this development cycle for new NBC chief Bob Greenblatt and his team. The project was co-written by Jim Hart and Amanda Wells and executive produced by Parkes, MacDonald, Gold and Tom Fontana. The show is based on the book The Republic of Pirates by Colin Woodard. The story is "set during the 10-year “Golden Age of Piracy” from 1715 to 1725, it follows some of the world’s most notorious pirates as they forge their own rogue nation, called New Providence, which became the first democracy in the Americas."
There have been a number of TV projects in development about the Somali pirates, with Graham King and Gale Anne Hurd producing Port Royal for FX Prods. and Fox International Channels, which is being written by Scott Rosenbaum. Ridley and Tony Scott developing Pyrates, a 10- to 13-episode event-type limited series at Fox created by Barry Schindel and to be directed by Stephen Hopkins, which is eyed for next summer. The Republic of Pirates had been developing since November.
Here is what Gold said sets this project about from the others:
"The 'pirates' of all the other shows we know of -- the ones who lived in the time of Ridley's show and in the time of Port Royal -- were actually 'privateers,' private sailors and ships that were authorized by their governments to attack foreign shipping during wartime. Our pirates are not 'privateers' working on behalf of other governments. They are disenfranchised or unemployed sailors who are completely self-governing and work on behalf or their own pirate nation."
I think there may be too many pirate related series floating the waters lately, but this project does sound interesting. We will keep you posted on this story as it develops. What are your thoughts?